I recently received my author copies of a new book entitled Transforming the World? The Gospel and Social Responsibility (Apollos) edited by Jamie Grant and my good friend Dewi Hughes. (I know, it’s the same title as the book by David Smith I recently reviewed; even down to the question mark – I did point this out to them.)
It’s a collection of academic papers on Christian social involvement. My chapter on is on eschatology and social involvement: ‘Eschatology and the Transformation of the World: Contradiction, Continuity, Conflation and the Endurance of Hope.’ In some ways it’s a summary version of my book Mission and the Coming of God. Anyway, here’s the line up …
Introduction – Jamie A. Grant and Dewi A. Hughes
1. Protecting the vulnerable: the law and social care – David L. Baker
2. Failing the vulnerable: the prophets and social care – M. Daniel Carroll R.
3. ‘Why bother with the vulnerable?’ The wisdom of social care – Jamie A. Grant
4. Biblical paradigms of redemption: exodus, jubilee and the cross – Christopher J. H. Wright
5. The compassion of the Christ – Alistair I. Wilson
6. Luke’s ‘social’ gospel: the social theology of Luke-Acts – I. Howard Marshall
7. Theology in action: Paul and Christian social care – Jason Hood
8. The Servant solution: the coordination of evangelism and social action – Melvin Tinker
9. Understanding and overcoming poverty – Dewi A. Hughes
10. The biblical basis for social ethics – C. Rene Padilla
11. Public execution: the atonement and world transformation – Anna Robbins
12. Eschatology and the transformation of the world: contradiction, continuity, conflation and endurance of hope – Tim Chester
13. Evangelicals and society: the story of an on-off relationship – David W. Smith
14. An appeal to moral imagination and commercial acumen: transforming business as a solution to poverty – Peter S. Heslam
And here’s the blurb …
Evangelical Christianity has long been plagued by a dichotomy between evangelism and social action. The debate about whether evangelicals should attempt to make this world a better place in tune with God’s will as well as prepare people for life in a better world is the background to this stimulating volume, which seeks to demonstrate that there is no tension between the task of evangelism and the Christian’s obligation to care for those in need. The issue should never have been one of ‘either/or’ but rather should always have been voiced in terms of ‘both/and’. The Bible’s teaching makes it plain that God’s salvific work is both spiritual and physical.
The first seven chapters survey relevant material in the Old and New Testaments; the second seven explore the theme of world transformation from the perspective of social ethics, systematic theology and church history. The clear message is that the proclamation of God’s salvation must address both the desperate spiritual need of a sinful humanity and the desperate physical need that is all too apparent in our troubled world – and that there is theoretical and practical work yet to be done as we think and work under the dominion of Jesus, who as a result of his death and resurrection has been given all authority in heaven and earth.