The Gospel and Social Responsibility (4)

A fourth ‘quotable quote’ from this book, Transforming the World?: the Gospel and Social Responsibility, edited by Dewi Hughes and Jamie Grant.

I’m preparing a series of guest posts or so for Jesus Creed in June. This is the conclusion of a chapter that there won’t be room to discuss there, by Jamie Grant called ‘”Why Bother with the Vulnerable?”: the wisdom of social care’

As the title hints, this is a study of the Bible’s Wisdom Literature [WL] and what it has to say about social responsibility. Here’s his conclusion. What do you think?

The Old Testament prophetic literature is replete with the demands of God for social and economic justice. There is no realm of life that does not come under their penetrating gaze. Social relationships, economic structures, political decisions, foreign policy and religious practices – and especially those who are leaders in these multiple areas – must reflect concern for the disadvantaged. The prophets have left us harsh words – penetrating exposures and compelling condemnations that should compel the people of God to call for justice today. But censure and judgement are not the final word. Hope lies beyond all the tragedy. As we seek justice in the present, may we never forget the promise of Messiah and his kingdom. That kingdom has come in Jesus. The church should proclaim and model that new life and world in the ‘in-between’ time until his coming again.

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One thought on “The Gospel and Social Responsibility (4)

  1. Excellent quote. Maybe I’m being pedantic but I think there is another factor at play in the OT prophet response that lies beyond (or before) censure, judgement and the proclamation and modelling of new life.
    When I was at an AIDS conference in Uganda a number of years ago a former Dominican priest who works with UNAIDS got up to speak. He said that he felt like something of an outsider as evangelicals dominated the delegates. However his comments had more impact than any other speaker at the entire conference. He said that the first thing we need to do is lament. “25 million people have died and where is the lamenting church?” I can vividly remember when he uttered these words and the response it generated. There was some deep examining of hearts and I can recall one founder of a well-known missionary agency with his head glued to the desk in front of him for a good half hour as he prayerfully processed the challenge presented to us.
    So that is all a long way of asking what place does lamenting have in mission? How do evangelicals do lament, at least in comparison do how it is presented and practiced in the Bible (including by the OT prophets which your quote refers to)? If there is some sort of incongruence here then why and what can be done about it?

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