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The Problem with Mission

It would seem we are at a cross road in terms of how we understand mission in a post-Christendom age where the secular agenda aggressively asserts itself at the expense of the Christian church. The dilemma is simply this, we end up theologizing the daylights out of a missiology we are yet to clearly define, or we adopt a pure pragmatism and jump on board whatever we think may work to "save the church".


There has to be a better way. We need to recapture a missiology that is fundamentally praxis is orientation. In other words, we need to intentionally develop a discourse between the theology of mission and the practice of mission, allowing each to shape and define the other. But how do we do that when we are consumed with endless debates about doctrinal matters that appear irrelevant to the world in which we live?


Perhaps we need to return to the Scriptures and rediscover the praxis of Jesus mission, and then explore how that work out in the multiplicity of ways through the New Testament church. The first part, one would imagine, is relatively simple. The second part is a little more complex, and made increasingly complex especially when we try to determine if there was any single model by which this occurred in the 1st century church. The unity of the church in this period was the Gospel lived out in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. The diversity is seen as this is organically explored and expressed in the various churches established by the Apostles. The exciting part is the way the discourse took place between the unifying message of the Gospel and the organic interpretations and applications of the local church.


So this should be out path, identify the missiological praxis of Jesus, as seen in the Gospels themselves, and then explore how this worked out in the New Testament communities. Surely such a discourse can only serve to empower any modern attempts at a missiological discourse between theology and practice. The goal here is not to define a template, but to comprehend the discourse as a means of empowering our discourse for our time and space of being church in the 21st century.


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