The church “must equip its members for active and informed participation in the public life of society in such a way that the Christian faith shapes that participation” Truth to Tell: Gospel as Public Truth
The church “must equip its members for active and informed participation in the public life of society in such a way that the Christian faith shapes that participation ” Truth to Tell: Gospel as Public Truth
". . . a farmer who farms his land but neglects to say his prayers will be certainly condemned by Christians as failing in his duty. But a farmer who says his prayers, and allows weeds, bad drainage, or soil erosion to spoil his land, is failing in his primary duty as a churchman. His primary ministry in the total life of the body of Christ is to care rightly for the land entrusted to him. If he fails there, he fails in his primary Christian task"
Key questions: How does this make you feel? Do you agree with Newbigin - why or why not? What could you do to respond to the call (assuming you agree with it!)? How can we find God’s creational intent for the different areas of life? What tools/ resources would you need to do it? What could we do as church to facilitate this? What are the areas you are most interested in?
If the gospel is to challenge the public life of our society, if Christians are to occupy the “high ground” which they vacated in the noon time of “modernity,” it will not be by forming a Christian political party, or by aggressive propaganda campaigns. ... It will only be by movements that begin with the local congregation in which the reality of the new creation is present, known, and experienced, and from which men and women will go into every sector of public life to claim it for Christ, to unmask the illusions which have remained hidden and to expose all areas of public life to the illumination of the gospel. But that will only happen as and when local congregations renounce an introverted concern for their own life, and recognise that they exist for the sake of those who are not members, as sign, instrument, and foretaste of God’s redeeming grace for the whole life of society. The Gospel in a Pluralist Society
Lesslie Newbigin's understanding of mission Mission: all of life bears witness to the gospel Jesus: “As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” God's people are a sent people - we can distinguish certain aspects • Evangelism as words • Deeds, mercy and justice • Missions • Various callings in culture The latter he saw as the primary witness .
It's not (just) • Evangelism at work • Personal ethics - don't steal rubber bands; don't cheat on taxes; don't commit adultery with your secretary etc.
It is: • Living out God's creational intent for those areas of creational life It's the primary witness, but it is the most neglected. It is also one of the hardest things to put into effect.