where evangelism would fit into missional

March 25, 2009

I must say that I haven’t followed the new quest for the missional church as closely as I maybe should have over the past few months. But I have wondered how long it’s going to be till the old evangelism vs. social justice thing flares up within the new missional conversation as well. That tension would probably still remain for quite some time. It’s been with us in the form of evangelicals vs ecumenicals in the past, I believe it it was partly responsible for the rift to form in the emerging conversation last year, and it might be visible in the missional conversation as well.

Dan Kimball talked about missional a few months ago, but seemed to identify this with evangelism. iMonk talked about missional just now, but seem to contrast it with evangelism,

Kimball:

As I think of the future, I want to focus on the reason I got into the whole emerging church world. It was about evangelism – as in seeing “lost” people (using that word in a healthy way) come to a saving knowledge of Jesus…

I am using “missional” more these days, although that term has different meanings too and knowing human tendencies that will prpbably go through definition changes.

iMonk:

If I ever get fired and I have the opportunity to go somewhere that there actually are some church choices, my first interest will not be liturgy or the Christian yearc. It will be “Is the church evangelistic?” My second will be “Is it missional?”…

Yes, I know about context, so go read the posts yourself.

Both work with Matthew 28. I was sitting reading chapter 2 of Transforming Mission just a few minutes ago, in preparation for a discussion on Thursday, which discuss the gospel according to Matthew. Bosch has unpacked this in a lot of places, but we need to get over the emphasizing evangelism over against other parts of mission, and vice versa! I still want to see whether missional can really become a conversation that use this broader vision of mission that Bosch unpacked in Transforming Mission, or whether some would again want to in nostalgic fashion grab onto the evangelical visions of the mid-20th century (see an earlier post on the Lausanne Covenent) and earlier and let this fill the meaning of what missional is about (obviously the same can be said about grabbing back to the ecumenical visions).

3 Responses to “where evangelism would fit into missional”

  1. Andries Louw Says:

    “we need to get over the emphasizing evangelism over against other parts of mission, and vice versa!” – amen to that brother! That is the crux of the matter – getting away from this spiritual vs material dualism. We need holistic ministry because the gospel is holistic by definition.

  2. Steve Says:

    The problem of where evengelism “fits in” is the problem of what is evangelism, and what is the good news that evangelism proclaims. A split between “evangelism” and “social justice” is based on false doctrine, and a false understanding of the content of the gospel, what the news is, and what is good about it.


  3. […] the mount, and the Great Commision. All of this was discussed. I made some comments on Matthew 28 two days ago, and wrote about Bosch’s interpretation of this passage in my dissertation last […]


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