Whole Gospel?

I’ve long believed and argued that even for people who believe the faith of Christ is essentially otherworldly, that a Christ-centered, kingdom oriented view and practice of life is necessary to the fullest exercise of the Gospel and Great Commission. Yes, it should be clear that Christianity is neither merely spiritual nor merely social. Love God; love neighbor. Ten Commandments. Salt and light. Love your enemy. Faith and works. Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done on earth. The government is on His shoulder. He ministers to the orphan, widow and captives. He has shown thee what is good (Mic 6:8). He rules in the midst of His enemies (Ps 110). Christ’s kingdom began when He sent His Holy Spirit to work in us and effect His grace through us (John 14:12). Christianity is spiritual, with a down-payment of fruit in the earth. The early American Puritan could keep his hand on the plow and his eye on heaven. Both/and.

But even if one doesn’t accept a lively expression of the faith in the world or an optimistic eschatology, it should be clear that everything we say and do is influential in others and either hinders the Gospel or encourages it. Jesus did not only preach: He lived (Luke 7:35 (18-35)). Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. What if Christ’s people understood His Word so well that they applied it to everything? (1 Cor 10:31). Wouldn’t that multiply the effect of hearing the Word? Add to that seeing good fruit from its practice, and now you have a system of evangelization that works everywhere, all the time, in everything you do. In fact, Christianity has a better mousetrap. Because its God is the Lord, it must produce better fruit (Deut 4:6). So then, what keeps us from learning how to think Biblically about and apply our faith to everything?

Is a work that helps people systematically to do this supportable?

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