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Posted July 13, 2001
Real religion is more than doctrinal orthodoxy; it has to do with how we show mercy in the same way that we have been shown mercy. The Parable of the Good Samaritan serves as our springboard into this study of the doctrine and practice of ministries of mercy. These two elements of doctrine and practice form the two pillars that serve as the outline of the book. Following a typical Pauline approach, the first half of the book sets forth the basic doctrinal foundation of Mercy Ministries. The latter half of the book then put doctrine to practice in a series of hands-on strategies and tactics that can be utilized to mobilize a Mercy Ministry within a church. <p> Keller gives an excellent balance as he shows that Mercy Ministries are not meant to replace the preaching of the Gospel, but that the message of the Gospel without the accompanying ministry of mercy is an incomplete message. Word and deed, mercy and evangelism are inseperable, existing in a symbiotic, interdependent relationship (Page 111). At the same time, he is careful not to confuse word and deed as has been done by some modern ecumenicals. <p> In the practical section of the book, he gives tactics that would be useful both to the layman as well as to the pastor and church officer. Because my personal gifts are in the area of Bible teaching, I have not had much of a personal focus on ministries of mercy. Yet this is not to be an area of ministry only for the gifted. This is the duty of all Christians. This book has widened my own personal focus upon this need.
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Posted January 22, 2009
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