Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Holiday Reading...

Holiday reading was productive.

I finished Ann Morisy’s Journeying Out: A New Approach to Christian Mission. I have to say it has been the read of the year so far. Anyone who makes Bosch accessible is worth a read!

She makes so much sense and gives concepts to feelings and opinions that we have held and seen develop, she articulates the reality that we have discovered while involved in urban community ministry at Poplar. For instance…

The power of the Principle of Obliquity (that of mission that is an unspoken tacit expression and demonstration of Kingdom of God)

The concept of Cascades of Grace – the impact of kingdom in action on observers and not necessarily just the recipient.

Social Capital – level of reciprocal relationships within a locality or society. Specific reciprocal relationships which say ‘I do it for you if you do it for me’. Generalised reciprocal relationships which say ‘I’ll do it for you without expecting anything in return’. She makes connections in terms of the importance of this Grace centred mission/social capital in terms of social cohesion. She makes connections in terms that churches need to operate beyond solidarity groups ie family, friends, own socio economic grouping etc…. and be variegated!

I loved what she had to say about chaplaincy to your community. I loved what she had to say about mission through telling stories.

In addition she also introduces an analysis of mission and offers a means by which the false dichotomy of mission can be closed. She points to the Explicit Domain – where explicit teaching provided by church in order to form and nurture recruits. The Foundational Domain – covers mission as the work the church has to do in order to help people gain confidence in their perception of there being an enduring reality and possibility of God. The Vocational Domain – is that area of the churches life which provides opportunity to enable people to respond to that sense within them that they could do more in their lives – developing their moral self. Each working together brings credibility to the gospel, each apart serves only to feed a theologically partisan approach to mission which makes the gospel false, dilute and cheap.

Ann Morisy’s Journeying Out: A New Approach to Christian Mission goes next to Graham Tomlins The Provocative Church on my 'highly affirming' bookshelf.

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