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Wealth & Poverty Theological perspectives

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Presentation on theme: "Wealth & Poverty Theological perspectives"— Presentation transcript:

1 Wealth & Poverty Theological perspectives
HKU 11th March 2009 Wealth & Poverty Theological perspectives Wance Kwan Adjunct Professor China Graduate School of Theology

2 Wealth & Poverty Theological perspectives
Creation perspective: - Moral order - Functional order Physical order Redemption perspective: Sacrifice Solidarity

3 Wealth & Poverty Theological perspectives
Creation perspective: - Moral order Proverbs 13:18 He who ignores discipline (instruction) comes to poverty and shame, but whoever heeds correction is honored. John 9:2 "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?"

4 Wealth & Poverty Theological perspectives
Creation perspective: - Moral order Functional order Proverbs 28:19 He who works his land will have abundant food, but the one who chases fantasies will have his fill of poverty. Proverbs 24: A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest-- and poverty will come on you like a bandit and scarcity like an armed man.

5 Wealth & Poverty Theological perspectives
Creation perspective: - Moral order - Functional order Physical order – beyond man’s comprehension Ecclesiastes 8: When I applied my mind to know wisdom and to observe man's labor on earth-- his eyes not seeing sleep day or night-- then I saw all that God has done. No one can comprehend what goes on under the sun. Despite all his efforts to search it out, man cannot discover its meaning. Even if a wise man claims he knows, he cannot really comprehend it.

6 Wealth & Poverty Theological perspectives
Creation perspective: - Moral order - Functional order Physical order - meaningless Ecclesiastes 1:2 "Vanity of vanities," says the Preacher, "Vanity of vanities! All is vanity.” 傳 道 者 說 : 「虛 空 的 虛 空 , 虛 空 的 虛 空 , 凡 事 都 是 虛 空 。」

7 Wealth & Poverty Theological perspectives
Creation perspective: - Moral order - Functional order Physical order – God’s sovereignty Ecclesiastes 9:1-2 So I reflected on all this and concluded that the righteous and the wise and what they do are in God's hands, but no man knows whether love or hate awaits him. All share a common destiny-- the righteous and the wicked, the good and the bad, the clean and the unclean, those who offer sacrifices and those who do not. As it is with the good man, so with the sinner;

8 Wealth & Poverty Theological perspectives
Creation perspective: - Moral order - Functional order Physical order – Fear of God Ecclesiastes 7:12-18 13 Consider what God has done: Who can straighten what he has made crooked? 14 When times are good, be happy; but when times are bad, consider: God has made the one as well as the other. Therefore, a man cannot discover anything about his future. 15 In this meaningless life of mine I have seen both of these: a righteous man perishing in his righteousness, and a wicked man living long in his wickedness. 16 Do not be over-righteous, neither be over-wise-- why destroy yourself? 17 Do not be over-wicked, and do not be a fool-- why die before your time? 18 It is good to grasp the one and not let go of the other. The man who fears God will avoid all extremes.

9 Wealth & Poverty Theological perspectives
Creation perspective: - Moral order - Functional order Physical order – life as gift Ecclesiastes 5: Moreover, when God gives any man wealth and possessions, and enables him to enjoy them, to accept his lot and be happy in his work-- this is a gift of God. He seldom reflects on the days of his life, because God keeps him occupied with gladness of heart.

10 Wealth & Poverty Theological perspectives
Creation perspective: - Moral order - Functional order Physical order – life as a gift Ecclesiastes 6:1-2 I have seen another evil under the sun, and it weighs heavily on men: God gives a man wealth, possessions and honor, so that he lacks nothing his heart desires, but God does not enable him to enjoy them, and a stranger enjoys them instead. This is meaningless, a grievous evil.

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12 “Trust the Lord with all your heart without understanding
Nick Vujicic No Limbs - No Limits “1 For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11 God is a good God not because of your circumstances, but because God is Faithful and will not leave you. “Trust the Lord with all your heart without understanding the circumstances in your life.”

13 Life as a gift – a gift meant for sharing
Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. 1 Timothy 6:17-18

14 1Timothy 6:6-10 But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.

15 Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Although they know God's righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them. Romans 1:28-32

16 Wealth & Poverty Theological perspectives
Creation perspective: - Moral order - Functional order Physical order Redemption perspective: Sacrifice Solidarity

17 Wealth & Poverty Theological perspectives
Creation perspective: - Moral order - Functional order Physical order Redemption perspective: God’s response Sacrifice – Guilt offering Isaiah 53:1-12 Who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed? 2 He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. 3 He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. 4 Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted. 5 But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. 6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.

18 Wealth & Poverty Theological perspectives
Creation perspective: - Moral order - Functional order Physical order Redemption perspective: Sacrifice – Guilt offering Isaiah 53: He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth. 8 By oppression and judgment he was taken away. And who can speak of his descendants? For he was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgression of my people he was stricken. 9 He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death, though he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth. 10 Yet it was the LORD's will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the LORD makes his life a guilt offering, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the LORD will prosper in his hand. 11 After the suffering of his soul, he will see the light of life and be satisfied; by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities. 12 Therefore I will give him a portion among the great, and he will divide the spoils with the strong, because he poured out his life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors. For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

19 Wealth & Poverty Theological perspectives
Creation perspective: - Moral order - Functional order Physical order Redemption perspective: Sacrifice Solidarity Philippians 2:4-8 Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. 5 Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, 7 but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death-- even death on a cross!

20 Freedom: Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. Romans 8:1-2

21 So send I you As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world. John 17:18

22 Online Exhibitions | Dietrich Bonhoeffer
“The ultimate question for a responsible man to ask is not how he is to extricate himself heroically from the affair, but how the coming generation shall continue to live.” Germany Killed in Flossenburg concentration camp (1945) Ultimately, the church might find itself called "not only to help the victims who have fallen under the wheel, but to fall into the spokes of the wheel itself" in order to halt the machinery of injustice. Online Exhibitions | Dietrich Bonhoeffer

23 Eric Liddell China - WWII – The Flying Scotsman Died in Wiehsien –
Japanese Internment camp (1945) “He who honors me, I will honor.” Benge, Janet, and Geoff Benge. Eric Liddell: Something Greater Than Gold. Seattle: YWAM, 1999.

24 Killed during rescue operation in Simba Rebellion (1964-65)
Dr. Paul Carlson Congo: Killed during rescue operation in Simba Rebellion ( ) Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13

25 Betty Ann Olson, R.N. Vietnam Captured and killed in
Tet Offensive (1968) Mike Benge: (fellow captive) She never showed any bitterness or resentment. To the end she loved the ones who mistreated her.

26 Wealth & Poverty Theological perspectives
Creation perspective: - Moral order - Functional order Physical order Redemption perspective: Sacrifice Solidarity

27 I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. John 14:12


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