Transforming Mission. 4th of 4. The World Cannot End Like This.

David Bosch writes:

The Japanese character for “crisis” is a combination of the characters for “danger” and “opportunity” (or promise). Crisis is therefore not the end of opportunity but only its beginning (Koyama 1980:4). Danger and opportunity meet where events can go either way and the future is precarious.[2]

David Barrett has calculated that, in Europe and North America, an average of 53,000 persons are permanently leaving the Christian church from one Sunday to the next.[1]  You can see it here at a glance. The other crisis in our day is what Lamin Sanneh called “Christian Missions and the Western Guilt Complex.” You can read Lamin Sanneh’s illuminating article here. Lamin Sanneh writes that False Guilt has made church administrators feel like apologizing for sending missionaries to Asia and Africa and the Middle East. This false guilt syndrome is pretty widespread in mainline denomination offices. Max Warren, for many years General Secretary of the Church Missionary Society in Great Britain, referred to “a terrible failure of nerve about the missionary enterprise.” In some circles this has led to an almost complete paralysis and total withdrawal from missionary activity.[3] This cannot be how it ends, because, David Bosch writes, “Christian faith is intrinsically missionary.”[4]

Blincoe: Christian renewal will come, though not through what we normally call “church.” The wind will blow outside the four walls of our buildings. We won’t follow the pillar of fire of we stay inside with our hands raised. God will gather His people and send His people in new ways.

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References Cited

[1] David Jacobus Bosch, Transforming Mission: Paradigm Shifts in Theology of Mission (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 1991). 3. Citing David Barrett (1982:7)

[2] Ibid. 3

[3] Ibid. 6-7

[4] Ibid. 8. See page 9 for a profound set of “reasons” for the mission of the kingdom to go ahead.