In his book, Knowing the Holy Spirit Through the Old Testament, Christopher J.H. Wright writes about the mission of the Spirit-anointed Messiah being the mission of the church. Wright explains (emphasis mine):
“Historically the church has indeed seen its mission in these broad terms. It is not a matter of engaging in both the gospel and social action, as if Christian social action was something separate from the gospel itself. The gospel has to be demonstrated in word and deed. Biblically, the gospel includes the totality of all that is good news from God for all that is bad news in human life–in every sphere. So like Jesus, authentic Christian mission has included good news for the poor, compassion for the sick and suffering justice for the oppressed, liberation for the enslaved. The gospel of the Servant of God in the power of the Spirit of God addresses every area of human need and every area that has been broken and twisted by sin and evil. And the heart of the gospel, in all of these areas, is the cross of Christ.”
Christopher J.H. Wright, Knowing the Holy Spirit Through the Old Testament (Downer’s Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 2006), 118-19.
I think we need to look at this paragraph closely, especially in how Wright considers the relationship of evangelism and social action. If I understand him correctly, social action is in itself an expression of the gospel which is grounded in the mission of Jesus as the Spirit-anointed Servant. Contrary to Wright, I have heard others, including Mark Dever in recent talks, argue that social action are not aspects of the gospel in itself but rather implications of the gospel. I know this sounds like splitting hairs, but this is an important distinction that divides evangelicals on how they understand the relationship evangelism and social action.
So what are your thoughts?