Help them or tell them?
Be like Jesus or talk about Jesus?
Social action or gospel proclamation?
Quite often we find ourselves gravitating toward one of those modes over the other—at times going so far as to pit 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 so that we may become both evangelists and activists—Christians who talk the talk and who walk the walk.
Table of Contents:
1. The Case for Social Involvement
2. More Than a Private Faith
3. The Case for Evangelizing the Poor
4. Social Involvement and Proclamation
5. Social Involvement and the Kingdom of God
6. Good News to the Poor
7. Good News to the Rich
8. Welcoming the Excluded
9. Strengthening the Weak
10. Following the Crucified Lord
11. Can We Make a Difference?
Essays by Stewart Henderson
“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 Magazine
“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, Reformed Theological Seminary, Orlando, and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary; coauthor, Rid of My Disgrace and God Made All of Me; editor, Christian Theologies of Scripture
“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