Saturday, April 18, 2009

Newbigin: where mission impetus fails

April 18, 2009

    All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth. People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own.
    -- Hebrews 11:13,14 (NIV)

    The conception of the Church which we tend to reproduce as the fruit of our missionary work is so much a replica of our own, so much that of a fundamentally settled body existing for the sake of its own members rather than that of a body of strangers and pilgrims, the sign and instrument of a supernatural and universal salvation to be revealed, that our missionary advance tends to follow the lines of cultural and political expansion, and to falter when that advance stops.
    ... Lesslie Newbigin (1909-1998), The Household of God, New York: Friendship Press, 1954, p. 166 (see the book)

Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, may we never reject truth for culture.

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