[We are clipping quotes from John Stott’s Christian Mission in the Modern World, these from his first chapter on how the mission of the church is to be defined, particularly whether evangelism or mercy should be at the center.]
Yet it seems that it is in our servant role that we can find the right synthesis of evangelism and social action. For both should be for us, as they undoubtedly were for Christ, authentic expressions of the love that serves. (25)
It comes more natural to us to shout the gospel at people from a distance than to involve ourselves deeply in their lives, to think ourselves into their culture and their problems, and to feel with them in their pains. (25)
To see need and to possess the remedy compels love to act, and whether the action will be evangelistic or social, or indeed political, depends on what we ‘see’ and what we ‘have’. (28)
I venture to say that sometimes, perhaps because it was the last instruction Jesus gave us before returning to the Father, we give the Great Commission too prominent a place in our Christian thinking. Please do not misunderstand me. I firmly believe that the whole church is under obligation to obey its Lord’s commission to take the gospel to all nations. But I am also concern that we should not regard this as the only instruction which Jesus left us. (29)
One thought on “Stott on Mission”
“I firmly believe that the whole church is under obligation to obey its Lord’s commission to take the gospel to all nations. But I am also concern that we should not regard this as the only instruction which Jesus left us. (29)”
I totally agree with this statement even though some folks wouldn’t like this. Some folks think a little too reductionistically (probably not a word) and want to find single unifying pictures of what the church must look like. Jesus last words seem to be the best place…But I think this is an error. Is the church only to make disciples? I’m not sure that caring for the poor fits very easily into that paradigm. Yet that was a marker of what a saved person looks like according to other words of Jesus. I haven’t read Horton’s more recent book but I wonder if he elevates these words above other words of Jesus…If he doesn’t, I’ve seen plenty of others who do.
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