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.
Chris Lazo wrote a post the other day about presuppositional apologetics and how Christians need to engage people with different worldviews on common ground. This common ground could be unknowingly borrowed from the biblical worldview, ie views on marriage, society, the origin of the universe, the meaning of human life, morality, etc. Rather than a “barking monologue” or ten second sound bites, many people are helped more if you enter into their situation and engage their story.
1) Will we ever solve the ecclesiology problem?
To make headway in this area, Christians need to see that redemption fits into the larger picture of God’s eternal purpose to have the church. God’s masterpiece is the church (Eph. 2:10). By definition a masterpiece is unique. An artist only has one of them, and God is no different. Although He does many things, works in many ways, and accomplishes many things, only the church is God’s masterpiece. Understanding this should uplift our appreciation and regard for the church.
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.
The events of December 18, 2010 set off the Arab Spring nearly on the eve of the new year. The distrust, disgust, and dissatisfaction with the current economic, political, and social conditions quickly spread throughout much of the Middle East and North Africa.
Tunisia and Egypt both ousted their long-standing presidents and overthrew the governments (Ben Ali for 24 years and Mubarak for 30 years). Libya erupted in civil war resulting in the fall of its long-standing regime under Gaddafi for 42 years.
Of course Uncle Sam has been reeling with his own financial problems and political dissidence. People are unemployed, foreclosed upon, living with little or no health insurance, and in major debt. They are the 99%.