Saturday, January 15, 2005

'People people'... Fullness of Life...Shalom...Salvation #1

Myers has been a helpful book, the concept of transformational development is appealing, the theology has been helpful and healthy. He identifies the biblical image of shalom as an interesting one in terms of mission.

Nicholas Wolterstorff points out that shalom is usually translated by the word "peace," but that it means more than the absence of strife. First, shalom is a relational concept, "dwelling at peace with God, with self, with fellows, with nature." Then, Wolterstorff suggests, we must add the ideas of justice, harmony, and enjoyment to capture the full biblical meaning of the word. Shalom means just relationship (living justly and experiencing justice), harmonious relationships and enjoyable relationships. Shalom means belonging to an authentic and nurturing community in which one can be one's true self and give one's self away without becoming poor. Justice, harmony, and enjoyment of God, self, others, and nature; this is the shalom that Jesus brings, the peace that passes all understanding (Wolterstorff 1983, 69-72).

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

Steve Court with Wesley Campbell (Court, S and Campbell, W. (2004) Be a Hero: The Battle for Mercy and Social Justice) make a good job of making righteousness, compassion and justice central to mission - the connection is almost there. They talk of helping 'invisible people' to become 'people people'. From being marginal to being accepted.

Towards 'People people' ... Fullness of Life ... Shalom ... Salvation?

By placing righteousness, compassion and justice central, wrapped up in grace I can see the beginings of an antidote to the false dichotomy of mission, the answer to the great omission in the great commission!

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