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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…