This paper explores the role that Christian mission had in the development of Victorian Imperialism. (more…)
Archive for the ‘Missiology’ Category
Tags: A Level History, British Empire, British India, History, Robert Clive
Matthew Parris is an atheist, and so gives this insight to something that is meaningful and effective because people care.
Before Christmas I returned, after 45 years, to the country that as a boy I knew as Nyasaland. Today it’s Malawi, and The Times Christmas Appeal includes a small British charity working there. Pump Aid helps rural communities to install a simple pump, letting people keep their village wells sealed and clean. I went to see this work. (more…)
The office is now open to receive hardcopy of your module assignment:
The student will produce a 3000 word assignment entitled: What are the Biblical Foundations of Mission? The assignment will comprise a) an introduction to the theme of “The Bible as a Mission Book”, b) a cumulative summary of the mission emphasis from each section of the Bible; c) a critique of Glasser d) a Bibliography
Glasser, Arthur. Announcing the Kingdom. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Books, 2003.
ADDED NOTE: It has been suggested that your critique of Glasser might serve as an introduction to the assignment and this is completely acceptable.
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you travel about on sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves,” Matthew 23:15.
An article by Terry Seufferlein http://www.ovc.edu/missions/jam/pharisee.htm
Jesus’ denunciation of the Pharisees comes in the middle of an entire chapter of Matthew’s gospel in which Jesus criticizes the practices of the Pharisees. Such harsh criticism merits serious attention and this attention has resulted in several different ideas concerning the passage. (more…)
Here’s the forthcoming lecture outline for paul-on-mission.ppt : a gentle introduction to a massive subject:)
O’Brien’s thesis is that the apostle Paul is not only an example to be emulated in regards to his goals, attitudes, and behavior as a Christian, but Paul is also a “missionary paradigm.” The apostle, in his preaching and teaching the gospel to the nations, is the norm, the standard, the model/example for the church and her missionaries today.
As the book’s title indicates, the author supports his thesis by a careful, exegetical analysis of several passages in the epistles of Paul. O’Brien begins with a study of Galatians 1:11-17 and Ephesians 3:1-13. He concludes on the basis of the Galatians passage that the origin of the gospel Paul preached was not man, nor was Paul taught the gospel, but it came from God’s revelation to him. God was the Revealer and Christ was the content of the gospel Paul preached. Paul’s authority, therefore, lay in the fact that God set him apart before birth and graciously called him to preach to the Gentiles.
The author points out that according to the Ephesians passage God made known to Paul “the mystery of Christ,” viz., that the Gentiles would be gathered into the church and with the Jewish Christians be altogether one body, one church. Whether this is the proper exegesis of “the mystery of Christ” is open to question. “The mystery of Christ” may very well be a reference to the gospel itself. The gospel is the “mystery of Christ” in the sense that it can only be understood by the gracious work of the Holy Spirit in the hearts of God’s people. At any rate, the statement that God made known to Paul that the Gentiles would be gathered into the one church is certainly true. Further, God commissioned the apostle to preach this mystery to the Gentiles. God did this in His grace to Paul. God thus enabled the apostle to carry out the work. In Paul’s work God was fulfilling the promise made centuries earlier to Abraham, “in thee shall all nations be blessed.”
In his discussion of the subject, “The Amazing Success of Paul’s Mission” (pp. 27-51), O’Brien finds Romans 15:14-33 teaching several “distinguishing marks of Paul’s mission.” There was the “priority of God’s grace” in Paul’s missionary career. God’s grace provided the source and power for the whole course of the apostle’s ministry. The content of that ministry was “the priestly duty of proclaiming the gospel of God.” The purpose of Paul’s ministry was that “the offering of the Gentiles might be acceptable to God.” This clearly implies that Paul’s ministry was “out in the world” and designed “for the obedience of the nations.” This missionary calling was fulfilled by what Christ accomplished through Paul by word and deed and by the power of signs and wonders by the Holy Spirit. The results of Paul’s work were extraordinary, for he affirms that Christ’s dynamic activity through him led to the result “that from Jerusalem, and round about unto Illyricum, I have fully preached the gospel of Christ” (Rom. 15:19). And finally there is the distinguishing mark of Paul’s ministry that he had an all-consuming passion to proclaim the gospel where Christ had not been acknowledged or worshiped. This last feature was in fulfillment of the prophecy of Isaiah, chapter 52, verse 15.
Are these “distinguishing marks of Paul’s missionary activity” unique to the apostle and, therefore, not to be applied directly to the endeavors of contemporary missionaries, as O’Brien contends? In a sense this is true, but in another sense it is not. The apostolic office belongs to the very foundation of the church (Eph. 2:20). God inspired the apostles. But surely Christ still accomplishes the work of gathering the church out of the nations by means of the ordained ministry of the church. And God’s grace is the source and power of this missionary work today just as well as in Paul’s day.
