Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Re Mission

Paul Fromont muses on the Prodigal Kiwi blog:

If the church according to St. Paul is the "new creation"; if Lesslie Newbigin has emphatically said, “the Church is the hermeneutic of the Gospel ” and as Andrew [Perriman] writes, “The church is the medium of its message”, what is the actual on-the-ground message that the church in the West largely conveys? Or, perhaps more to the point, what are the messages (pl) the church (and churches) conveys, and to what degree are these both hermeneutically and credibly aligned to the gospel and yet also critiqued and challenged by God’s “good news” embodied and enacted in Jesus of Nazareth, by means of the filling of the Spirit…? And, for that matter, is it actually possible for the church to get out of the way of the unfolding drama of God’s purposes for all of creation?

And while we're mentioning Andrew Perriman, here's some notes about his 2007 book (which I've only just caught up on - it came out in the interim between my leaving OC Books and arriving at National Mission)

Re:Mission: Biblical Mission for a Post-Biblical Church was published by Paternoster in their ‘Faith in an Emerging Culture’ series. The book builds on the argument of The Coming of the Son of Man but broadens the scope of its historical-realist narrative to embrace an understanding of ‘mission’ that arises out of the summons to Abraham to be the progenitor of a creational microcosm, a world-within-a-world, an authentic humanity.

The green-tinged picture of an escalator on the cover alludes to Jesus’ suggestive remark to Nathanael about the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of man. To Perriman’s mind it is an image that captures marvellously the intersection of the Bible’s two defining narratives: one about the vocation of a people to recover the original blessing as God’s new creation amid the nations and cultures of the world; the other about the rescue of that people through the suffering and vindication of the Son of man and the community that associates itself with him during a period of eschatological crisis. It is out of that clash of stories that we must fashion a sense of identity and purpose for the post-Christendom era.

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