Monday, October 25, 2010

Can a Message of Social Justice Be "The Gospel?"

Today over at his blog, The Gospel-Driven Church, Jared Wilson analyzes the confusion that many have as to what exactly "the gospel" is.  With his usual insightfulness, he specifically counters the notion that "the gospel" is a set of things we are to do and not to do.  Good deeds are indeed good, he points out, but they are not the good news.
Heck, Angelina Jolie has adopted, what?, 300 orphans? Isn't George Clooney saving the world? Matt Damon fights for social justice, and he does it without a splinter's notion of the gospel.

Are we supposed to be doing these things too? Yes. It is the command of God to love our neighbor. But social justice is not unique to Christianity, and in fact if social justice is the good news, we bear the same message as lots of people who are going to hell. Social justice, then, is salvifically neutral. And therefore, while it accompanies and may testify to the good news, it cannot be the good news itself.
Wilson goes on to point out that instead of being something we do, "the good news" is the message of what Christ has already done (living, dying and rising again to reconcile sinners to God) and what he is currently doing (empowering our conversion and obedience).  Read the whole post here.

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