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Poverty and the People of God

IntroductionIn this all too brief treatment of poverty and the people of God, I would like to address the question of poverty through the lens of what it means to be a Christian community.  I am not here interested in institutional agents of change; nor am I interested in operational programs for poverty alleviation.  My concern is more narrowly that of being the Christian community and what that means for issues of wealth and poverty.While my ultimate emphasis will be on certain passages in the Old and New Testaments, I want to begin with various observations from other fields of study about poverty.  Thus, I begin with some thoughts about the nature of poverty before applying this to the Scriptures.Understanding PovertyJohn Iliffe, in his book Poverty in Africa, follows others in distinguishing structural poverty from conjunctural poverty.Structural poverty is systemic and has to do with the long term poverty of individuals due to their personal or social circumstances.Conjunctural …