Category Archives: missional
For now we see in a mirror obscurely, but at that time face to face; now I know in part, but at that time I will fully know even as also I was fully known. –1 Corinthians 13:12
For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.
David J Bosch (obviously) identifies this passage as THE paradigmatic text that embodies the Protestant Reformation. Read the rest of this entry
Categorizing one thousand years of anything is a daunting task. Especially something as complex as the missional paradigm of the church in Europe during the Middle Ages. However, David J Bosch fearlessly sums up what he calls the “Medieval Roman Catholic Missionary Paradigm” with a single verse.
And the master said to the slave, Go out into the roads and hedges and compel them to come in, so that my house may be filled.
Bosch has an interesting section in his chapter on “The Missionary Paradigm of the Eastern Church”, where he discusses the relation between the church and mission in the Eastern Orthodox tradition. In understanding missional paradigms, it’s important to understand the “why” behind the “what”. This becomes very important during the medieval paradigm. The Orthodox paradigm may seem rather inert compared to present day enterprises, but I think they deserve credit for stressing the oneness of the church so much in their understanding of mission. Sometimes it’s easy (dizzying really) to look at all the missional endeavors, justifications, and causes today and forget that there is a unified, organic, concrete whole that functions as the container of God’s blessing and the expression of His grace. When that corporate vessel is endangered, maybe it’s time to reevaluate what we’re doing and why we’re doing it. Read the rest of this entry
Beyond the radical and unprecedented physical change involved in a growth spurt, there is the basic new awareness and crisis of identity. High school represents more than the threshold of bodily change and a new bedtime. A new understanding, mood, character, and outlook sweep over the soul. This inner change is necessary if one is to avoid becoming a modern Baby Huey- internal aptitude at odds with external developments.
I’ve just started reading Transforming Mission- Paradigm Shifts in Theology of Mission by David J Bosch and Paradigm Change in Theology by Hans Küng. The two books are somewhat reciprocal, although not directly. Paradigm Change is really a symposium to dig into the meaning and implications of paradigms applied to theology. It’s dense, esoteric, and technical. I plan to just hit the highlights in it. Transforming Mission starts out with Küng’s paradigm analysis of church history and then applies it specifically to the Christian understanding of mission. It is by far a more pleasant reading experience (because it is well written not because it’s simplistic) and is sweeping in its analysis.
In a sense we’re all Timothys. We learn from those who are ahead of us- our spiritual fathers and pioneers in the journey we’re on. We are inheritors, and we have a debt of gratitude to pay off. I am especially indebted to the people from Christians on Campus at the University of Texas for the experiences that have shaped my faith and guided me in my pursuit of Christ and the church.
Christians on Campus is a startlingly vibrant and eclectic group of Jesus lovers who truly believe “what starts here changes the world.” They present diverse and dynamic opportunities for students to grow spiritually through eye-opening Bible study, daily fellowship, engaging outreach, and living in community. This certainly was my first impression of them as a freshman.
In my last post I tried to show how the gospel ultimately benefits God and is therefore really the good news for Him. The gospel is not just something for man; it is something for God. The New Testament presentation of the gospel goes far beyond what many Christians may have in mind when they hear the word.
The gospel is not just your “come to Jesus moment”, turning over a new leaf, a mission trip, a campaign, a musical genre, or even a theological doctrine. And it’s certainly not health, wealth, and happiness.
Below are 9 aspects of the gospel that go beyond the typical discussions of justification or getting to heaven.
We’re all guilty of doing it.
It’s easy to reduce God to a magic eight ball.
As we approach crossroads in life, we remember, “Oh yeah, I’ve got God.” So we ask our question, shake really hard, and optimistically turn our magic 8 ball over.
Don’t reduce God to a computational machine.
But you may say, “What about knowing God’s will for me? What about knowing what I’m supposed to do? What school to go to? Who to marry?” These are all legitimate concerns no doubt. But they are not all there is to God.
Recently I’ve been considering the mission of the church from the lens of Noah’s life and work.
Jesus Himself reveals how relevant the story of Noah is today.
For just as the days of Noah were, so will the coming of the Son of Man be.
Noah’s living and work parallels and prefigures the critical aspects of the church’s mission in view of Christ’s return.