I’m reading a book right now called What is the Mission of the Church?: Making Sense of Social Justice, Shalom, and the Great Commission, by Kevin DeYoung (who also wrote the gem of the little book Just Do Something) and Greg Gilbert. I’ve been reading it for a while, not because it’s hard to get through or boring, but mainly because I kept pausing to read things like Sports Illustrated. And other things with slightly more meaning. And also, it’s a well-written and thought-provoking book, which means…well, it means that it provokes thought, which tends to make it take longer to get through. But it’s been well worth it.
Anyway, I’m not finished yet, and will have to do more of a full book review at that point, but a [very] brief synopsis is that, as the title indicates, this book dives into the idea of the loaded word of “mission” as it relates to the church. What does it mean and what doesn’t it mean? What is it that the church is placed in the world to accomplish? What does social justice have to do with that, and how do evangelism and social justice interact? It’s a lot of questions my team wrestled through during our time living and working in Africa, and around which we had a lot of profitable, and sometimes heated, discussions. But they’re important discussions to have and it’s an important question to define, as it lies at the heart of the role and impact of Christianity in the world. Continue reading