Are Christians Allowed To Participate in a Pagan Economy?

Article / Produced by partner of TOW

by Jerry Bowyer

I wrote several months ago about New Testament scholar (read here and here), Ben Witherington III, and his book, A Week in the Life of Corinth. What I find most fascinating about the book is the degree to which Christians were integrated into the economic life of the city.

For instance, there is Erastus, the city manager of Corinth (in Greek, oikonomos, or 'economist'; in Latin, aedile). St. Paul refers to him in Romans 16:23 as well as in 2 Timothy 4:20. According to Cicero (On the Law, Book iii) this office had wide authority including the role of treasurer, and public works and public festivals. Cicero explicitly mentions upkeep of temples as well as other public works. Erastus is mentioned in the Pauline epistles without hint of reproach or disapproval for his role as chief economic official in a city in which paganism was thoroughly interlaced with economic life. Read the rest at the FDI site.