Sunday, 9 May 2010

For the Sake of the World: A Missional Ecclesiology

Prof. Mike Goheen will be delivering a public lecture on Missional Church at the Presbyterian Theological Centre, Tuesday 25th May, 2:00-3:15pm. Lecture and Q&A followed by afternoon tea. Cost: $10 visitors, free for PTC students.

Prof. Goheen is Professor of Worldview and Religious Studies, Trinity Western University, Langley, BC, Canada. He operates the Scripture & Worldview website along with Craig Bartholomew. You can access his resume at that website.

"Missional Church" involves the application of missiology - the study of missions - to ecclesiology - the study of church. Basically, it assumes that church should be, in its very nature, "missional" - outward focused, engaging the world. Church must not be just for insiders, but also for outsiders.

I would say that I'm in favour of missional church, in that I agree with the above statement. I hold that church - the people of God, in relationship with God and each other - exists not just for themselves and God, but also "for" the world. I basically hold this because I hold that:
  1. the God we worship as church is God, not only of the church, but of the whole world;
  2. Jesus died for the "whole world" in the sense that the offer of salvation through faith in Christ is offered to all people everywhere indiscriminately; and
  3. part of ordinary Christian discipleship is to love not just God and each other but the whole world.
Of course there's lots of nuances within missional church, and a lot of variation in how it's applied. Might blog some excerpts from an essay I wrote late last year. And I'll put up my thoughts on what Prof. Goheen says. Watch this space.

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