There is a good bit of repetition in chapters 3-5, where O’Brien treats the subjects: “The Logic of Paul’s Gospel” (Rom. 1:1-17), “Paul’s Ambition and Ours” (I Cor. 9:19-23; 10:31-11:1), and “The Pauline Great Commission” (Eph. 6:10-20). This repetition is especially true of O’Brien’s discussion of the goal of Paul’s ministry, the content of his preaching, and the purpose of the gospel Paul preached. The author could better have blended this material with his exegesis and theological analysis of the passages treated in the first two chapters of the book. He does make, however, two very important points in these chapters. 1) “The saving power of the gospel needs to be understood against the background of man’s terrible plight outside of Christ” (p. 75), and 2) Paul’s ambition to “by all means save some” by being a “slave to all” and by “being all things to all men” must be the ambition of the church and her missionaries today.
Chapter 6, as its title, “Concluding Remarks,” indicates, is a summary of O’Brien’s exegesis and theological analysis of the several selected passages from the epistles of Paul.
To anyone familiar with the epistles of Paul there is nothing new in this book. Nevertheless, the point that we must derive both our missionary principles and practice from sacred Scripture and especially from the ministry of the apostle Paul certainly bears emphatic repeating in our day. This, not secular, cultural anthropology, must be where Christ’s church begins, continues, and ends in her striving to be obedient to her Lord, who said, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen” (Matt. 28:19-20).
This week’s seminar was intended to cover the gospels, but it’s just all too interesting! Instead we will consider matthew_s-view-of-mission.ppt and do our best to make up the time later. Thank you for the biblical material appearing on your weblogs now. I’m looking forward to reading your reviews of Glasser.
mission-in-the-psalms.doc Here’s the lecture notes for the forthcoming session on Mission in the Psalms.
Make sure that you are up to date with your own reading (Glasser should be finished by now) and writing (by next week you should each have five missiology papers posted on your blog.
A number of queries about the assignments which should be completed by Christmas, so just a quick post to check that we’re all singing from the same hymnsheet(!). (more…)
I have been reading an article for the Missiology classentitled, The Biblical Foundation of the Mission of the Church by Robert Dobbie 1962. Dobbie does a wonderful job of setting the context for the Jewish idea of the coming Messiah. He states:
The dreams of the new Kingdom included the religious centrality of Jerusalem, the political significance of Israel, the return of many Jews of the dispersion to their homeland, and a triumph over traditional foes. (Page 197)
Dobbie also pointed out how an errant idea of the true Messiah and the structure of Temple worship led to a non-missionary theology. Sadly enough, a misunderstanding of the true Messiah and the structure and or content of our worship can, does, and always will lead to a non-missionary theology.
But Dobbie does not let the nation of Israel off easy:
Even if the Jewish Church as a whole, in most of its history, failed to develop a missionary soul, much of its teaching, many of its insights, and not a few of its spokesmen worthily represent a claim to which no missionary cause can be indifferent. (Page 200-201)
I appreciate this word on so many levels. First, as I stated, it does not let Israel off the hook, so to speak. Granted revelation was progressive, but they had the bare understanding of what God desired and what He demanded from all of His creation. I would point you to the Abrahamic Covenant, particular Psalms, and several passages in Isaiah.
Dobbie also does an excellent job of pointing to the fact that revelation was progressive and illustrates this with what the prophets preached, and expected from their preaching.
[The OT prophets] made the ethical response of the people focal to its fulfilment or continuance. In particular they linked this manifold concept of righteousness to the necessity and the availability of forgiveness, on the explicit understanding of repentance as its indispensable precondition. (Page 202)
Dobbie then moves to sum up this article this way:
Thus it would appear that the positive marks of an authentic gospel, even in the Old Testament, are to be found, not in the history of the nation as a whole, nor in the witness of the Church as a totality, but in the faith and insight and loyalty of a few – a spiritual remnant – whose committal to their own convictions has foreshadowed and foretold the coming of Jesus Christ and whose life has been a worthy and in the main a compelling adumbration of that incarnate life which involves or should involve irresistible missionary response. (Page 204)
All in all, again, I enjoyed and appreciate his article. I am not sure if I can put my .pdf copy up here on the web for you. But if you want it and cannot find it, email me and we will see what can be done. I would encourage you to find this article and read it…it is one for the reference shelf.
Here is yesterday’s powerpoint outline mission-in-the-prophets.ppt.
Make every effort to get hold of the textbook Announcing the Kingdom and get reading ready for your book review; keep posting up to date (Pentateuch/ Historical Books/ Prophets summaries are now due on the websites).