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Good News and Good Works: A Theology for the Whole Gospel [Paperback]

By Ronald J. Sider (Author)
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Item Number 144900  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   256
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.47" Width: 5.5" Height: 0.65"
Weight:   0.69 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Aug 1, 2001
Publisher   Baker Books
Age  18
ISBN  0801058457  
EAN  9780801058455  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
I long for the day when every village, town, and city has congregations so in love with Jesus that they lead scores of people to him and so sensitive to the cry of the poor and oppressed that they work vigorously for justice, peace, and freedom, writes Ronald Sider. In Good News and Good Works, this best-selling author of Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger encourages readers to do evangelism hand-in-hand with social action in order to proclaim a holistic gospel. Sider begins by analyzing various kingdom mission models espoused by Christians. He explains the dangers of churches following a one-sided model, then goes on to show how to combine evangelism and social concerns in a balanced fashion. This book was previously published by Zondervan as One-Sided Christianity?

Publishers Description
Concerned to promote an authentic, biblical faith, this book suggests ways to combine evangelism with social action for effective witness in today\u2019s world.

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More About Ronald J. Sider

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Ronald J. Sider (PhD, Yale University) is the founder and president emeritus of Evangelicals for Social Action and professor of theology, holistic ministry, and public policy at Palmer Theological Seminary in Wynnewood, Pennsylvania. He is the author of many books, including the bestselling Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger and The Scandal of the Evangelical Conscience.

Ronald J. Sider currently resides in Philadelphia, in the state of Pennsylvania.

