Sunday, August 23, 2009

The Gospel & Social Justice

One of the hottest topics at our recent Campus Crusade U.S. Staff Conference was how we as Christians can engage in issues of social justice and compassionate ministry while not sacrificing our zeal for verbal proclamation of the gospel of Jesus. It is a significant issue that the Church faces as we seek to live out a balance between helping to meeting both the physical and spiritual needs of those we encounter.

Matt Harmon, a friend from my early days in ministry when we were both campus ministers in Ohio, is now a seminary professor and offers ten components of the Kingdom of God and Social Justice on his blog, Biblical Theology. The ten points are broken up into two parts, which can be read here and here. A highlight:
"If we are convinced that heaven and hell are ultimate realities that each human being must face, then we will prioritize the communication of the gospel message. This does not mean that every kind deed must be accompanied by a gospel tract, but it does mean an intentional effort to share the gospel in the context of meeting physical needs or addressing social structures. Actions are not self-interpreting; there are plenty of nice moral people who do good things for the community and have no interest in Jesus Christ. If we are to distinguish our efforts from them (and at some level we MUST if we are to be faithful to Christ) there must be communication of the gospel. Faith comes by hearing (Rom 10:17), not by simple observation of good works."
Thanks to Justin Taylor at Between Two Worlds for the link.

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