The missional living concept is rooted in the Missio dei Latin, "the sending of God". In , Karl Hartenstein, a German missiologist , coined the phrase in response to Karl Barth and his emphasis on actio Dei "the action of God". In their view, missional activities stemming from God. We are all called to go—even if it is only to the next room, or the next block. Missional living is the embodiment of the mission of Jesus in the world by incarnating the gospel.
Rather, they point to the embodiment of the living Word in human culture and social settings in such a way that its divine nature and power are not lost. True contextualization is more than communication. It is God working in the hearts of people, making them new and forming them into a new community. It is his Word transforming their lives, their societies, their cultures.
These five biblical distinctives form the foundation of a missional perspective: . Jesus sent His disciples on a mission. The missional church defines itself in terms of its mission—being sent ones who take the gospel to and incarnate the gospel within a specific culture. He was sent by his Father. He, in turn, sent the Twelve. They went to people who would then take the gospel to the rest of the world. Whoever received it would understand that they, too, had been sent.
With the gospel being what it is, the church as bearer of the gospel is bound to be apostolic. Jesus Christ said that He came to earth to seek and to save that which was lost Luke He accomplished salvation through the cross. According to Scripture, without the cross, there is no salvation, no forgiveness, and no hope; because of the cross, there is eternal life. The mission and message of Jesus surround the cross. Jesus loves the Church and He gave His life to redeem the Church.
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- Missional living.
- Making Gospel-centered disciples among all people for the glory of God.
Community exists for Mission! Christians are to bring the gospel together to the culture. Mission, in its widest as well as its more focused senses, is what the church is there for. God intends to put the world to rights; he has dramatically launched this project through Jesus. Those who belong to Jesus are called, here and now, in the power of the Spirit, to be agents of that putting-to-rights purpose.
As missionaries sent by Jesus, every Christian must learn to exegete their surrounding culture, uncovering the language, values, and ideas of the culture. Using this information, they take steps to reach people with the gospel message in the context of the surrounding culture. Christians are sent to proclaim the gospel of the kingdom so that others may enter the kingdom.
George Hunsberger conveys the idea that the Church is pointing beyond itself to the kingdom of God. The Church is not an end in itself; God has a mission that goes beyond the Church which includes the kingdom. Use the link below to share a full-text version of this article with your friends and colleagues. Learn more. This article offers a critical reflection on the World Council of Churches Conference on World Mission and Evangelization in in Arusha, asking for a renewed focus on and discussion of ecumenical and missional theology, especially the relation between unity and diversity among churches and Christians.
The Arusha Conference was an important space for ecumenical encounter and exchange between all its participants, between the different commissions of the WCC, and with the wider ecumenical world. Little emphasis was put in the discussion on our unity in our joint faith in the triune God, in our faith in the crucified and risen Christ.
A main impression from the conference was that it gave great and unconditional space to very many different expressions and the diversity of faith found within the framework of WCC member churches and associated bodies and organizations. There was rather limited reflection on the unity of the church, and a number of important theological issues to be discussed were unfortunately not really brought to the public discourse during the conference. The Arusha Conference was primarily a celebration of Christian diversity, and as such an exciting event.
This article is firstly a quest for a renewed focus on and discussion of ecumenical and missional theology, including the relation between unity and diversity between the churches and Christians. The Faith and Order Commission had from its beginning a specific responsibility to work toward the unity of the church, through its theological discourse and agreements on the doctrines of the church. This is not opposed to the awareness that diversity is a natural consequence of the many different contexts, traditions, ages, cultures, experiences, perspectives, and orientations.
Coming from a Faith and Order context, a context predominantly working toward the unity of the church, this article seeks to focus on the relation between unity and diversity in the understanding of mission. This includes also a critical perspective on how the Arusha Conference expressed this ecumenical journey toward the greater unity of the church. My main objective is that the call to transforming discipleship that was expressed during the Arusha Conference also needs to be a call to transforming unity. Unity does not mean uniformity; diversity does not mean division.
Nevertheless, these terms are easily mixed and confused in the context of ecumenical encounter. The question must therefore be posed: How can the churches combine unity and diversity without falling into the trap of uniformity or division? Diversity, which is torn apart from this unity, easily falls into division. Nevertheless, there is an enormous variety and diversity among the churches when it comes to expressions of faith and spirituality, traditions, and church appearances.
This diversity was clearly visible in Arusha. The Mission Conference offered a great and nonjudicial space for all forms of expressions. In many ways, one might say that Arusha was a festival of Christian diversity. We come from many different cultures and many different churches. And yet, and yet, in all our diversity we are still being made one people, by the one God revealed in Jesus Christ and present with us in the Holy Spirit.
