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Skye Jethani: Love Justifies Itself (Part 2)

John Stott on bringing a theology of love and vocation into the justice & gospel debate.

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3. Social action is a partner of evangelism. This, finally, is where Stott lands on the matter. He believes that social justice and evangelism "belong to each other and yet are independent of each other. Each stands on its own feet in its own right alongside the other. Neither is a means to the other, or even a manifestation of the other. For each is an end in itself."

Here is where John Stott not only reveals his theological brilliance, but also his Christ-formed heart. He recognizes that forcing every facet of the Christian life to fit into a mission/evangelism framework is untenable, and insisting that social action somehow justify itself in relation to evangelism is to ask the wrong question. In other words, we are having the wrong debate. Rather than asking how justice fits into the mission of the church, we ought to be asking how justice fits into the life of every Christian. Stott goes on:

"The reason for our acceptance of social responsibility is not primarily in order ...
January/February
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