Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Tonight we WRITE!

I'm stepping through the door tonight - I have an 8-10pg paper due tomorrow for my "Kingdom of God" class. When I had it in, I'll be officially done with the class. So in that sense, I'm stepping through a door in that class. But I'm also stepping through a door in what I'm doing. I'm going to write a paper that will draw heavily from what I've done in other classes, one in particular. I am going to seek to make a conection between the Kingdom of God and the Church.

Now, that's not all that profound. I've got John Fuellenbach and Howard A. Snyder to help me out with that. Both of whom we read for this class, particularly for our group presentation on Kingdom ethics last week. But, in reading them both, Fuellenbach spelling out the 3-fold Mission of the Church from Vatican II and Snyder's 5 points of Kingdom Consciousness, I believe there is one glaring omission. And here's where I'm going to step through the door. I'm going to contend that Lesslie Newbigin best explains this, particularly in his book 'Foolishness to the Greeks' What he does is emphasize the Church as a Sent Community. This isn't new, in fact I'm going to draw the connection from Luke 9:1-2 - Jesus CALLED the twelve together and GAVE them power over demons and SENT them out to PROCLAIM the Kingdom of God and to HEAL.

That's a paraphrase of course, but the key ingredients are there. The Church's (or called community's) relation to the Kingdom of God here is fairly well articulated. They are empowered and SENT to proclaim the Kingdom and then to heal and therefore live out the Kingdom. It's this aspect of being sent that is somewhat lacking in these other discussions. Now, would they disagree? I don't think so. But they don't say it so explicitly. And I think, especially today, it's important to do so. And it's important to articulate it in a good way. That's what I'm going to try to do with this paper.

So, stepping through this door is a way of integrating some stuff I've already done/read (Newbigin) with something I'm doing now. I'm hoping this will be good because when I leave here, integrating what I've learned before with what I'm doing now will be particularly pertinent. So, I'm off to write this paper. But I may need a short snooze first...

1 comment:

DennisS said...

Being a Missional church - that was one of my favorite courses. It seems the objective of the class is to make sure we aren't content with how things are.

I like where your heart is in this. Making it work is somewhat of a difficulty in a rich, industrialized context - where people are kept at arms length if their message isn't about how to make more money.

Having a "system" isn't nearly as important as having a guidance counselor - the Holy Spirit - and listening to that counselor.

Even in the traditional church structure there are so many who need a missionary to find them, proclaim Good News, and connect them personally to the Christ.

For this, I like "The Isaiah Vision" by Raymond Fung. The object of our efforts is life-change, on "what God wants to see happen in human community."