Monday, May 28, 2012

The Mission of the Church

I have been reading What is the Mission of the Church? Making Sense of Social Justice, Shalom, and the Great Commision by Kevin DeYoung and Greg Gilbert. They sum up their book with a great quote from J. Gresham Machen:
This, then, is the answer that I give to the question before us. The responsibility of the church in the new age is the same as its responsibility in every age. It is to testify that this world is lost in sin; that the span of human life—no, all the length of human history—is an infinitesimal island in the awful depths of eternity; that there is a mysterious, holy, living God, Creator of all, Upholder of all, infinitely beyond all; that he has revealed himself to us in his Word and offered us communion with himself through Jesus Christ the Lord; that there is no other salvation, for individuals or for nations, save this, but that this salvation is full and free, and that whoever possesses it has for himself and for all others to whom he may be the instrument of bringing it a treasure compared with which all the kingdoms of the earth— no, all the wonders of the starry heavens—are as the dust of the street.
J. Gresham Machen, excerpt from “The Responsibility of the Church in our New Age,” originally published in Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science (1933) and reprinted in D. G. Hart’s J. Gresham Machen: Selected Shorter Writings, 376; and reprinted again by DeYoung and Gilbert, What is the Mission of the Church?, 248-249.