There is an old debate among Christians that no less affects those involved in faith and work initiatives: is evangelism the highest priority, or is it acts of justice and mercy? On one side, theologians will argue that declaring the gospel and preaching the Word is most important. After all, eternal souls are at stake. The other side will argue that Jesus taught, “May your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” The priority is not in “other-worldly” pursuits, but in establishing God’s kingdom now through acts of justice and mercy. Lesslie Newbigin, in his seminal The Gospel in a Pluralist Society, argues, “If we turn to the Gospels we are bound to note the indissoluble nexus between deeds and words.” For example, in the Gospel of John, there is a large portion of teaching from Jesus, but it usually follows something Jesus has done: the healing of a blind man, the feeding of the 5,000, raising Lazarus from the dead. Again,...Read More
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