If you’re looking for a starting point to confronting social justice in the modern world, look no further than Jesus Christ. Never has a greater humanitarian ever walked the earth, and never has one person made such an impact on the hearts, minds, and souls of every generation that came after him.
In Humanitarian Jesus: Social Justice and the Cross, Ryan Dobson and Christian Buckley argue that evangelism and good works can harmoniously coexist when social investment is supportive of the church’s mission of evangelism and discipleship.
Here’s an excerpt:
“We don’t have to look very hard or dig very deep to discover the inescapable tragedy that surrounds us. Children starve, human beings are sold, multitudes die of malaria, and millions live in the streets. Medical epidemics sweep over countries like consuming wildfires, even while solutions exist. Devastating hunger plagues some homes, while culinary abundance exists in others—suffocating poverty living next to untold riches. In the midst of all of this, we grasp for meaning, hope, direction, and love, but often don’t find them. We intuitively know that the world should be different.
This is the world Jesus confronted. He created this world and then became a part of it. Imagine what it must have felt like for Him to walk in what had been good, but was then corrupt and fallen. The God of the universe, the creator of light and giver of life, found Himself surrounded by injustice, sickness, hunger, and depravity.
If ever there existed a man for a job, it was Christ to fix the plight of His creation. It was Christ to restore the order of His Kingdom. Surely there has never been another human with proficiencies so perfectly it to conquer the issues of global poverty, hunger, sickness, injustice, and oppression. It is odd then that of all the titles given to Christ, ‘humanitarian’ has not been one of them.
In reality, there has never existed a person who taught and lived more for the welfare of humanity. Christ was a humanitarian for sure, but not the kind you would expect. He healed many, when He had the power to heal all. He fed many, when He had the power to feed all. He restored a few to life, liberated a few from suffering, and redressed a few injustices. But in all these matters, His work was totally incomplete from a statistical perspective. In fact, of all His work and effort, He actually focused on just one ultimate task. It was the task He prayed three times to have passed from Him, and after which He declared it finished.
Christ healed, He fed, He touched, and He loved; but above all, He conquered death and sin to provide an eternal solution to brokenness and separation.
So here we stand at the beginning of the twenty-first century, being called to action—to get out there and touch a life, meet a need, and do what Jesus did. Without question we should respond to this call; there has never been a greater time or opportunity for Christians to get out of the church and into the world. Every Christian is called by Christ to radically invest in His creation, to walk as He walked, and to serve Him so that His purposes can continue to be fulfilled on earth. Jesus made immense social investment while on earth. But that is only part of the story.
We hold the power to do good on an unprecedented scale—and we should. But we should also ask ourselves why? Why should we invest in the suffering of all creation? Why did Jesus invest and why didn’t He finish the task? Is there really a conflict between evangelism and social justice or just in the ways we understand them? These are the questions this book seeks to answer.”
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If you’re looking for a starting point to confronting social justice in the modern world, look no further than Jesus Christ. Never has a greater humanitarian ever walked the earth, and never has one person made such an impact on the hearts, minds, and souls of every generation that came after him. In Humanitarian Jesus: […]