Unity and diversity are therefore loaded terms. It is impossible to give account of the wealth of mention and discussion of this concept and its application within the ecumenical discourse. The Lutheran New Testament scholar Oscar Cullmann underlined that this concept is inherent in the New Testament, developing further an earlier understanding that the church of the New Testament time was primarily a church without diversity.
Eugene Boring Fortress Press, Cullmann, starting from his New Testament exegesis, underlined that unity does not mean uniformity. Unity in the church was from the beginning a gift of the Holy Spirit, leading toward recognizing the others in all their variety as true Christians. The model on the one hand underlines the need to find and maintain a common basis of doctrinal agreement. The unity achieved does not embrace unity in all aspects of church fellowship, but it embraces unity in the most important aspects: the understanding of word and sacrament as a sufficient basis for communion.
Diversity in itself is not a goal, but is a natural part of being different churches, in different contexts, with different forms of ecclesial identity. It is a reconciled diversity which in itself does not threaten the fundamental unity achieved on core issues. At the same time, this model obliges the CPCE member churches to strive to deepen and strengthen the fellowship they have found together. A pneumatological and eschatological understanding of the church replaced a more juridical and static approach. This gave space to an explicit appreciation of diversity.
His exegetical thoughts truly had an impact on different texts from the council. I have found very helpful the formula that Oscar Cullmann recently injected into the debate: unity through multiplicity, through diversity. Along the path marked out by Cullmann, therefore, we should first try to find unity through diversity, in other words, to accept what is fruitful in our divisions, to detoxify them, and to welcome the positive things that come precisely from diversity.
Pope Francis followed up this positive recognition of Christian diversity in Evangelii Gaudium in The message of peace is not about a negotiated settlement but rather the conviction that the unity brought by the Spirit can harmonize every diversity. It overcomes every conflict by creating a new and promising synthesis. It is only in unity, through conversion of hearts and reconciliation, that we will be able to help our country to develop on all levels.
This reveals ambiguity in the acknowledgement of the concept from the Roman Catholic side. One of the aspects to be discussed in our context of mission theology is whether this model becomes too static, in a way saying that diversity in itself automatically is a common good.
Secondly, the unity must be a unity, which serves not only as a declaration but also as visible unity with a necessary influence on the living together of churches and people. The challenge lies in the ability to, on the one hand, balance the unity and agreement on fundamental issues, and on the other hand, give space for a diversity that enriches and does not threaten the living together of churches and people. The will to define a common platform is decisive for the success of this project of living together with diversities. We all stay as we are and are nice to each other. This critique should be taken seriously.
When enjoying and even celebrating the diversity of the churches, the obligation to work for the unity of the churches and the drive to look for the common foundation easily falls out of sight. The discourse on the limits of diversity and the criteria for discernment and unity has been going on in the framework of the WCC since its institution.The Complete Book of Republican Wisdom and Knowledge">
To Reconcile God's People - Michael Downey, Roger Michael Mahony : PaulistPress
Diversities which are rooted in theological traditions, various cultural, ethnic, or historical contexts are integral to the nature of communion; yet there are limits to diversity. Diversity is illegitimate when, for instance, it makes impossible the common confession of Jesus Christ as God and Saviour the same yesterday, today and forever Heb. Based on a biblical understanding that there is a variety of gifts see 1 Cor. In a concluding paragraph, TCTCV outlines the dilemmas related to diversity, pointing to the question of criteria for discernment and the need for mutually recognized structures.
The Canberra Statement from underlined that The calling of the Church is to proclaim reconciliation and provide healing, to overcome divisions based on race, gender, age, culture, colour and to bring all people into communion with God. Because of sin and the misunderstanding of the diverse gifts of the Spirit, the churches are painfully divided within themselves and among each other.
The scandalous divisions damage the credibility of their witness to the world in worship and service.
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Moreover, they contradict not only the Church's witness but also its very nature. When conflicts between Christians prevail, and disagreement on core doctrinal issues becomes evident, the message itself suffers and the Christian message of salvation in Christ loses its credibility. Thus, ecumenical dialogue for unity is not only a godly demand, and inherent to the biblical message, but also a matter of credibility with regard to the world and societies. Why is there still a divide between Christians when confessing their faith with the words of the Nicene Creed?
Theology of mission
What role do the different structures and organizations play for the churches? Why are the churches in many places involved in ethnic and military conflicts? Why is there so much disagreement on core issues, both within and between Christian churches?
The churches can only be faithful to their mission by giving a common witness to Jesus Christ in witness and service, in all realms of life. This includes finding a balance among a witness to the gospel, respect for people's dignity, and solidarity with those who suffer. Seeking together as Christians and as persons of faith — focusing on what unites the churches rather than what separates them — becomes vital in different circumstances.