Trickle Down – Part 3 “The Sound of Wealth”

Have you ever heard the sound of wealth? Listen carefully to the sound of wealth… Remember, wealth is not your income it is all your assets minus all your debt. This includes your house, your car, money in the bank, etc. Listen…

After “hearing” that, how might that affect how we understand our society, if it does at all? What might a Christ shaped response look like? How might the covenant community (aka the church) respond collectively? Flow with me…

Published by Drew G. I. Hart, PhD

Drew G. I. Hart is a theology professor in the Biblical & Religious Studies department at Messiah College with ten years of pastoral experience. Hart majored in Biblical Studies at Messiah College as an undergraduate student, he attained his M.Div. with an urban concentration from Missio Seminary in Philadelphia, and he received his Ph.D. in theology and ethics from Lutheran Theological Seminary-Philadelphia. Drew was born and raised in Norristown, Pa and has lived extensively in Philadelphia and Harrisburg, PA as well. Dr. Hart’s dissertation research explored how Christian discipleship, as framed by Black theologies and contemporary Anabaptist theologies, gesture the Church towards untangling the forces of white supremacy and the inertia of western Christendom which have plagued its witness in society for too long. As two traditions that emerged from the underside of violent and oppressive western Christian societies, he found Black theology and Anabaptism each repeatedly turning to the particularity of Jesus in the gospel narratives. From that arises an ethic of solidarity with the oppressed and pursuing liberation in Black theology and an ethic of radical peacemaking and ecclesial nonconformity in the Anabaptist tradition. Each challenge the violent and oppressive logics of mainstream western Christianity and salvage the call to follow the way of Christ. Together in dialogue they deepen our analysis of the churches failures and the need for Jesus-shaped repentance. His work beyond teaching and writing has included pastoring in Harrisburg and Philadelphia, working for an inner-city afterschool program for black and brown middle school boys, delivering lectures and leading anti-racism workshops, collaborating with local faith-based organizers and activists in his city, and doing a broad range of public theology. He is also a co-leader for a local Harrisburg faith-based relational network called FREE Together which has collaborated with POWER Interfaith, MILPA, the Shut Down Berks Detention Center movement, and a little with the Poor People’s Campaign. Trouble I’ve Seen: Changing the Way the Church Views Racism by Drew Hart, has received great reviews by Publisher’s Weekly and Englewood Review of Books. Endorsing this resource, Shane Claiborne said, “This book is a gift from the heart of one of the sharpest young theologians in the United States. Hold it carefully, and allow it to transform you--and our blood-stained streets.” As a text, Trouble I’ve Seen utilizes personal and everyday stories, Jesus-shaped theological ethics, and anti-racism frameworks to transform the church’s understanding and social witness. Trouble I’ve Seen focuses on white supremacy as an overarching framework for understanding racism, with careful attention to its systemic and socializing dimensions. However, unlike sociology textbooks on the subject Dr. Hart also considers the subversive vocation of Jesus and the nonviolent yet revolutionary implications his life ought to have for his followers today. His newest book project is entitled Who Will Be a Witness?: Igniting Activism for God’s Justice, Love, and Deliverance and will be published September 1, 2020. Who Will Be A Witness? invites the church to liberate its centuries long captivity to supremacist practices, and to expand its restricted political imagination in view of Jesus’ messianic reign. The book guides disciples of Jesus into joining God’s delivering presence through scriptural reasoning, historical reflection, practical theology for congregational life, social change theory, and the Christian call to love our neighbor. It is written for congregations, leaders, and students that understand that pursuing God’s justice goes way beyond waiting around for electoral seasons to come around. It is about the ongoing vocation of the Church right now, at the grassroots level, seeking after the wellbeing of their neighbors through faithful, strategic, and concrete action. Drew recently joined the Inverse Podcast team serving as a cohost along with Australian peace activist Jarrod Mckenna. Together they interview interesting people and explore how scripture can turn our ethical imagination and the violent and unjust systems of our world upside-down, which contrasts with interpreting the Bible as a tool for the status quo. Dr. Drew Hart was the recipient of bcmPEACE’s 2017 Peacemaker Award, a 2019 W.E.B. Dubois Award from a Disciples of Christ congregation, and in October 2019, Dr. Hart was chosen as Elizabethtown College’s 2019 Peace Fellow. Each award recognized him for his local and national justice work and public theology. You can find Drew Hart on Twitter and Facebook, or you can catch him as he travels and speaks regularly across the country to colleges, conferences, and churches. Drew and Renee, and their three boys (Micah, Dietrich, and Vincent) live in Harrisburg, PA and attend Harrisburg First Church of the Brethren.

3 thoughts on “Trickle Down – Part 3 “The Sound of Wealth”

  1. I can’t comment on this latest installment because I’m still laughing too hard and since I’m hoping you’re not gonna say you were jokin all along even though this post really has me sayin Mmmmmm…
    I think I would rather just ask a simple question…

    What nation in the world has ever had the sort of utopian state you would like us to model?

    Please don’t use the apostles and the people who were gathered together right after Jesus left for Heaven – they thought he would be back quickly – so what did it matter if they sold their belongings and shared everything in common…
    When they realized he wasn’t coming back in their life time – they went back to their day jobs and Christianity while trying to earn a living in the midst of fallen man.
    No, I’m looking for the country/nation (at ANY time in history) that’s done it right and you want us to immitate.
    PS…
    In one of my last responces – you misunderstood one thing – I wasn’t saying that any and all aid given to people was only for education. I was trying to say that people should be inrolled in a program of education in order to qualify for whatever aid they needed otherwise.
    and
    Please be careful of who’s company you think you would do well to be in – had you been in Russia or Cambodia or China when the likes of Stalin, Pol Pot or Mao came to power – you who have horded education to yourself and have a faith in the one true God – would be one of the first to be shot and allowed to drop into a mass grave.
    I’m sending you a book.
    Light reading for the bathroom.
    2 pages per subject.
    love ya
    D

  2. Look, I obviously do not think there is any perfect system. We have seen people err in all different directions. I have no problem with a capitalistic system, I just think it needs to be regulated, and those who have power (whether it be political or economic) need to be held accountable. There is no perfect system that I am suggesting, but that does not negate the need to critically look at the flaws of our system and trying best to tweak it so that there is more protection for those who are most vulnerable economically.

    Fare enough with the education… I have no problems with that idea (yes we can agree on something).

    I think you misunderstood me as well, I am not saying that I want to be associated with all socialists… I am saying that I want to be associated with heroes like Martin Luther King who were labeled as such for his critical yet constructive approach in America. Although being killed for my faith (while obviously nothing to romanticize or take lightly) is what we are called to take on. Am I looking to die, of course not… who is. Are we called to take up our cross… absolutely. Christian history tells a very interesting narrative. When the church is persecuted it looks much like that of the authentic church described in the New Testament. When the church seeks to be “powerful” in worldly terms then it tends to do the persecuting. The early church use to say “the blood of the martyr is the seed of the faith”. My American comforts unfortunately pull me away from this type of faith, my prayer is that God would stir me up in a way that I would be willing to die for him and let go of the things that seem so important to me like money.

    “I want to know Christ — yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.”
    Philippians 3:10-11

  3. Only Christianity can temper raw capitalism–not the government.
    You cannot regulate and legislate morals and ethics. That is the approach of a worldview that has abandoned God (it’s called materialism and in one sense Socialism is its child).

    If the heart of man does not change, then nothing will change.

    One look at Communism (and boy did they have equal wealth distribution) should tell you that.

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