Monday, January 24, 2005

Fullness of Life...shalom and salvation

A bit more from 'Walking with the Poor'.

It was Myers who introduced me to the concept of the 'missional blind spot', the maintainance of a false dichotomy that sees Christian witness, and specifically evangelism, as being unrelated to community development.

It was Myers who gave me understanding of the friction and pain that I feel with the schism that accepts 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.

The idea of shalom is related to one of the interesting ways Jesus described his mission and seems to me bring cohesion to our theology of mission:

'I have come that they may have life, and have it in the full" (Jn 10: 10).

Life in its fullness is the purpose; this is what we are for and what Christ has come to make possible. To live fully in the present in relationships that are just, harmonious, and enjoyable, that allow everyone to contribute. And to live fully for all time. A life of joy in being that goes beyond having. While shalom and abundant life are ideals that we will not see this side of the second coming, the vision of a shalom that leads to life in its fullness is a powerful image that must inform and shape our understanding of any better human future. pp51
Myers, B.L. (1999 ) Walking with the Poor - Principles and Practices of Transformational Development. Orbis

Thanks Barky for the book recommendation!

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