Review: What is the mission of the church? Making sense of social justice, shalom and the Great Commission
Posted on: 10th July 2018
DeYoung, K & Gilbert, G. 2011, What is the mission of the church? Making sense of social justice, shalom and the Great Commission, Crossway, USA
Review by Canon Sandy Grant, minister at St Michael’s Cathedral in Wollongong for over 13 years.
I loved DeYoung and Gilbert’s book when it first came out and have recommended it many times since. It very carefully explores and defines what mission is according to the Bible, and keeps the focus firmly on evangelism and disciple-making.
It addresses in a useful and clear way the question of widening our understanding of ‘mission’ to include social justice, while not being dismissive of such issues. So it also explores ‘whole gospel’ concerns and the important place of helping the poor from a well-argued biblical framework. My way of putting this is that mission is about what you move somewhere to do. We are sent to make disciples (Mt 28:19). But disciples also love and seek to do justly wherever they are, beginning with our neighbours—but that is not the mission per se.
This book comes warmly recommended by former CMS missionaries and Summer Conference speakers like Peter O’Brien, D. A. Carson and Mark Dever.