Fuller Assistant Professor of Christian Ethics Preaches on Luke 6 at All-Seminary Chapel
Prof. Erin Dufault-Hunter
“I don’t know about you, but I was a little squirmy being a
21st century upper-middle class white person reading this text,”
Assistant Professor of Christian Ethics Erin Dufault-Hunter told the audience
at All-Seminary Chapel on January 16.
The text was a passage from Luke 6—the famous scripture
called the “Beatitudes” in which Jesus tells the disciples that the poor,
hungry, and weeping are blessed.
Dufault-Hunter’s message, titled “The Bad News About the
Good News,” highlighted that the “Beatitudes" in the gospel of Luke are
followed by the “woes” to warn people that ignoring the poverty and sorrow of
the world is to miss the kingdom of God.
But people, like herself, who live comfortable lives are
often made nervous by the “Beatitudes,” Dufault-Hunter said. As a result, people
try to avoid poverty, injustice, and sorrow, because they fail to see that pain
is part of the gospel.
She explained that students in her college dormitory used to
hang a poster on their walls with the image of a richly dressed man next to a
fancy car and the words “Poverty Sucks” written underneath.
“Despite posters like this, Jesus says you have it all
wrong,” Dufault-Hunter told the audience. “This is how the world is, and not
because poverty is great or hunger isn’t horrible. This is how the world is
because God acts in the world—God sees, he fills and satisfies—and he will make
right the world.”
This is where the woes come in, she said. It’s a warning to
those who are comfortable. “You have missed and you are missing the kingdom of
Dufault-Hunter said that the way to live in God’s joy and
blessing in the world is to take seriously that God blesses the poor. She asked
the audience to examine their lives and reflect on that truth. Instead of
avoiding the needs of others and avoiding the truth that humanity desperately
needs God’s salvation on earth, people should live the deep reality of poverty
and injustice “so that our resources, our time, our energy will be reoriented,”
At the end of chapel, the audience was given a slip of paper
with the first Beatitude written on it: “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the
kingdom of God.”
Dufault-Hunter asked the audience to display the message
somewhere and be reminded of the good news daily.
“So that, unlike the world that will inundate all of us with
messages like, ‘Poverty sucks, keep consuming something so you don’t feel the
pain of the world’, instead we put up the truth,” she said. “May we all live
our lives in a way that the good news is seen and proclaimed and, indeed, that
the woes--the warnings—to others might be evident in our lives.”