Alternative View - May 6, 2016

Social Gospel?

In His Presence: 1 Corinthians 15:1-4

Instead of writing off our culture as hopelessly secular and doomed, God wants His people to have a redeeming and transforming impact on American society. But what is the relationship of the Gospel to social action? What is the Christian’s responsibility in matters of social ills—injustice, poverty, and hunger?

In many evangelical circles, the terms “social action” and “social gospel” have negative connotations. But the question remains: what does the gospel of Jesus Christ have to say to the poor and the oppressed? This is an important question all Christians need to deal with.

The message of the Gospel is narrow, not broad. The issue of social action is not part of the gospel message. Whenever social action is made part of the Gospel, two problems arise: Social action obscures what the Gospel really is, and no one knows how much emphasis to give to the social aspect of the message.

Those who want to make social action a part of the Gospel’s content make the same mistake repeatedly in biblical interpretation. They apply the non-technical use of the word Gospel as it is used in the first four books of the New Testament rather than applying its more specific use in the epistles, where the word has a much more limited meaning.

One Minute Please

When Paul spoke of the Gospel, he limited it to the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ for sin (see today’s reading). In Matthew 4, Jesus used the term to refer to the good news of the kingdom. “Jesus was going throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom” (v. 23).

Source:  Are Christians Destroying America? Pp. 235-236.

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The Power of the Cross: Putting it to Work in Your Life

Rather than viewing the cross as an historical event that will take us to heaven, we ought to view it as a current event containing everything we need to bring heaven to bear on earth.

In The Power of the Cross, Tony Evans carefully and pastorally applies the cross of Christ to life today. In three parts, he considers:

What makes Christ unique; how Old Testament prophecy and typology looked ahead to Him; and how His humiliation, death and resurrection sets Him apart as Lord

What was accomplished on the cross for us, how it is to be the centerpiece of our lives, and how it's a source of authority for us

What is the power of the cross and the stability it provides, deliverance it offers, the power of its ongoing remembrance, and more

The cross is the hinge of history. How much more, then, is it the hinge of your life? It gained more for you than you may realize; do not make the grave error of overlooking it. As a thank you for your gift of any amount, we’ll get this brand new book, The Power of the Cross, out to you right away.

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