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How do we respond to the silent appeal in the dark eyes of the child in the charity catalogue, or the blanketed figure in the cold shop doorway? Should we share the gospel with them, or a bowl of soup?
Throughout history, men and women such as Wilberforce and Shaftesbury, Carey and Booth have recognized a call to help the needy. Others have argued that our first task is evangelism, that Christians should not meddle in politics, that social action is a distraction. Do we serve Christ through preaching his Word, or should we use words only when necessary?
Tim Chester argues passionately that evangelism and social action are inseparable, as two arms of the church’s mission. He presents a biblical case for truly evangelical social action, that is shaped and inspired by the gospel. He shows how social activity is a response to evangelism, a bridge and a partner to it. He urges conservatives not to marginalize those who uphold the cause of the oppressed, and those involved in social action not to neglect the preaching of the Word.