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Gospel Faith and Serving the Poor

by Dan Cruver Published Jul 27, 2009

If you haven’t already, read Tim Keller’s recent paper entitled “The Gospel and the Poor.” In it he argues that the church is “a pilot plant of the kingdom of God. The church is to use its gifts and power to heal all the results of sin, spiritual, psychological, social, physical.”

Tim also does a wonderful job connecting word and deed ministry. Here is an excerpt from his discussion of the book of James:

A life poured out in deeds of service to the poor is the inevitable sign of any real, true, gospel-faith. James essentially says the same thing in 1:27tim-keller when he ties the so-called ‘spiritual’ and ‘social’ aspects of living together into a seamless cloth.

He writes: “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. Notice that along with a pure heart, untainted by worldliness (a very ‘conservative’ sounding value!) is an equally important commitment to help those without social and economic power (a very ‘liberal’ sounding value!)

James, unlike the contemporary church, has no trouble weaving them together, inextricably linked. Gospel faith in the heart inevitably expresses itself in such a life.

Read the whole paper.


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