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Good News to the Poor (Book Excerpt)

Help them or tell them? Be like Jesus or talk about Jesus? Social action or gospel proclamation?

We can find ourselves gravitating toward one of these modes over the other—maybe even pitting word against deed, as if the two were mutually exclusive. Yet Good News to the Poor shows us how both are integrated in the biblical vision of mission that we would be both loving evangelists and loving activists.

Learn more about Good News to the Poor: Social Involvement and the Gospel by Tim Chester (July 2013). .

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Praise for Good News to the Poor

Good News to the Poor is good news for readers thinking through the relationship of evangelism to social action. Tim Chester rightly emphasizes the centrality of the gospel as he compares dependency-creating welfare with dignity-embracing development.”
—Marvin Olasky, Editor-in-chief, World News Group

“The Christian church has at its best been known for its exemplary love and sacrificial service to ‘the least of these’: the poor, the oppressed, and the marginalized. Tim Chester shows that gospel proclamation and tangible acts of love, service, and mercy toward our neighbors should not be pitted against each other—God’s grace motivates action, and words and deeds go together.”
—Justin S. Holcomb, Executive Director of the Resurgence; Adjunct Professor of Theology and Philosophy, Reformed Theological Seminary, Orlando

“Tim Chester provides a timely reminder that Christianity at its best is actually a well-balanced combination of social action and gospel proclamation. This book does an excellent job removing the perceived wall between these two camps. Chester challenges the Christian church to work for justice and peace in the process of calling individuals to conversion and the new birth. This book is a much-needed call for a renewed understanding of the Christian calling.”
—Ben Peays, Executive Director, The Gospel Coalition

“What’s the relationship between the gospel and social action for the believer? I’ve been asked that question many times over the years, and it is one we must answer well. If we do not get the relationship between the gospel and social action right, we will likely end up undermining both of them. This is why Tim Chester’s Good News to the Poor is an essential book for Christians. He argues persuasively and winsomely that gospel proclamation and social action are inseparable.”

—Dan Cruver, Director, Together for Adoption; author, Reclaiming Adoption: Missional Living Through the Rediscovery of Abba Father

“A vital challenge to gospel people to follow in the footsteps of William Carey. 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, SIM-UK/N. Europe

“This important, well-written book is a must-read for those looking for a way to integrate word and deed to advance God’s purposes in our needy world.”
—Tom Sine, author, Living on Purpose: Finding God’s Best For Your Life

Learn more | Buy now

Video: The Vision Behind Buzzard and Um’s ‘Why Cities Matter’

About Why Cities Matter: To God, the Culture, and the Church

Right now, more people live in urban centers than ever before. This means that we have an unprecedented opportunity to influence the majority of the world through the church in the city.

Helping us to make the most of this moment, urban pastors Justin Buzzard and Stephen Um lay out a compelling vision for cultural engagement and church planting in our world’s cities.

If you’re looking for motivation to maintain a commitment to the city or for guidance as you consider going all in, Why Cities Matter provides a comprehensive analysis of urban life that informs, instructs, inspires, and answers questions including:

  • Why cities are so important
  • What the Bible says about cities
  • How to overcome common issues and develop a plan for living missionally in the city

Instead of retreating from or taking from our cities, here is a call to make the cities our home, to take good care of them, and to participate in God’s kingdom-building work in the urban centers of our world.

Learn more | Buy now | Read an excerpt

Weekly Ebook Special: Featuring Books on The Great Commission, Evangelism, and Missions

This Saturday marks the beginning of The Gospel Coalition’s, World Missions PreConference, featuring discussions led by missionaries, pastors, and other church leaders on how we can each play our part in the Great Commission.

Whether you’re making the trip to Orlando or not, we’ve pulled together a sale on several recent Crossway books on the the great commission, evangelism and missions to aid your study on these important topics.

To learn more about each title, click on the covers below to find them at Crossway.org or search at any of these online stores: AmazonChristianbook.com, Vyrso, eChristian, Bookshout!, Barnes & Noble, or a participating independent bookstores.

Discounted prices available through 4/8/2013.

Featured Titles:

Finish the Mission

Finish the Mission

Edited by John Piper, David Mathis

$12.99 $5.99

Contributors including David Platt, Louie Giglio, and John Piper join forces to compel Christians to cross cultural and linguistic barriers to reach the unengaged and unreached people groups with the gospel.

What is the Mission of the Church

What is the Mission of the Church?

By Kevin DeYoung, Greg Gilbert

$12.99 $5.99

DeYoung and Gilbert help us slow down and think carefully about what the church is sent into the world to do. Looking at the Bible’s teaching, they explore the what, why, and how of the church’s mission for today.

The Gospel and Personal Evangelism

The Gospel & Personal Evangelism

By Mark Dever

$7.99 $3.99

In The Gospel and Personal Evangelism, Dr. Mark Dever seeks to answer the four basic questions about evangelism that many Christians ask: Who should we evangelize? How should we evangelize? What is evangelism? Why should we evangelize? In his answers Dever draws on New Testament truths and helps believers apply those truths in practical ways. As readers understand the fundamentals of evangelism, they will begin to develop a culture of evangelism in their lives and their local churches.

