September 18, 2006
So, is the church’s mission to save souls or to bring about progress in the world? Both are good. But are both good for the church as the church to do? Both are good, and Christians should and must be involved in both. But is one paramount and the other secondary for the church? Are these purposes of equal importance for the church? Is there any way that the church is NOT supposed to help the city, the state, the wider culture? What is the vision of the New Testament for the church?
With this in mind consider David Wells’ observation from his book, God in the Wasteland: “The New Testament vision, then, is not about winning a victory but about entering into the victory that Christ has won, not of gaining the world but of saving the soul. . . . That is to say, the message is grounded not in ourselves but in Christ. It presents a teleology of redemption, not of progress. The purpose of the world, under the hand of God, is redemption from sin, death, and the devil, from what is fading and passing to what is eternal and enduring,” (David Wells, God in the Wasteland, p. 172).
Many organizations work for the good of all–family, state, business, schools. Christians get to be involved in all of these. Does the church have a unique priority set out for us by the Lord?