Monday, September 27, 2004

Mission's false dichotomy...

I went along to the "East London Contextual Theology Group" last week. Seems a good environment to think and reflect on missio praxis! I guess I'll have to wait and see if it is the right environment for me. One plus point was we were all different!

Andy Turner - from the Kingsmead Kabin project outlined the story and I found it encouraging to hear his reflections and frustrations. The values of the project as he outlined seemed so grace centred and authentic and in terms of the kingdom - effective.

Apart from having the importance of offering safe space as a church underlined and hearing the concept of sanctified disorder. The big story for me was hearing the pressure and pain of working with those who seem so adept at maintaining a false dichotomy that sees Christian witness, and specifically evangelism, as being unrelated to community development. Those who see evangelism (restoring people's relationship with God) as spiritual work, while social action/transformation (restoring just economic, social, and political relationships among people) is not. Those who see loving God as spiritual, while loving neighbours is material.

Myers (199) has a lot to say about this blind spot. It was good to have it fleshed out by Andy and to be able to apply it to our context.

Myers, B.L. (1999 ) Walking with the Poor - Principles and Practices of Transformational Development. Orbis

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