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Log In Sign Up. The Christology of Missions. Chris Caselton. The great commission is often cited as to why Christians should tell people about Jesus and the works that were done in his life Mt.


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This is a good launching point, but is lacking in why outside of a simple because Jesus said so. Arthur Glasser, along with many others, points out that both the Old and New Testaments are a part of what it is God calls people to do. This is to say that Jesus is a part of what missions should look like and not the only thing missions should be. The goal here is to explore what role Jesus Christ does play other than just the idea of being Jesus. It is defined in different ways making it impossible to explore any one Christology.

David Mathis states that missions are about working towards a whole world that is worshiping Jesus. Caselton 2 is adequate on a surface level but is lacking in explaining a deeper meaning. Dean Flemming sees missions as part of a semantic problem with the words mission, missions, missional, and evangelism as words that are often used interchangeably but should all stand alone as being slightly different.

He suggests that evangelism is more than just verbally communicating the gospel; stating that it should include deeds and examples as well as aiming to invite people to follow Christ. There are many different types of outreach that exist but here a few of them that are going to be generalized and addressed briefly, along with how Jesus is involved in them. The first of these is the simplest to consider. Inviting people to church is the most diluted interpretation of the great commission. The Bible is clear that followers of Christ should attend church but there must be more there than just being present Heb.

The idea of just bringing people to a weekly meeting is not what is commanded in the great commission. Jesus is not the focus when using this approach; without substantial follow-up, this type will very quickly slip into a neo-Protestant faith.

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This is not to say that there is anything inherently wrong about this 5 Dean E. Caselton 3 type of outreach but just that it cannot stand alone. This form is not only often fostered by but also forms a faith that can ultimately destroy any true Christian faith. This in turn, puts Jesus into a box who matches the profile of the individual.

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This Jesus is a person, like most humans, spending their life trying to find their purpose; ultimately having self-discovery on the cross. The first being that it does not tell anybody about Christ but rather points to a place where missions can take place instead of meeting the person where they are. The second of these reasons has already been addressed, that being, Jesus never commanded anyone to invite people to church. It is possible that people ascribing to this sort of outreach see Jesus the way someone would see any other historical person, being someone they know about but do not know personally.

Caselton 4 outreach then becomes irrelevant, meaning that Jesus can be taken out of the equation with the same result taking place.

This is a broad term to describe those outreach methods that focus on providing various services for people. This is often what is found within non-profit organizations but is also found in more traditional mission ministries. A need is identified and the group finds a way to help the situation; be it a food pantry, building houses, helping to write a resume, or one of many other needs. John Howard Yoder writes that this desire to fulfill simple needs has always been a part of missions. The type of missions that focuses primarily on fulfilling needs typically hold with high esteem the instances where Jesus states to take care of the poor and other disenfranchised i.

It also will typically consider the miracles that Jesus performed as he saw needs i. Lk , Mk , Jn The idea then becomes, that part of the way to show people God is to act like Jesus would act. What is lacking here is that this leads to wanting to be like Jesus which is not possible. Gayle Gerber Koontz et al. Caselton 5 Jesus not with Jesus.

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Finish the Mission (Bringing the Gospel to the Unreached and Unengaged)

This is not to say that taking care of people is not Biblical because there are plenty of times that it is referred to i. It also can be argued that Jesus did tell people to take care of others by telling the story of people not taking care of him when he was in need Mt. This story suggests that Christians are called to take care of those in need but does leave it up for interpretation.

It is also plausible that the reason Jesus does not talk a lot about taking care of these people is based on his command to not help people for glory but rather because it is what is right Mt. Lack of commands also can be connected to the theory of the Messianic Secret that runs throughout the book of Mark, that being Jesus telling followers to not tell anybody what they saw. This same theory can help to bring Jesus back into the idea of these service missions.

Fulfilling various needs for seemingly no reason serves to demonstrate the love of Christ without having to tell people about it.

Part of the Messianic Secret theory suggests that by not telling people they will naturally wonder why, 13 Ibid. Caselton 6 which will eventually lead to asking questions, opening the chance to explain salvation.


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Though there is much speculation involved that relies on doing what has always been done, these service missions do put Jesus in the center. Paul writes quite frequently about the mission of reaching new people and often says it is because that is what Jesus has commanded. In these types of missions Christians are trying to demonstrate what they believe to be truth without forcing mandatory systems. This allows people to accept the works of Christ without being told what to believe. What nearly happens here is a Word-flesh look at Jesus Christ, which was what Paul originally seems to have believed.

We learn to deal with challenges along the way: temptation; wrong thoughts and motives; habits t With excitement and profound insight, seasoned prophetic leader Lou Engle sho In a world increasingly indifferent to Christian truth, followers of Christ need to be equipped to communicate with those who do not speak their language or accept their source of authority.

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Just a few steps to make an eternal difference. It has nothing to do with methods and everything to do with taking a Renowned scholar William Lane Craig offers a readable, rich training manual for defending the Christian faith. This concise guide is filled with illustrations, sidebars, and memorizable steps to help Christians stand their ground and defend their fa Mark grew up in an atheistic home, and after his father's death, b What kind of journey will it be? How can biblical authority be a reality for those shaped by the modern world? This book treats the First World as a mission field, offering a unique perspective on the relationship between the gospel and current society by presenting an outsider's v When you truly embrace the gospel, you immediately become a participator in the beautiful plan of God, whether you realize it right away or later on maybe while reading a chapter like this.

He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure. He heard me. And what did he do? He acted. He came down into the pit I was in. He reached out and he lifted me up. And he set my feet on a rock. Far too many Christians put a period right there and say, Isn't that awesome?

I was in such bad shape, and Jesus reached down and brought me out. And look what he did. He put my feet on a rock, and that's awesome.