[This post is the fourth in a series of posts on what could be called “Newbigin’s marks of the missional church” as outlined in his book Foolishness to the Greeks. The previous posts can be found here: introduction, mark #1, mark #2.]
“The missionary encounter with our culture for which I am pleading,” Newbigin writes, “will require the energetic fostering of a declericalized, lay theology.” Upon returning to England after years of missionary service in India, Newbigin observed that theology in the modern West had become largely isolated from the lives and concerns of average Christian men and women. Continue reading Series: Newbigin on “The Call to the Church” – 3. A Declericalized Theology
Having considered in the previous post Newbigin’s insistence that the church must recover its eschatological imagination, we now turn to the second of what could be called his seven marks of the missional church — a true Christian doctrine of freedom. Two sets of concerns fall under this heading for Newbigin. The first set deals with matters that pertain to the relationship between church and state, while the second touches upon issues related to anthropology. Continue reading Series: Newbigin on “The Call to the Church” – 2. A Christian Doctrine of Freedom
This past week marked the start of a course I am teaching at Tyndale Seminary called “Integrative Seminar II.” Don’t let the nondescript title fool you; this course may very well be the most enthralling course that I’ve had the privilege to be involved with at Tyndale. There’s a variety of reasons for this, including the fact that the course occurs near the end of the MDiv In-Ministry program and provides an opportunity for the students to bring together what they have learned and the skills they have developed over the course of the entire program. Probably the biggest factor, though, is the compelling character of the subject matter itself. “Integrative Seminar II” is shaped around exploring the life and thought of six twentieth century Christian pastor-leader-theologians: Lesslie Newbigin, John Perkins, Vinay Samuel, Dorothy Day, Desmond Tutu, and Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Continue reading Series: Newbigin on “The Call to the Church” – Introduction
I’ve recently been given a glimpse of the cover design for my forthcoming book: For the Life of the World: Jesus Christ and the Church in the Theologies of Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Stanley Hauerwas (Pickwick Publications).
I particularly appreciate the striking juxtaposition of colours and images. Not to mention that the image of a garden in the wasteland is one of my favourite biblical metaphors for the new creation reality of the church.
I’ll have more to say about the book in the days ahead as the release date draws near. Suffice to say, though, the appearance of the cover design signals that the day is fast approaching!
Christopher R.J. Holmes, a graduate of Wycliffe College and senior lecturer in Systematic Theology at the University of Otago in New Zealand, has penned the first volume in Zondervan’s new series New Studies in Dogmatics. The goal of the series, inspired by G.C. Berkouwer’s series Studies in Dogmatics, is “to offer concise, focused treatments of major topics in dogmatic theology that fill the gap between introductory theology textbooks and advanced theological monographs” (15). Holmes contribution, The Holy Spirit (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2015), certainly fits the bill and will therefore be of interest to those with some theological education who are looking to delve deeper into the area of pneumatology. Continue reading The Holy Spirit and Tradition
A recurrent theme which came up in the discussions surrounding my previous postings on John Howard Yoder’s Theology of Mission was the integral connection in Yoder’s thought between the medium and the message. This connection is made explicit in a couple of chapters where Yoder explores under the heading “Message and Medium” what could be described as the fundamental stance or posture of the missionary community. Yoder’s thoughts at this point are not simply for “professional missionaries” in faraway places, but for the people of God who are always in mission wherever they find themselves. Continue reading Presence and Servanthood