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Issues Facing Missions Today 8: The Centrality of Christ in Missions, Theology, and Ethics

Issues Facing Missions Today 8: The Centrality of Christ in Missions, Theology, and Ethics
Sermon: 'The One Foundation, Jesus Christ our Lord' Text: Col. 2.6-15 Place: Oxford Centre for Mission Studies Date: 8 October, 2003
The following sermon, which I delivered 10 years ago, was delivered before an academic audience.  It is just as relevant today, engaging the very serious matter of keeping Christ central in all our work in missions, theology, and ethics.
Introduction:
Our text today, Col. 2.6-15, reminds me of the hymn of S. J. Stone, 'The Church's one foundation is Jesus Christ, her Lord.  She is his new creation by water and the word.'  An ancient text, a traditional hymn, and yet a timely word to challenges that we mission theologians face today.  That challenge, in a word, is to establish missions, theology, and ethics on one foundation, and only one foundation: Jesus Christ our Lord.
Paul's Rhetorical Situation in Writing Colossians:
Paul points out a certain ir…

Issues Facing Missions Today: 7. Church and Mission in Mt. 5.13-16

Issues Facing Missions Today: 7. Church and Mission in Mt. 5.13-16
Matthew 5:13-16 (NRSV)3 "You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how can its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything, but is thrown out and trampled under foot.  14 "You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid.  15 No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house.  16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.
Jesus’ first teaching on the Church’s mission in Matthew’s Gospel appears in Mt. 5.13-16.  In these four verses, we learn at least six things about the Church and its mission.  (1) Size does not matter.  (2) Character is critical for mission.  (3) Effectiveness comes because of purity. (4) Mission entails having something significant to offer the world—God’s reign.  (5) Mission inv…

Engaging the Bible in Mission Theology Scholarship: Bryant Myers' Walking With the Poor

Engaging the Bible in Mission Theology Scholarship: Bryant Myers' Walking With the Poor
This post is a book review of: Bryant Myers, Walking With the Poor: Principles and Practices of Transformational Development (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Press, 1999).  The book was revised and updated in 2011.
I originally published this review inTransformation 18.1 (2001):  62-64.
Bryant Myers, Vice President for International Program Strategy at World Vision International, seeks to bring together three streams of thinking and experiences in this recent work: (1) the theories, principles and practices of the international development community, (2) the theories, principles and practices of the Christian community involved in transformational development, and (3) a biblical framework for transformational development.  As such, the book is primarily theoretical, with a few examples from practice occurring more in the last three chapters.  Nevertheless, one quickly appreciates how the author’s understandi…