The purpose of this research is to contribute to the discussion regarding the role that the fight against poverty should play in the mission of the evangelical movement. It will consider evangelical history and trace the changes that occurred to evangelical focus that separated the proclamation of the gospel from holistic mission that cared for the poor.
The Epistle of James Chapter 2 will be examined according to socio-rhetorical interpretive techniques to see how the structure of the arguments remains a force that was just as impactful then as it is now in defining appropriate, faith-motivated living. Faith that is not evidently displayed through corresponding works is not living faith.
Dualism is a significant theme. The division between faith and life, public and private, physical and spiritual was evident in the early church as will be seen in the faith/works discussion of James 2. It continues to preclude the evangelical movement and individual Christ followers from a holistic understanding of mission and ministry.
The epistemological basis of this research is from within the evangelical tradition in an effort to engage its theological paradigm. Two interdependent models will be enlisted to structure this research: the socio-rhetorical model developed from James 2 and the theological model using Christopraxis as a guide for ministry. Human Scale Development methodology will be used as a framework for demonstrating a church-based model for community engagement. The research concludes that the evangelical movement has a responsibility to fight poverty in response to historical precedent and Scriptural mandate.