Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Missionary who wouldn't retire...

Leslie Newbigin used to come and teach a whole morning at college, the year before we trained this stopped as by then he was getting frail and his eyesight had gone. At the time I can't remember being that bothered, but now I look back and think what an opportunity that would have been and for many, I hope being able to sit back and listen to that remarkable mind remains an unforgettable experience. I've just seen that he would have been 100 this year and Christianity Today have a good article that is worth a look at if you are interested in the themes and influence of Newbigin (here).

The gospel according to Newbigin challenges this thinking in two distinct ways. First, he calls us back to a gospel that brings personal reconciliation with God, but also a gospel that connects us with God's reconciling purposes in conscience, culture, church, creation, and cosmos. Second, he calls us back to a gospel that is more than a series of bullet points, a story that centers on the flesh-and-blood character of the divine Christ.

It was good to be reminded that:
"the church is, by its very nature, missional. Which then has two
major implications. First, the church, not the individual, is the basic unit of
evangelism. A community that lives out the truth of the gospel is the best
context in which to understand its proclamation....Second, the unity of the
church matters to the mission of the church. Disunity undercuts the gospel of
reconciliation that we claim to bring to the world."

(January 2010, Vol. 54, No. 1)

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