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Sunday, October 30, 2005

Morisy, A.(2004)Journeying Out: A New Approach to Christian Mission 

A must read....

Increasingly churches are running social projects. This might seem an excellent development, but we need to be careful that we don't allow the idea of 'needs meeting' to dominate our thinking. 'Needs meeting' as an organizing principle for the Church's social action fails to do justice to the radical and very practical teaching and example of Jesus.

Bosch began to articulate
a Holistic view of mission that included social action as an
essential component of mission. Bosch challenged the usual
understanding of purposeful mission, i.e. the proclamation of
and encouragement of people to acknowledge the salvation
brought by Jesus. He observed that the Church in the West
had become preoccupied with personal salvation, and
undervalued the actions and teaching that Jesus demonstrated
in his daily life. pp4

principle of obliquity pp 11

Bosch urges us to work for a closer interrelationship between social action and enabling people to embrace the Christian faith. Whilst intellectually we might assent to this it is more difficult to translate into action. Almost without exception our efforts to integrate work for justice with the recognition of Christ's unique saving power seems to drift into a sequential or consecutive process, with either social action or evangelism being treated as prior to the other. Pp12

Effective mission is not achieved by giving it focal awareness. Effective mission is a fruit - a gracious outcome of other factors working effectively and appropriately. This upends all our habits and assumptions. It means that effective mission is something that emerges as a result of looking and journeying outward rather than by means of a self-conscious and self-regarding process. Pp17

If people's minds and practice are dominated by a needs-meeting philosophy, then the outcomes of the ventures will be assessed in terms of.:- * the number of meals served;

* the number of 'bed-nights' offered '

* the number of rough sleepers using the facilities regularly;

* the number of asylum seekers;

* the number using the facilities in terms of gender and age;

* volunteers' perceptions of needs in addition to those of homelessness, for example mental illness, drug or alcohol addiction;

* clients' stated preference for type of accommodation;

* the needs the project fulfils in relation to the volunteers.

We have been slow to recognize that when people, motivated by venturesome love, embrace a struggle for the well-being of others, it can prompt a very graceful, and often unanticipated dynamic, a cascade of grace, and this dynamic should be the very thing that churches are seeking to generate. Pp32

With just these few illustrations it becomes possible to see the virtuous or Godly processes that can be set in train if we are prepared to see beyond a needs-meeting perspective. Pp34

Social Capital pp 47; 51

Jurgen Moltmann, like David Bosch, encourages a wide view of salvation. He writes, 'Salvation does not mean merely salvation of the soul, individual rescue from the evil of the world, comfort to the troubled conscience, but also the realization of the eschatological hope of justice, the humanizing of man, the socializing of humanity, peace for all creation. 25 In seeking to express and put into practice this fulsome view of salvation the Church has to take religious experience seriously because of its capacity to provoke an enhanced moral sense, as well as the awareness of God being alongside and accessible. Pp 170

On church signs
Find what works for you ...

* Explore wide perspectives on life and its challenges

* Values for your children

* Get involved in issues of concern

* join a truly diverse, accepting community

Call in now for a warm welcome

Pp 187

Task of helping people to develop a moral self pp205

Rebecca Anne Allahyari visions of charity 2000 uni of california

For the sake of the health of communities, faiths, civil society

and the Creation, the Church has three very urgent tasks:

* to provide encouragement and opportunity for people to develop or 'craft' a more moral self,

* to provide encouragement and opportunity for people to express fraternal relations beyond the limits of family, household or the like-minded;

* to provide opportunities for people to encounter the face of 'the other' and the face of Jesus that enables a journey towards Godly truth. Pp 211


Coe, J.(2001)The Rotters Club 



Laurie, H.(1996)The Gun Seller 

not a favourite


Friday, October 21, 2005

Murray, S (2005) Church after Christendom 

Murray, S (2005) Church after Christendom. Pasternoster

'Finding ways of speaking to the spirituality of a generation who do not come to church is not a matter of bringing them in, but of changing our understanding of the nature of Church itself.’ (` Richard Thornas, Counting People In: Changing the way we think about membership and the church (London: SPCK, 2003:14)

Finney, J 1992 Finding faith today sindon bible society

Warren, R (1996) Signs of Life:How goes the decade of evangelism? Church house

Booker, m and Ireland, M (2003) Evangelism – which way now? And evaluation of alpha, emmaus, cell church and other contemporary strategies for evangelism

Robinson, M and Smith, D (2003) Invading secular space: Strategies for tomorrow’s Church. Monarch

What kinds of churches might leavers rejoin not leave in the first place?

Churches where God is at the centre, rather than the minister, programme or growth targets.
Churches that nurture authentic friendships rather than insipid 'fellowship' or institutional belonging.
Churches that are self-critical, alert to destructive interpersonal dynamics and that are working towards healthy community practices.
Churches that treat adults as adults and encourage spiritual development rather than spoon-feeding their members.
Churches that foster dialogue rather than monologue and participation rather than performance.
Churches that welcome questions, eschew simplistic answers and affirm the dimension of mystery in authentic spirituality.
Churches that encourage expressions of doubt, anger and lament as well as joyful certainty.
Churches that are attuned to the pressures of daily life and do not place unrealistic demands on their members.
Churches that engage creatively and sensitively with contemporary culture and social issues.
Churches that equip members for the world of work and discipleship beyond the congregation.
Churches that embrace a holistic understanding of mission and have realistic expectations as marginal communities in post-Christendom.
Pp 55-56

Start! Cpas.org.uk

Warren, R (1995) Being Human, being church: spirtuality and mission in the local church. marshall

A paradigm shift is required. Mission is not an agenda item - it is the agenda. It is not something churches do, but a divine initiative in which churches participate. Mission, not church, is the starting point.

