I’m teaching a D.Min seminar this week which means I haven’t had much time for blogging. Being in this seminar has produced several clarifying thoughts and issues within the missional church for me. There was also a gathering of missional church people in Hyde Park last Saturday that produced some important clarifying conversations. As a result, I have more posts in the queue than ever. So I’ll be back at it next week!
In the meantime, I offer this quote that appeared at the header on an article we handed out yesterday by Hauerwas. It’s a quote by John Howard Yoder. It provides some food for thought.
The political novelty that God brings into the world is a community of those who serve instead of ruling, who suffer instead of inflicting suffering, whose fellowship crosses social lines instead of reinforcing them. The new Christian community in which the walls are broken down not by human idealism or democratic legalism but by the work of Christ is not only a vehicle of the gospel or only a fruit of the gospel; it is the good news. It is not merely the agent of mission or the constituency of a mission agency. This is mission. (Yoder, Royal Priesthood, 91)
How do we lead a church into being this? That’s the subject of this D Min.
This quote heads an article where Hauerwas is trying to show that the church cannot be de-materialized in mission. In other words, we must be careful when we say “missiology precedes ecclesiology” lest we think the church is a mere pragmatic enterprise. We cannot devise a technique to lead us into being this (the church in mission). Hauerwas would rather say not “missiology precedes eccelsiology” but “missiology is ecclesiology” and of course, “ecclesiology is missiology.” In other words, there are certain practices given to us by Christ that shape us as a people that God inhabits incarnationally through the Spirit to in essence extend His presence into the world where He is already bringing in His Kingdom. I remain fascinated by this line of thought and am continuing to work it out in our seminar this week.
Blessings, I’ll be back on the blogging rhythms next week. (P.S. Due to some students who had to drop out last week, we’re letting in a few more into the D Min Missional program, if you’re interested check out this link.
P.S. The article by Hauerwas is “Beyond Boundaries: the Church is Mission” in Walk Humbly With the Lord: Church and Mission Engaging Plurality edited by Viggo Mortensen and Andreas Nielson