Wealth And Poverty In Luke’s Gospel And Acts In Terms Of Brewer’s Analysis And Its Challenge For Today’s Church -- By: Noel Woodbridge

Journal: Conspectus
Volume: CONSPECTUS 18:1 (Sep 2014)
Article: Wealth And Poverty In Luke’s Gospel And Acts In Terms Of Brewer’s Analysis And Its Challenge For Today’s Church
Author: Noel Woodbridge


Wealth And Poverty In Luke’s Gospel And Acts In Terms Of Brewer’s Analysis And Its Challenge For Today’s Church

Noel Woodbridge

and

Willem Semmelink1

Abstract

In recent times, there has been a great deal of controversy surrounding the issue of wealth and poverty. The article describes the Lukan theology of wealth and poverty in the Gospel of Luke and Acts in terms of Brewer’s analysis and indicates its implications for today’s Church and the individual Christian. In terms of Brewer’s analysis, the Gospel of Luke focuses largely on the condition of the poor, the way that God views poverty, the attitudes, actions and teachings of Jesus relating to the poor, and his warnings regarding their abuse and neglect. Brewer’s analysis of the Book of Acts reveals that Luke seeks to exemplify the theological principles found in his gospel in the circumstances and responses of the Early Church. When one applies the Lukan theological concepts to the present day, it can be concluded that the church has a particular obligation to acknowledge and address the problem of poverty effectively.

1. Introduction

In recent years, numerous Bible scholars have debated the responsibility of the church towards the poor, and ‘how that responsibility should affect the individual believer’s economic policy … The current economic crisis has encouraged interest in the Christian response to financial responsibility as well’ (Brewer 2009:2).

Brewer (2009:2) maintains that ‘The evidence of research supports the view that Luke does in fact possess a consistent theology regarding the poor in both his Gospel and in Acts based on the teachings of Christ’. Based on this evidence, this article examines Brewer’s analysis of ‘wealth and poverty in Luke’s Gospel and Acts’ and its implications for today’s church. It presents ‘an historical and exegetical overview of Luke’s economic theology’ (Brewer 2009:4) and its practical implications for today’s church (and the individual Christian) regarding its moral obligation to the poor.

2. A Concise Contextual Analysis Of The Rich And The Poor In Scripture

2.1. The Generosity Of Wealthy Followers Of God In The Old Testament

Brewer (2009:5) claims that, ‘Many significant biblical examples of wealthy followers of God can be found throughout Scripture’. For example, Davids (1992:703) indicates that ‘Abraham, Solomon, and Job illustrate the connection between wealth and the blessing of God’. However, Davids ad...

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