In the enormous book Tough-Minded Christianity: Honoring the Legacy of John Warwick Montgomery, Vernon Grounds has an essay entitled “Evangelicalism and Social Responsibility.” I found his main points to be helpful, which I quote here:
- The Church’s primary task is that of personal evangelism.
- The Church has the responsibility of nurturing and judging the ethos of our political and economic life.
- The church, a supernatural fellowship living under the law of holy love, is divinely obligated to maximize love by maximizing justice.
- Political action as a legitimate expression of Christian love is a self-justifying expression of redemptive love.
- The church qua church ought not enter the political arena.
- Great caution must be employed in order to present the identification of some transient issue with the eternal will of God.
- The concrete application of love calls for competence and know-how as well as disinterested goodwill.
- 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.
- The New Testament warns against Utopianism, any romantic illusions about sweeping and permanent reforms.
- Though blessed with divine revelation, we do not have all the answers, perhaps even many of the answers, to the problems of society.