I found Hart’s article provocative, but unconvincing. I think there are two main problems.
First, Hart claims that the traditional Christian defense of non-communist structures is that the Bible talks about not abusing wealth, rather than avoiding it. There is truth to this claim, but Hart misses the justification – it is less a grammatical argument (i.e., a debate over the definition of a word), but more an argument over the historical context in which that wealth was generated. One might argue that wealth generation today is also inherently exploitative, but if you believe that voluntary exchange can increase utility for all parties, this is not a claim that the Bible forces us to accept.
Second, Hart’s conclusion from analyzing how the early Christian church acted is that Christians ought be communists – without explaining what he means by “communist.” This does not obviously follow; there are several differences that go unexplained:
A. It is not clear that Christians shared wealth and literally did not own their own wealth. There were lots of voluntary gifts, but it did not seem to be the case that everyone gave (what was surprising about Ananias and Sapphira was not that they held back what they gave, but that they lied about what they gave). (This, I think, is the weakest point, and perhaps irrelevant – even if literally not everyone did / was expected to, the culture seemed to be that they generally did.)
Even if the early Christians shared wealth, it is not clear whether that was meant to be a universally maxim or something expedient to that time and place.
The Acts church was in a unique position. The early church, brought together by Pentecost, primarily consisted of pilgrims traveling to Jerusalem from across the diaspora.
C. Even if the early Christians shared wealth and this was meant to be a universal maxim, it is not clear that this collective ownership would extend to broader society. Christians clearly have special duties to other Christians. An important piece of context is that, in the Old Testament, Israel was both a government and a religious community – and it is not always clear which principles were meant for which. There are clearly special obligations for other believers and Galatians 6:10 could even be read as implying a special financial commitment.
D. Even if collective ownership was meant to be extended to broader society, it is not clear that communism is the answer. Unless Hart means voluntarist communism, communism likely requires political change, and it is not clear how the church is meant to think about politics. Many (e.g., Hauerwas) argue that the church is explicitly meant to be apolitical and fight for the kingdom outside of the state. Jesus, the apostles, and the early church all had little to say about government, other than we should submit to it.
I do think Acts is a challenge to Christians living in a capitalist society that emphasizes individual maximization of utility and where models view utility as highly correlated to wealth. I am less convinced that Acts calls us to be communists.