Help them or tell them? Be like Jesus or talk about Jesus? Social action or gospel proclamation? It seems the two are often pitted against each other, as if they are mutually exclusive. But the New Testament paints a different picture where both aspects are valued. In this plea for a renewed understanding of the Christian calling, Chester argues that faithfulness to the gospel necessitates a commitment to evangelism and social involvement. To that end, he structures the book around three basic theses: 1.) evangelism and social action are distinct activities, 2.) proclamation is central, and 3.) evangelism and social action are inseparable. Responding to Christians in both camps, Chester helps people to talk the talk and walk the walk.
“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, Episcopal Priest; Professor of Christian Thought, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary; co-author, Rid of My Disgrace and Is It My Fault?
“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 mission to advance God’s purposes in our needy world.”
—Tom Sine, author, Living on Purpose: Finding God’s Best For Your Life