Missio Dei – A Further Reflection

I have just read Mission Shaped Church: A Theological Response by John M. Hull and he has some interesting things to say about the missiology of Mission Shaped Church.

Christian Mission is not a mission of the church; but church itself is a feature of mission.  The mission is God’s mission.  God as Father, Son and Spirit turned toward the world that God has made in mercy and compassion, the world in which God has created life.

Hull obviously comes to Mission Shaped Church with a preconceived concept of church as vehicle of mission as opposed to the results of mission.  This is in contrast to MSC’s call to church planting and the building of Christian communities.  Whilst I think that Hull is correct in his assertion, the MSC report was a starting point rather than an end point.  In that sense it has called people for the first time to examine what it means to be “church”.  This was the springboard.  The question is will it still be relevant in 25 years time or will it disappear like Faith in the City?

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2 Responses

  1. American writer/theologian/planter David Fitch has had some interesting discusion regarding this issue on his blog http://www.reclaimingthemission.com in terms of the phrase “Missiology needs to precede ecclesiology” he comes to the conclusion that it would be better to say that ecclesiology is missiology.

  2. That is a great link and a resource I had not come across before.

    I suspect that people like boxes too much and that is where the confusion lies. If we call one missiology and one ecclesiology we manage to divorce the two.

    One of the problems I see with the emerging church is the desire to divorce everything from “the church”. This leads us to a situation where everyone is a free radical floating around doing their own thing and no one has to engage with the harder issue of forming community. I think this is where the trend towards a new form of urban monasticism has a wonderful thing to contribute to all things emerging!

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