Stewardship and almsgiving : a study in Luke's theology of wealth.
PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.
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This thesis starts with questions over Luke's idea of the relation between wealth and discipleship. Previous attempts are found to have failed to reconcile the matter of wealth and poverty with the theme of discipleship in Luke's theology. This failure motivates us to investigate a new paradigm, that is, stewardship. The following are the results that we have gained through our exploration.
1. With regard to the Sitz im Leben of Luke-Acts, it has been revealed that Luke's community would have been located in a urban setting steeped in the Hellenistic culture somewhere in the Roman East around the end of the first century A.D., and its members would have consisted of Gentiles in terms of their ethnic background, and in view of their socio-economic status, the rich and the poor who represented both extreme ends of the spectrum of contemporary society.
2. While Mark demands literal renunciation of wealth from Jesus' disciples which arises from his idea of discipleship, Luke wants Jesus' disciples to surrender the ownership of their wealth.
3. Luke wants to define the relation between God and his people as that of master and slave, rather than the teacher-pupil relation that constitutes a basic element of Markan discipleship.
4. When these two motifs unique to Luke are combined, it emerges that stewardship is a main motif that Luke wants his congregations to consider, particularly when they are asked to deal with material possessions (Lk 12.42-48; 16.1-13; 19.11-27).
5. Almsgiving is suggested as a proper way that Christians should use their wealth when this stewardship is adequately applied. An appeal to almsgiving appears to be the ultimate aim that Luke intends when he incorporates into his Gospel so much material on wealth.
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