Al Mohler and Jim Wallis Social Justice Debate at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

Here’s a debate that I had the pleasure of attending in October, at the Chapel of  Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (Deerfield,Illinois) and which is part of an ongoing series of debates held through the University’s prestigious Carl F. Henry Center. I just wish more time was allotted for a meaningful dialogue and that all relevant subjects related to social justice would have been broached.  All that aside, it was an interesting debate. My take away was Albert Mohler’s statement that „the church ought to do what only the church was called to do, and that is to proclaim the Gospel. When people’s lives are transformed by the Gospel, social justice becomes part of our works.


October 27, 2011  Is Social Justice an Essential Part of the Mission of the Church?

Participants –  Jim Wallis – “Yes”    Dr. R. Albert Mohler – “No”

Moderator – Chris Firestone

Location – ATO Chapel (TEDS)


North American Evangelicals have recently experienced a revival of interest in issues of social justice. The growing sentiment among many today is that Jesus preached “good news to the poor,” and was indeed among the poor and marginalized. These Christians believe that the implications of these facts should renew the church’s understanding of the gospel and its mission. Rightly or wrongly, this interest in social justice is transforming the blueprint and vision of ecclesial ministry.

For others, this blueprint conjures up concerns about 20th century liberal Protestantism and a watering down of the gospel’s message of salvation. The defining mission of the church, for them, continues to be the sharing of the good news of salvation through Jesus Christ to all nations, generations, and social classes. The issue of social justice, though important, is not to be considered as an essential part of the mission of the church.

A basic question at the heart of the debate is this: Is social justice an essential part of the mission of the church?

The Henry Center for Theological Understanding, in its Trinity Debates forum, is pleased to provide a public venue for addressing this question by hosting two prominent voices from competing perspectives. Jim Wallis will answer “Yes” and R. Albert Mohler will answer “No.”

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5 comentarii (+add yours?)

  1. Madd Scientist
    ian. 15, 2012 @ 00:06:58

    No,Social justice is not teh function of the Church. God has called the church to care for the widows, orphans, the sick and he elderly. This is how the Church demostrates God’s love. God does not advocate wealth redistribution which is based on Marxism. Book of Proverbs is based primarily on entrepreneurship, free market and Capitalism. Dr.Moehler is absolutely right on. The travesty is that many churches that advocate social justice are breaking God’s commandment (Romans13:1-2) by aiding and abetting illegal immigrants to increase their church membership and income. They support global warming which is ajob killer and Bible does not endorse global warming. It is the same Churches that bend towards Marxism support Environmental regulations that kills jobs, social justice, abortion and homosexual marriage. The Church must spread the gospel and save souls. Then God will direct them to do what is right for us, family, society and the Church. Church is not a laboratory to study Social engineering.

    • rodi
      ian. 15, 2012 @ 01:02:45

      well said. Dr. Mohler made some great points, the one that stood out was when he said that the church’s job is to do what Jesus commissioned us to do, and not make social justice ‘the’ gospel, because it is not.

  2. Gabi
    ian. 17, 2012 @ 01:43:03

    I have to learn how to transfer these videos in mp3 . I am dying to listen to this debate but I never have time to do it at home…
    Tim Keller is into social justice, I think… I am reading two of his books now… ( Reasons for God and I just finished ” Counterfit Gods”) . Excelent books …

    • rodi
      ian. 17, 2012 @ 02:24:49

      Try this link-
      but, it only works for youtube video and you would have to click on Youtube player to be able to copy the link from the browser into this program. The guy who hosts the site to the link I gave you has a tab at the top where you can email him to ask for help.

      On Keller, I love his books and his sermons even though I don’t agree with all his theology(i.e. creation). Just ordered the new one he wrote on marriage. On social justice, he’s probably more well rounded than most, as in teaching and doing it without compromise to the Gospel. As a church (universal) we are very lacking, as in dollars spent on poor and dollars spent on our comfort. Have you seen the TVR video that’s been going around with the 2,000 poor children living in a garbage dump in Bucharest? I only know of one Pastor there who is doing something about it; Pastor Ianovici who is caring for more than 200 kids in Bucharest. We should all be helping,one way or another.

  3. Trackback: Together for the Gospel – Al Mohler – The Power of the Articulated Gospel and C J Mahaney – The Sustaining Power of the Gospel « agnus dei – english + romanian blog
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