Book Review: Great Commission, Great Compassion

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Great Commission, Great Compassion: Following Jesus and Loving the World

By Paul Borthwick (InterVarsity Press)

Borthwick cover 150Evangelical Christians are well acquainted with Jesus’ command to go and make disciples of all nations. They are equally familiar with his compassion for “the least of these”—the hungry, the naked, the sick and the prisoner. Yet many Christians, while acknowledging the importance of both evangelism and social action, struggle to identify which should be their top priority as faithful disciples. Paul Borthwick suggests this is a false dichotomy, offering a litany of suggestions for how both to go and to do, sharing the gospel in word and deed.

Dividing the book into two sections, Borthwick first lays a biblical foundation for his mission model, examining both the gospel commissions of Jesus and the Matthew 25 vision for how to serve people in need. The remainder of the book lays out various ways in which Jesus’s commands—both to share the gospel and to live it—can be carried out effectively today.

Readers are unlikely to find anything particularly groundbreaking in Borthwick’s analysis but probably will walk away with new ideas of how to better live out the gospel at a practical level. For those looking to expand their horizons in relation to missions, this book is an effective primer.

Daniel Camp, pastor

Shiloh Baptist Church, Crawford


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