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Mar 13, 2006


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It's been years since I've read much Sider. Thanks for your thoughts in this series. I have not always been very impressed with what I regard as Sider's socialist ranting, but, like you, I agree with a lot of what he is saying here.

You said, rightly, that the devil is in the details. Do you plan on elaborating on that?

Michael Kruse

Dave I will probably get to more of the details in my Theology and Economics series later. I think where I differ from Sider in more in the role of government. We are to take care of the poor among us. We can do that through governmental programming or through individual players infused with biblical values aiding others. Both are valid to one degree or another. The most desirable state affairs is affluent people, in community with the poor, acting of their own volition to bring economic justice. Government imposed economic justice removes the demand from the affluent for personal responsibility and reduces it to a taxation issue. Service to the poor isn't just about transforming the poor but transforming the rich as well.

Sider isn’t a socialist. I just think we disagree on both effectiveness and desirability of government solutions.

Denis Hancock

I don't find Sider to be that objectionable -- certainly not when compared to Wallis.

Sider is squarely in the Biblical tradition in the stands that he takes. His causes are not always my causes, though.

He makes me uncomfortable at times; but so does Jesus. And Paul. And Isaiah. That is what happens when people read scripture. And that is the important thing in this debate. As Christians we are bound by the Scriptures when it comes to what we believe and how we are to act. As long as the debate centers on what the Lord requires of us through His revelation in Scripture, then we are on the right track -- even if one sees things differently than another.

Michael Kruse

It has been my opportunity to work directly with Ron Sider and the late Diane Knippers at various times over the past twenty years. (I also took a class from Sider.) One of the things that drew me to this book was the high regard I have for both these editors, even though many would place them in camps hostile to each other. Both have exhibited the rare qualities of passionate convictions married with integrity and humility. In my estimation, Presbyterians could learn a lot about debating controversial issues by doing a case study of their lives.

My public policy conclusions are probably more closely aligned with Diane's but Sider has been a constant prophetic voice that keeps me ever questioning and re-evaluating. I give thanks for Diane's all too brief life and for Sider being a prophetic thorn in my side ever since I first read his "Rich Christians" in the late 1970s.

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