Monday, July 07, 2008

Lost Themes of Mission - reconciliation...

This speaks of a reconciliation beyond singing 'bind us together' and takes the church to a place where it has to position itself within issues where true reconciliation makes sense.

"Whereas the model of mission most common in the 19 Century was one of expansion, and the model most common in the second half of the 20th Century was one of accompaniment, the model of mission most needed at the beginning of the 21 Century is that of mission as reconciliation"
Shreiter (1997) quoted in Landmead, R. (2008) Mission Studies 25:5-20

His argument being that reconciliation is the form within which the good news of Jesus Christ is most appropriate at this time of history.

On one hand it seems a little too obvious an to think about reconciliation as key to mission, but as with many of these kind of terms I wonder if it all to easy to have a single dimensional grasp of the concept.

Landmead in his article gets us to think deep into what being reconciled to God means; to how we make an understanding of that reconciliation through looking towards being reconciled with ourselves, with each other and then with creation.

This speaks of a reconciliation beyond singing 'bind us together' and takes the church to a place where it has to position itself within issues where true reconciliation makes sense. Issues of justice, shalom, peacemaking are where the church needs to work out its grasp of reconciliation.

If reconciliation is to be potentially a governing metaphor of mission for the church - how is the church speaking of reconciliation into the fragmentation we see daily on our news programmes? How is it speaking into the brokenness we see in families, into disintegrating community? How does to the church speak reconciliation into world poverty beyond wearing a white wristband and marching around Edinburgh? What language can the church speak into political fear and oppression on the world stage. It makes you think!

I'm not sure reconciliation as a central metaphor for the church exists. Perhaps as a by-product in some of what we do and as a healthy aspiration, but as the governing principle for mission it probably is still crowded out by missional models of expansion and accompaniment.

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Lost Themes of Mission - Gospel...

Lost Themes of Mission - Judgement...
Lost Themes of Mission - Worship...
Lost Themes of Mission - Holiness...
Lost Themes of Mission - Righteousness...
Lost Themes of Mission - Agape...
Lost Themes of Mission - Jubilee...
Lost Themes of Mission - Salvation...
Lost Themes of Mission - Shalom...
Lost Themes of Mission - Compassion...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

thanks for this - Judyx