Yesterday, I read a blog post about the increased conflict over the proper role of social justice within the Evangelical movement. So-called “Younger Evangelicals” (among others) are placing a high emphasis upon justice issues. There are some evangelical leaders who fear that this is, or will lead to, theological liberalism.

Here is a question in the post and my response.

“Are you feeling the tremors in your church of a conflict over the scope of the gospel and the proper role of social justice? And where are you turning for informed theological reflection on this subject?”

For me it has honestly been studying the scriptures.  My study of the scriptures in has been from an evangelical (Historical/ Cultural/ Grammatical) approach to the biblical text.

From this approach, I see that social justice and  mercy for the poor and oppressed are major themes of what God calls His people to in the scriptures.

With that understanding, I can not claim to be a “Bible believing Christian” without making the biblical call to social justice a priority in my life. Social Justice is a priority for me because it is a priority for God, as faithfully revealed in the scriptures. I would be forsaking the scriptures, and the God of the Scriptures, if I did not prioritize care for the poor.

When I decide to follow that call of God to work for justice – I am being a disciple of Jesus.

When I am actually being a disciple of Jesus – I am in a much better position to follow Jesus’ call for me to make other disciples of Jesus. Jesus defined that as: bringing people into faith in Jesus & teaching them to obey all of his commands – including care for the poor.

The scriptures do not force us to choose evangelism OR justice. In fact, I do not think that the Scriptures allow us to choose only one of those two (Do we have to choose sexual morality OR evangelism?!).

God made people pretty complex. We can do more than one thing at a time!

(A lot more on this latter!)

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