In light of Mark’s association of the kingdom with the gospel (1:14–15) and the gospel’s programmatic association with the Exodus land-laws [in particular see the connection in the opening (Mark 1:1-3) references to Exod 23:20 and Mal 3:1-5 and the texts surrounding context], I propose that biblical social action is a means to ensure that the blessings and benefits of living in society reach to the poor. Stephen Mott, former Professor of Christian Social Ethics at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, points out that the Bible speaks of what is called “social action” in terms of carrying out justice and caring for the needs of the weak. In her book, Social Justice Handbook, Mae Cannon affirms a similar understanding of the biblical concept of social justice:
The resources that God provides were made available to his people from the very beginning. Justice is expressed when God’s resources are made available to all humans, which is what God intended. Biblical justice is the scriptural mandate to manifest the kingdom of God on earth by making God’s blessings available to all (Mae Elise Cannon, Social Justice Handbook, 22).
*Adapted from the introduction ("Evangelism and Social Action: An Exegetical Argument") and the 2nd chapter of Wasted Evangelism, "Wasted Evangelism (Mark 4): Social Action Outcomes and the Church’s Task of Evangelism."
Chip M. Anderson, advocate for biblical social action; pastor of an urban church plant in the Hill neighborhood of New Haven, CT; husband, father, author, former Greek & NT professor; and, 19 years involved with social action.