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Christians for Social Action founder Ron Sider dies at 82

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Christians for Social Action founder Ron Sider dies at 82

Ron Sider, founder of Christians for Social Action, died Wednesday at age 82. Sider is best known for his book Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger (1977), and his writings often scolded and antagonized more conservative evangelical Christians. His 2020 title Speak Your Peace made the case for pacifism. Recently, he stayed busy writing a weekly online newsletter via Substack, which is where his son Ted broke the news of his death by cardiac arrest. Sider was “a farm boy blessed with a good education,” according to the newsletter’s website.

Did Sider have a softer side? Despite roundly criticizing conservative evangelicals—a newsletter from August 2021 was titled “Evangelicalism’s heretical gospel”—Sider maintained he started with a Biblical framework for any issue he dealt with. He said his views on economic justice came from how lands were distributed and managed in the Old Testament agricultural society. Sider said in a 2019 WORLD interview that he cast a presidential vote for George W. Bush in 2000, in part because of Bush’s embrace of compassionate conservatism. He blamed structural problems in society for inequities among ethnic groups but maintained that impoverished people should work: “It’s better for their dignity and their not falling into dependency.”

Dig Deeper: Listen to a WORLD Radio interview with Ron Sider from 2019.

Stephen Kloosterman

Stephen Kloosterman is the Breaking News Editor for WORLD. He is a graduate of Dordt University and the WORLD Journalism Institute.


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