Risk is Right

Risk is Right

By John Piper, Foreword by David Platt

$5.99 $1.99

Helping Christians put their faith into action and live for more than comfort, Piper offers this stand-alone edition of chapter 5 from his best-selling book Don’t Waste Your Life. He teaches us to choose risk for the cause of Christ, the fulfillment of our joy, and the good of others.

Rid of My Disgrace

Rid of My Disgrace

By Justin S. Holcomb, Lindsey A. Holcomb

$12.99 $0.99

*Featured in honor of April, Sexual Assualt Awareness Month.*

A compassionate and hopeful resource to help adult victims of sexual assault move from brokenness to healing. This book outlines a theology or redemption and includes an application of how the disgrace of the cross can lead victims toward grace.

See also Justin’s new book: On the Grace of God

April 2, 2013 | Posted in: Digital,Evangelism,Missions | Author: Ted Cockle @ 3:02 pm | 1 Comment »

The Gospel and Moving Toward the Lost and Broken

In their book Faithmapping, Daniel Montgomery and Mike Cosper challenge us as we witness to our communities (emphasis ours):

We don’t necessarily need training or a new set of skills to be witnesses, we just have to believe that the gospel is truly good news.

Throughout the Gospels, Jesus is continually saying that he must go on to other villages (Mark 1:38; Luke 4:43). Jesus’s life is a movement toward people who are lost and broken. The incarnation is a story about God, in infinite power and holiness, moving toward us, enduring the humiliation of becoming human, bound up in a body with hands, feet, and speech, living a common, ordinary life for thirty years. It’s a movement from the glorious to the obscure, a journey of seeking us out. That movement continues throughout Jesus’s life. He moves toward the unacceptable members of society like tax collectors and prostitutes. He moves toward women who were marginalized in a male-dominated culture. He moves toward blue-collar workers like fishermen. He moves toward outcasts who are sick or disabled.

Religion huddles up. It builds up hedges that define who is in and who is out, and it rigorously defends those boundaries. The gospel moves outward. God moves toward us, and as his witnesses, we move outward too, moving toward people who are marginalized and excluded by the boundaries of religion. Like Jesus, the gospel should compel us outside our circles of familiarity, to the marginalized, the “least of these” of our society. In fact, something is terribly wrong with our understanding of the gospel if it is not continually moving outward.

A church that isn’t witnessing, that isn’t moving outward, doesn’t have a problem with technique. It doesn’t need a new program. Its problem is first and foremost a gospel problem. Witnessing is a natural response to the experience of God’s grace, and its power lies entirely in the gospel. If we’re not compelled to share the gospel, we should wrestle with whether we actually believe it.

Adapted from Faithmapping: A Gospel Atlas for Your Spiritual Journey, by Daniel Montgomery and Mike Cosper

Daniel Montgomery (MDiv, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary) is the founder and lead pastor of Sojourn Community Church in Louisville, Kentucky, and founder of Sojourn Network.

Mike Cosper is one of the founding pastors of Sojourn Community Church, where he serves as the pastor of worship and arts. He is also founder of Sojourn Music and contributes regularly to the Gospel Coalition blog.

Related Posts:

A Challenge from John Piper in the New Year

“If our single, all-embracing passion is to make much of Christ in life and death, and if the life that magnifies him most is the life of costly love, then life is risk, and risk is right. To run from it is to waste your life.” — John Piper, Risk is Right

Comfort is an oftentimes acceptable and encouraged idol, even in the lives of Christians.

While it is true that Jesus’s yoke is easy and his burden is light (Matt. 11:30), that does not mean that we’ve been promised our best life now. No, this is a life in which we have been promised difficulty if we choose to follow Christ (Luke 6:22-23; John 16:33; James 1:2-4; 1 Peter 4:12-14). But this life is not without hope, and it is not without joy. Sometimes, we need a faithful brother or sister in Christ to remind us of the brevity and purpose of this life, calling us to something greater than the elusive American Dream. In Risk is Right, John Piper is that faithful brother.

If you’re stuck in a rut and can’t remember the last “courageous” thing you’ve done for Christ, or are in a season of life where everything seems uncertain, or just need a good kick-start to start living intentionally in 2013, Piper is writing to you:

“Are you caught in the enchantment of security, paralyzed from taking any risks for the cause of God? Or have you been freed by the power of the Holy Spirit from the mirage of. . . safety and comfort? Do you men ever say with Joab, ‘For the sake of the name, I’ll try it! And may the Lord do what seems good to him’? Do you women ever say with Esther, ‘For the sake of Christ, I’ll try it! And if I perish, I perish’? . . . .

“On the far side of every risk—even if it results in death—the love of God triumphs. This is the faith that frees us to risk for the cause of God. It is not heroism, or lust for adventure, or courageous self-reliance, or efforts to earn God’s favor. It is childlike faith in the triumph of God’s love—that on the other side of all our risks, for the sake of righteousness, God will still be holding us. We will be eternally satisfied in him. Nothing will have been wasted.”