Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Good News and Good Works
A few years back I came across a book entitled "Good News and Good Works' by Ronald J. Sider. My first encounter with the book probed an ounce of interest. But opening it and peering through there was nothing that caught my eyes except the title and the subtitle which read 'A Theology for the Whole Gospel'. But back during that time I was working in a Christian bookstore, somewhat new in my faith and inclined in just the Charismatic stream of authors.
After my stint in the bookstore and a couple of years in bible college and harboring interest in emergent and emerging issues I went back to the bookstore again and found out that the book was still there. Apparently no one craved interest in it's title. I guess it was largely to the fact of the word 'theology' imprinted on the front page.
I picked it up and opened the book and there was this bulb of light (like the ones that pop out in cartoon strips) moment that I had. And the rest was history (meaning I bought the book and read through it and was introduced to something old but largely unhindered by the larger chunks of Christendom). I was especially drawn to the story that Sider mentioned in the beginning of the book on his encounter with a Jewish student (James) and activist but who later turned to Jesus. I was startled by what James said to Sider pre receiving Jesus as his Messiah.
"I don't want to be like these white Christians here. They sing about their love for Jesus and the joy of heaven, but they don't care about justice in South Africa. If I become a Christian, will I have to give up the struggle?" (16)
Eventually Sider explained that accepting Jesus did not mean to abandoning social justice but rather to re energize it's perspective for him. Sider later wrote that
"The white evangelical students at the conference were typical of a major segment of the Christian church for a good deal of this century: strong on personal evangelism but little or no passion for justice for the poor and liberation for the oppressed. As a result, even their evangelistic efforts faltered." (16)
These are tough word for us to swallow but non the less something that we should consider or rather what we must do. The gospel is not just about personal evangelism, saving souls and going to heaven, there is more to it than just that.
- OIL TOWN, SWK, Malaysia
- I'm a student of Theology (currently and will always be one). I'm a student of culture and a student of music as well. I guess you could say life is a never ending journey of learning. Because of that we never stop being students. Just a little something about this blog: Deconstructing The Monkey is all about being a safe space for emerging conversations