Social Action and the Church's Task of Evangelism
“In Wasted Evangelism, Anderson reminds readers of the inextricable link between the gospel, evangelism, and God s heart for justice. Analyzing the Gospel of Mark, Anderson shows how the good news of Christ s gospel can be manifested as people pursue social action and respond to the needs of the poor and the oppressed. May the church be increasingly inspired in our evangelistic efforts while also responding to the needs of the least of these in our midst!”
“Chip Anderson challenges theologically complacent and inactive Christianity in its inattention to the poor and oppressed and challenges us all to advocate for the vulnerable not for the sake of social action itself, but also as a necessary and authentic expression of witness and obedience to the Scriptures. This book goes a long way in dismantling the false dichotomy that often separates Jesus and justice or the gospel and social action.”
“Anderson provides a forthright and refreshing message to those Evangelical Christians who seek to address the stinging effects of poverty on all of God s children.”
"Chip Anderson’s Wasted Evangelism (Wipf & Stock, 2013) is a sharp retort based on the Gospel of Mark to those who think faith with anti-poverty work is dead. Anderson’s exegesis of Mark 12:38-44 opposes the standard understanding that sees the poor widow as providing a model of sacrificial giving: He sees disapproval of the widow’s donation to temple leaders who are taking advantage of her. Anderson also exegetes the words 'fisher of men' from the standpoint of those hooked" (Marvin Olasky, World Magazine).
What is the relationship between the gospel and the church’s responsibility toward the poor? Can social action be evangelism?
Wasted Evangelism is an exploration in the Gospel of Mark on the subject of evangelism and social action. A proclamation-centered definition of “evangelism” based on the etymology of the word “evangelize” and a few isolated proof-texts is devoid of much of the biblical content that Mark offers to us through his Gospel, detaching the concept of evangelism from the narrative meaning that Mark gives to the gospel of Jesus Christ.
In Wasted Evangelism, I develop an exegetically-based narrative understanding of biblical evangelism, which, according to Mark’s Gospel, includes God’s care for the economically vulnerable and his concern for the issues of poverty. The studies gathered in this volume propose that social action should not be considered a separate, distinct responsibility for the church, but is rather vital a component of evangelism. A close examination of Mark’s Gospel and the biblical texts associated with idolatry, poverty, and justice provides an opportunity for church leadership to rethink the evangelistic activities of their churches and to reconsider what it means to engage their surrounding communities as agents of God’s kingdom.
*All royalties and income generated by sales of Wasted Evangelism go to support our church plant in The Hill community of New Haven, CT.
Table of Contents
Forward by Drs. Aida and Bill Spencer
Some personal notes and acknowledgments
Evangelism and Social Action: An Exegetical Argument
1. Widows in our Courts (Mark 12:38–44)
The Public Advocacy Role of Local Congregations as Discipleship
2. Wasted Evangelism (Mark 4)
Social Action Outcomes and the Church’s Task of Evangelism
3. “You Will Appear as Fishers” (Mark 1:17)
Disciples as Agents of Judgment
4. A Prelude to Judgment (Mark 3:20–35)
The Beelzebul Episode and Its Significance for Evangelistic Social Action
5. Idolatry and Poverty
Social Action as Christian Apologetics
6. Significance Before Application (Mark 3:14–15)
The Mark 3 Commission and Its Implications for Social Action
Wasted Evangelism may be purchased as a Book or eBook at . . .
You will find samples from Wasted Evangelism. Obviously reading the arguments and exegesis from each chapter builds my conclusion. But these offer a taste.
The book Wasted Evangelism overflows with verses, paragraphs, and biblical references that reveal the massive amount of space given to the poor and the issues of poverty.
Where Book is Found
Find a retailer or online store that carries Wasted Evangelism. The book can be found everywhere, can be ordered online, or ordered at a book store near you.