Missional language has become familiar. But using this liberally does not guarantee missional identity and, by itself, will not ensure the development of truly missional churches.' Nor will desperately adopting off-thepeg 'missional church' programmes. Post-Christendom churches need a missional ethos, expressed in their core values and nurtured in their corporate life. 137

Hopkins and Ling Mission-shaped church ????

Non-missional churches will not survive post-christiandom 146

The end of Christendom marks the collapse of a determined but ultimately futile attempt to impose Christianity rather than inviting people to follow Jesus 148

Becoming again a marginal mission movement means rejecting many attitudes and assumptions inherited from Christendom. The invitation is to return to our roots and recapture the subversive pre-Christendom dynamism that turned the world upside down from the margins.` Repositioning our churches - theologically, attitudinally and strategically - on the margins is essential. Resisting marginality will jeopardise our capacity to regroup and discover fresh ways of engaging with post-Christendom society. 155

What might this mean?

Assuming less knowledge of Christianity. Most process evangelism courses assume greater familiarity with Christian terminology and concepts than we can expect as memories of Christendom fade. Hugh McLeod warns: 'The decline of Christendom has meant that Christianity has been gradually losing its status as a lingua franca, and has tended to become a local language used by those who are professing Christians, but not understood by others.

Anticipating longer journeys towards faith. Most process evangelism courses move quickly towards assumptions that participants have embraced Christian faith and now need to be discipled. This is unsurprising since some evolved from courses written for new Christians, but in post-Christendorn evangelism and discipling will both take longer. Evangelism will start further back and move more slowly; induction will continue much further. Patience is essential for mission and community-building after Christendom.

Allowing others to set the agenda. Most process evangelism courses set the agenda for discussion. They may allow participants to ask other questions. but organisers assume they know which issues are most important and so refocus conversations on these. Such imposition demands less of the organisers but is inappropriate if we are 'playing away'. Engaging with the agendas of others and discovering gospel connections is more authentic. 155

Process evangelism and seeker-sensitive events represent advances on old-style evangelistic events or guest services, but they are still invitational rather than incarnational. The demise of Christendom requires a missional rather than evangelistic strategy….

…This approach to mission deliberately blurs the boundaries between evangelism and social action. Twentieth-century debates about these aspects of mission presupposed that a powerful church might abuse those for whom it provided practical support by imposing conditions on its largesse or practising covert evangelism. Post-Christendom churches will not be immune to this temptation, but three factors offer protection: they will be relatively powerless; they will more likely be partners than patrons; and most initiatives will foster empowerment, not dependency. This may liberate churches to engage in holistic, sensitive and unapologetic contextual mission. Pp 158

Morisey (1997) Beyond the Good Samaritan: Community Ministry and mission (mowbray)

one particular dimension of the gospel distorted by Christendom: it is good news to the poor. Marginal post-Christendom churches may rediscover a radical gospel that subverts condescending 'need-oriented evangelism' (that leaves unchallenged an unjust status quo) and reconnects evangelism with social justice. If the gospel is truly good news to the poor, we have not been preaching the gospel, for the rich and powerful have not found it disturbing and the poor have not found it liberating. 163


Monday, October 10, 2005

Riddell et.al. (2000), The Prodigal Project. SPCK 

Film Jesus of Montreal
M, Frost Jesus the Fool
Gabriel The Passion
Sue WallacePrayers for Digital Orthodox
corrs Forgiven, not forgotten
L'Apocalypse des animaux (vangelis)
Gabriel Zaar
We have discovered that people are coming to faith differently than they did a generation or so ago. At one time it seemed that people needed to be persuaded of the truth of the gospel, so thatthey believed and subsequently joined up with a church. Now it is much more common for someone to find a place amoung friendly people and hand out withthem for a while before raising any questions of 'belief' pp129


Friday, October 07, 2005

Newbigin, L (1986) Foolishness to the Greeks : The gospel and western culture. spck 

A bit of slog - easier reads now exist to understand the issues, but I could see the importance of this book on contemporary thought.

Issues of dichotomy explored in what he calls private and public world..

Here we must face frankly the distortion of the gospel that is perpetrated in a great deal that passes for missionary encounter. A preaching of the gospel that calls men and women to accept Jesus as Savior but does not make it clear that discipleship means commitment to a vision of society radically different from that which controls our public life today must be condemned as false. 132

The South African missiologist David Bosch has pointed out how much damage has been done by the usual English translation of dikaiosune as "righteousness" and the consequent insulation of an idea of inward and spiritual righteousness from an outward and manifest justice in social relationships. Spanish-speaking Christians are less tempted to fall into this trap because the one word justiia is universally used to translate dikaiosune. It is easy to see how the use of the two different English words righteous andjust for the single biblical word dikaios, and the consistent translation of dikaiosune in the New Testament as "righteousness" while the Hebrew equivalent tsedeq is translated both as 'Justice" and as "righteousness," has seduced evangelical Christians into a mental separation between righteousness as an inward and spiritual state and justice as an outward and political program. But to accept this dichotomy is to abandon the gospel and surrender to the pressure of our pagan culture. As we have seen over and over again in this study, this dichotomy between the private and the public worlds is the central clue to the ideology that governs our culture. To accept it is to make the surrender the early church refused to make-at the cost of the blood of countless martyrs. 132

To make disciples is to call and equip men and women to be signs and agents of God's justice in all human affairs. An evangelism that invites men and women to accept the name of Christ but fails to call them to this real encounter must be rejected as false. 133


Brown, D (2004) Digital Fortress 

Not his best. The subplot in spain was the best but very much like Da Vinci Code.


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