Tag Archives: Newbigin

Newbigin on the Challenge of Preaching Christ Today

In the 18th Joseph Smith Memorial Lecture delivered at Overdale College in Birmingham, England in 1979, published as a pamphlet under the title “Preaching Christ Today”, Lesslie Newbigin suggested that the crucial issue facing preachers today is discerning the proper relationship between Law and Gospel.  (Interestingly, this was also a pressing concern for Dietrich Bonhoeffer and his seminarians in the mid-30s.) Continue reading Newbigin on the Challenge of Preaching Christ Today

Kuyper Lecture: “Answering Lesslie Newbigin”

Yesterday, in the midst of a seminar on the life and work of the missiologist Lesslie Newbigin, one of my students directed me to the Kuyper lecture that was recently delivered by the New York City pastor and church planter Tim Keller.  Keller’s selection as this year’s Kuyper award winner had previously generated controversy among sections of Princeton’s constituency on account of his affiliation with the Presbyterian Church in America, which holds opposing views from the seminary’s denomination (PCUSA) on the question of the ordination of women and LGBT people.  (If you missed the controversy when it broke, you can read a couple of takes on it here or here.) Continue reading Kuyper Lecture: “Answering Lesslie Newbigin”

Series: Newbigin on “The Call to the Church” – 3. A Declericalized Theology

[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.”1  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

  1. Lesslie Newbigin, Foolishness to the Greeks: The Gospel and Western Culture (W.B. Eerdmans: Grand Rapids, 142.

Series: Newbigin on “The Call to the Church” – 2. A Christian Doctrine of Freedom

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.1 Continue reading Series: Newbigin on “The Call to the Church” – 2. A Christian Doctrine of Freedom

  1. Lesslie Newbigin, Foolishness to the Greeks: The Gospel and Western Culture (Grand Rapids: W.B. Eerdmans, 1986), 137-141.

Series: Newbigin on “The Call to the Church” – 1. Eschatology

The previous post set the stage for a series of posts on Lesslie Newbigin’s understanding, as presented in Foolishness to the Greeks, of the seven essential conditions that must be recovered if there is to be a genuine missionary encounter between the church and the modern West.  The first of these essential conditions, Newbigin asserts, “must be the recovery and firm grasp of a true doctrine of the last things, of eschatology.”1  Continue reading Series: Newbigin on “The Call to the Church” – 1. Eschatology

  1. Lesslie Newbigin, Foolishness to the Greeks: The Gospel and Western Culture (Grand Rapids: W.B. Eerdmans, 1986), 134.

Series: Newbigin on “The Call to the Church” – Introduction

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