Against the background of the current financial crisis and astonishing levels of personal debt, it would be impossible to argue that the practice of lending and borrowing money at interest is always morally acceptable.
Is the biblical answer simply to say "No" to the practice of lending and borrowing money at interest? It would be fair to say that for the major part of church history the mainstream view has been strongly against it. However, something has clearly changed. Christians today happily take out mortgages and keep their money in banks which then lend at interest to others. Christians may even personally profit from the lending of money at interest.
Ben Cooper is Minister for Training at Christ Church Fulwood in Sheffield. Before training for ordained ministry, he was a post-doctoral research fellow in economic theory at Nuffield College, Oxford. He is married to Catherine and has three children, Lizzy, Samuel and Naomi. He is author of Must God Punish Sin (Latimer Study 62, 2006) and Paul in 3D: Preaching Paul as Pastor, Story-teller and Sage (Latimer Study 68, 2008).
Published January 2012: 40 pages
ISBN: 978 1 906327 06 4
Read a review here: A review of LS77 "The Ethics of Usury" in the Church Times
A review of LS77 "The Ethics of Usury" in the Church Times
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