Evangelicalism and Social Responsibility

In the enormous book Tough-Minded Christianity: Honoring the Legacy of John Warwick MontgomeryVernon Grounds has an essay entitled “Evangelicalism and Social Responsibility.” I found his main points to be helpful, which I quote here:

  1. The Church’s primary task is that of personal evangelism.
  2. The Church has the responsibility of nurturing and judging the ethos of our political and economic life.
  3. The church, a supernatural fellowship living under the law of holy love, is divinely obligated to maximize love by maximizing justice.
  4. Political action as a legitimate expression of Christian love is a self-justifying expression of redemptive love.
  5. The church qua church ought not enter the political arena.
  6. Great caution must be employed in order to present the identification of some transient issue with the eternal will of God.
  7. The concrete application of love calls for competence and know-how as well as disinterested goodwill.
  8. Every Christian has his own vocation and so needs to determine before God what responsibilities and tasks the lordship of his Savior lays upon [him] as an obedient disciple.
  9. The New Testament warns against Utopianism, any romantic illusions about sweeping and permanent reforms.
  10. Though blessed with divine revelation, we do not have all the answers, perhaps even many of the answers, to the problems of society.

 

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