Do Actions Speak Louder Than Words?
Litfin Addresses the Tension Between Gospel Proclamation and Gospel Deeds
Wheaton IL—The Bible teaches that the church is called to a balanced ministry of both preaching the gospel in words and showing it with deeds. Yet the church struggles to find and maintain this balance. Today some are emphasizing deeds at the expense of words, while others hold fast to “talking” and forsake the doing.
At the helm of a leading Christian college for years, Duane Litfin has had a first- hand look at the issues students and alumni are talking about. Christians are eager to debate the importance of social justice and evangelism perhaps more than ever before.
In his new book, Word Versus Deed, Litfin seeks to level the balance. He steers the conversation toward the biblical harmony of word and deed, pointing out the church’s tendency to overcorrect—either cutting out the preaching of the gospel or forgetting the application of action.
“The gospel is inherently a verbal thing, and evangelism is inherently a verbal behavior,” Litfin explains. “But giving verbal witness to the gospel does not exhaust the church’s mission.”
An elder statesmen in the church, Litfin’s training in communication theory and in detailed exegesis is brought to bear on this important subject, bringing verbal proclamation in sync with the witness of one’s actions.