How do we respond to the silent appeal in the dark eyes of the child in the charity catalogue, or the blanketed figure in the cold shop-doorway? Should we share the gospel with them, or a bowl of soup?
Throughout history, men and women such as Wilberforce, Shaftesbury, Carey and Booth have recognized a call to help the needy. Others have argued that our first task is evangelism, that Christians should not meddle in politics, that social action is a distraction. Do we serve Christ through preaching his Word, or should we use words only when necessary?
Tim Chester argues passionately that evangelism and social action are inseparable as two arms of the church’s mission. He presents a biblical case for truly evangelical social action that is shaped and inspired by the gospel. He urges conservatives not to marginalize those who uphold the cause of the oppressed, and those involved in social action not to neglect the preaching of the Word.
‘Consistent, mission-minded evangelicals have always refused to choose between a commitment to gospel proclamation and an active concern for the poor. Tim Chester digs deep into the Bible to show us why both are vital, and what it means to be Christ’s people in a world of need.’
Keith Walker, Director of SIM-UK/N, Europe
‘A must-read for those looking for a way to integrate word and deed mission to advance God’s purposes in our needy world.’
Tom Sine, author of Living on Purpose: Finding God’s Best For Your Life
Tim Chester is involved in The Crowded House, a church-planting initiative in Sheffield, England. He was previously Research and Policy Director for Tearfund UK. He is the author of a number of books, including The Message of Prayer (IVP, The Bible Speaks Today series).