Thursday, September 10, 2009

missio Dei

It's been a long time since I wrote on here, I will post some of my papers or discussion postings on here for people (other than the fellow ivory tower students) to read and comment upon. Give whatever feedback you care to leave, I won't be offended, nor do I expect any. I actually expect fewer followers of this blog because of this (!).


"How do you characterize the missio Dei as it relates to the Bosch’s and your definition of mission?"

Mission is and has always been a troubling word for me. The "mission" I've seen has been a false sincerity, a "winning heathens for Christ" sort of mentality instead of the genuine appreciation and love of the Gospel.

Churches in America are turning into amusement centers for people, especially children. One can stop in, get entertained, take a class, ride a roller coaster and head on out into the sunset without a thought about what God, Church, Religion, et cetera actually mean. I think this stems from the baptism via fire hose mentality that Dr. Chung mentioned in class. The intention is wrong; we, Christians, are set out to convert the masses, instead of the true missio Dei, spread the Gospel of Christ.

It seems that Bosch reads the mission as a sharing of the Gospel, as opposed to the harassing of heathens when he writes the steps of evangelism in the Introduction of "Transforming Mission: Paradigm Shifts in Theology of Mission." There he writes that "Evangelism is the proclamation of salvation in Christ to those who do not believe in him, calling them to repentance and conversion, announcing forgiveness of sin, and inviting them too become living members of Christ's earthly community to begin a life of service to others in the power of the Holy Spirit." (Bosch p.10). It seems that we, again Christians, usually skip the proclamation and jump right into the calling to repentance.

I am certain that once we stop trying to convert, we will fulfill our primary function of proclaiming the Good News of Christ's salvific action.

1 comment:

Jason said...

I can't speak for every unconverted heathen out there, but I think about this quite often. I'm sympathetic to the idea that Christians consider it a duty to convince us of the truth of certain ideas and the benefits of accepting them, but--as you point out here--they generally go about it all wrong.

Too often that message is expressed by mere insistence: "This is true. It just is." But if the heathen in question (like me) can only be engaged on the grounds of reasoned argument, this starts off weak and then just gets irritating.

Shorter me: You're right. A more productive strategy would likely be "Spread the Word and go on with your business."