01 August 2011

A Distinction between Missions and Mission

I was pointed to this quote today from Leslie Newbigin, and I found it a helpful distinction between words often confused.

"Mission is the entire task for which the Church is sent into the world. By 'missions' I mean those specific activities undertaken by human decisions to bring the Gospel to places or situations where it is not heard, to create a Christian presence in a place or situation where there is no such presence or no effective presence."
(Leslie Newbigin in "The Logic of Mission," p.20)

I don't think he is referring to proselytizing, rather he is recognizing that Christians do have a viable, authentic, and alternative way of living. This living is not over and against other cultures necessarily, rather it is recognizing the opportunity to: live peace into places of violence; work for freedom in places of slavery; restore dignity into places of marginalization; live in solidarity with those who are oppressed; etc. And the reason Christians can live that way is because of the life, death, and resurrection of Christ that provides a the hope, freedom, and strength to live life in such a way.

I know that is not an exhaustive list, but I'm just trying to wrap my head around this quote.

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