Grumpy old man here, 42 this month and I feel some intolerance coming on, not difficult after a day Christmas shopping, people walking too slowly, stopping to look at things in the shops (for goodness sake!!), offering me loyalty cards...! "NO BETHAN I AM NOT STRESSED... I AM SHOPPING.....THAT IS WHAT HAPPENS!"
For another thing .... I used to think that much of mission talk was pretty much subjective; that you could maintain a partisan approach to mission and that was okay; that mission was much a point of opinion, a point of view. However, I am struggling to stomach that anymore – as I see our mission narrative as a point of deep theology and can understand why Martin Kähler, (1908) would describe mission as the mother of all theology.
So I am troubled by a mission narrative that is outside that of:-
- the Reign of God;
- the gospel that Jesus 'was and is';
- our call to be signposts of hope;
- salvation as shown through Jesus’ life and ministry;
- the counter cultural message that Jesus is Lord;
- our unequivocal call as church to signpost that which culminates 'New Creation';
- Romans 8 and our task to discover how righteousness should be met in us;
- the demands and opportunities of our post-christian culture;
- TSA's highly contextual heritage;
When I hear a mission narrative that is born largely of the enlightenment; when I hear a mission narrative that could resemble a subtle form of Gnosticism; when I hear a mission narrative that compels an approach to mission content with throwing answers at people who are not asking the questions - the distraction and lack of theology makes me feel sad.There you go ..... sorry .... but I am feeling grumpy......!