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
A Prophetic Call to Wholistic Ministry  Mar 24, 2008
For most of the twentieth century, the Christian Church was torn between the tension of evangelism and social action. At the beginning of the twenty-first century, few writers have emerged bringing hope of unity on this subject. In his book, Good News and Good Works, Ron Sider prophetically ushers in the need to combine evangelism and social action in Christian ministry. Sider not only provides a strong biblical basis for both evangelism and social action, but also for intertwining the two. The overwhelming biblical support for such balance causes the reader to wonder why the tension has existed so strongly and for so long in the first place. The result of this book should be the balanced integrity of the ethical nature that is brought to Christian evangelism and eternal perspective that is needed in social action.
A Fresh Challenge  Dec 16, 2004
Good News and Good Works by Ron Sider is a book that definitely serves to challenge the reader to live more than just a passive Christian life. It forces the average Christian reader to look beyond a life of evangelism, and into a life that incorporates social action. Sider argues that evangelism without social action fails to truly be a holistic ministry. I would highly recommend this book for the Christian who is seeking to be stirred and do more than fill an empty seat on a Sunday morning or even the Christian who is involved in a ministry, but desires to impact their community on a greater scale. This book is also an excellent resource for the individual who is not quite sure what the role of Christians is in this world. For the reader that is curious in discovering what a holistic ministry is about, this is an excellent start to unfolding what that means. Sider presents a case that argues for a true balance of evangelism and social action in Christian living.
In this book, Sider addresses the different types of ministries that have elements of "lopsided Christianity" (26) where ministries are too heavily focused on just one of the two aspects of holistic ministry-where a disconnect exists between the individual's soul and social change. He argues that one without the other fails to reach the entire person. Sider reminds the reader that Jesus' life on earth was the perfect example of feeding the heart and the stomach of a person and he sought those that society likes to forget-the poor and the marginalized. He also describes that part of salvation is the reconciliation of both a vertical relationship with God as well as a horizontal relationships with man (44).
One of the strengths of this book was his sheer boldness in presenting a view that he knows to be true. Sider unashamedly acknowledges where many churches stand on achieving the balance of evangelism and social action and challenges the reader to look beyond their own selfish desires. It was a good reminder to read that because we, as Christians, are blessed to know of the abundant love that Christ has for us, we should want nothing less for those in our realms of influence. In this desire for them to know the Father, we must use all that He has gifted us with to serve those around us.
It is Sider's hope and prayer at the end of his book that we will eventually see "wholistic congregations" where we will find "congregations across the globe so in love with Jesus that they cannot stop inviting non-Christians to come to Christ and so compassionately concerned for needy neighbors that they cannot stop feeding the hungry and empowering the oppressed" (194). If this is the cry of your heart as well, read this and let the Holy Spirit stir something powerful within you. One person at a time, His mission will be accomplished.
Get Ready To Be Challenged...  Dec 14, 2004
Ron Sider's book Good News and Good Works really gets at the heart of being a Christian. He strives to convince the reader that a Christian is called to evangelize and promote social action. It truly is a marriage in which you can't have one without the other: evangelism and social responsibility are "inseparably interrelated and intertwined but can not be confused or equated with each other" (17). One of the best parts about this book is that his arguments are based almost solely on the actions of Jesus. It is not just theory, but the example of our Savior. He stresses the idea that Jesus challenged the status quo for our sakes, and that we too must leave our comforts in order to serve those who are less fortunate. Sider confronts the idea that the poverty-stricken are deserving of their placement in life, emphasizing that indirectly we too could be the cause of their oppression. At the very least, if we are making no effort to help them we are allowing their oppression. Sider says, "we have no business asking government to change unless our churches lead the way" (177). His call for change is not only on a micro scale and for this reason he can be found quite challenging because many feel that it is not the church's role to be political. If this is your view, he will definitely force you to contemplate this idea and decide whether or not Jesus felt the same way.
Sider spends a lot of time redefining Christian terms that he feels to be misunderstood including "salvation" and the "kingdom" in hopes of convincing the reader that God desires a holistic ministry. He makes an obvious, yet often forgotten point, that one can not make a drastic life change (like trusting his life to Jesus) when his "felt needs" are not being met. A person will not listen to a message if he is hungry, and will not trust a God who is not bringing him food. He calls us to be Christ's servants, meeting the needs of His people. The point he drives home so clearly, though, is that there are other groups out there doing this who aren't Christians, perhaps more so than are. The people's lives are being helped, but not changed. They need Jesus to make a full transformation and this is why a holistic ministry is of vital importance.
Of the books that I have read on the subject, I feel that his is one of the easiest to understand. He is preaching to the "everyday" Christian in hopes of promoting the strongest movement. His enthusiasm for the subject is contagious. If you are looking for a book that will really pull at your heart and soul by using biblical principles, this is the book for you. Even if you are not a Christian, it's a book that could help you to understand the Christianity that the Bible is calling for and through this understanding, perhaps you could make a difference in the Christian world.
A holistic and biblical argument  Dec 13, 2004
Ronald Sider builds his case for Christians to adopt a holistic approach to ministry right from the start and continues on this course throughout the book. He is thorough and breaks down various arguments, showing the strengths and weaknesses of the views of Evangelicals, Anabaptists, Ecumenicals, Secular Christians, Charismatics, and Social Activists. After presenting each viewpoint, he shows their limitations stemming from focusing solely on one issue and ultimately presents a balanced approach that takes all the valid points from each argument. His approach is from a position of concern so none of these groups should be offended but rather will find that they are open to Sider's constructive criticism.
Reading Sider's case for a balance between social action and evangelism alone is worth reading the book for. He builds on evangelism as more than getting people to accept Jesus as Lord and instead also emphasizes the importance of conversion as a life-long process, taking care of people's felt needs, and the importance of contextualization. Social action as well is not narrowly defined either and is defined by Sider as coming in the form of relief, development, and structural change. He builds on the importance of both and shows how they are vastly different yet must coexist at the same time.
One will appreciate the biblical basis for many of his arguments; he shows where he feels some have strayed and seeks in his arguments to bring the focus back on the biblical examples. When he is uncertain in any situation he tends to bring the focus back to the ministry and life of Jesus Christ, the perfect example of the balance between evangelism and social action.
This book is guaranteed to change one's perceptions of what ministry really should be and will challenge one to rethink their whole views on what it really means to be a Christian. Sider challenges all to avoid one-sided thinking and to broaden one's views of what they feel is the most important aspect of ministry. Even those who favor an evangelistic or social activist approach will find Sider's recommendations for their respective approaches helpful since he broadens the scope of things to include crucial elements of both that often go unnoticed. Common Christian terms such as "repentance" and "salvation" are redefined by Sider and take on a renewed meaning. I find that while I did not agree with all that he said (there are some small theological disagreements I had here and there), I found the creativity and completeness of this book to make a major contribution to my understanding of what true Christianity should look like today. I predict that this book will have the same effect on you also.

a challenging look at what we evangelicals consider missions  Feb 27, 2002
The title says it all. I'm a huge proponent of reading things that make you think, whether you agree with it all or not. I finished the book a couple weeks ago, and I'm still not sure I agree with all of it, but I have to say that Sider makes a compelling argument for taking a look at how we evangelicals view missions, evangelism and social action.

He does a good job of defining his terms to prevent any confusion over vague meanings and understandings of common "Chrstianese" buzzwords, such as "evangelism," "the Gospel," and the different parts of "social action". A small bit of his exegesis is wanting (e.g. his interpretation of "blessed are the poor", I'm not sure I agree with), but a good 95% is solid, IMHO (disclaimer: I have no formal theological training).

This is a good baseline book to read some of his other books, I think. I've read Just Generosity (dealing with poverty in the USA), but I read it before this book. I kinda wish I had read this one first.

I appreciate his thinking process, and grounding what he writes in pretty solid theological thought. perhaps if more of us Christians thought and prayed about this, and then acted in faith on it, perhaps we wouldn't be written off as hypocrites as often, or uncaring about the plight of the poor/underprivileged.

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