‘I Am Making All Things New’. Michael Goheen Redeemer University College Ancaster, Canada. Theme. ‘I am making all things new’. If we are to understand this word from God we must hear them in three contexts:. The context of the whole biblical story
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Redeemer University College
‘I am making all things new’
'The way we understand human life depends on what conception we have of the human story. What is the real story of which my life story is a part?’ (Lesslie Newbigin).
- Bartholomew and Goheen, Story and Biblical Theology, p.152
- Chris Wright, Mission as a Matrix, p.103-104
Sent with the gospel of the kingdom
to make disciples of all nations,
to feed the hungry,
to proclaim the assurance that in the name of Christ
there is forgiveness of sin and new life
for all who repent an believe–
To tell the news that our world belongs to God.
In a world estranged from God,
where millions face confusing choices,
this mission is central to our being,
for we announce the one name that saves.
The rule of Jesus Christ covers the whole world.
To follow this Lord is to serve him everywhere,
without fitting in,
as lights in the darkness,
as salt in a spoiling world. (CT, 44, 45)
. . . I do want to argue for the theological priority of God’s mission. Fundamentally, our mission (if it is biblically informed and validated) is our committed participation, at God’s invitation and command, in God’s own mission in the world through history.
- Wright, Mission as Matrix, p.104
‘These visions construct a counter-narrative disputing the imperial one, opening up a different way of seeing the world.’
- Richard Bauckham, Bible and Mission, p.104
Revelation provides ‘the vision of an “alternative world” in order to encourage the Christians and to enhance their staying power in the face of persecution and possible execution.’
- Johannes Nissen, New Testament and Mission, p.147
‘The demand laid on the Christians addressed in the book is an unconditional loyalty to the one side in the vast, unseen struggle between the cosmic powers that is occurring or is imminent. There is no room for compromise—no benign acceptance of meat in an unbeliever’s home, no undefiling commerce—or a “lukewarm” response. It is a time for “witnessing”, which can lead to death (as for Antipas, 2:13).’
- Johannes Nissen, New Testament and Mission, p.149
‘The Christians are to proclaim the good news of universal salvation to the world, and their pulpit is a heroic refusal to compromise with a system they see as aligned with the forces of sin and death.’
- The Biblical Foundations for Mission, Senior and Stuhlmueller, p. 305
‘The Church was engaged in a life-and- death struggle with the world, the flesh, and the Devil; and there could be no compromise with any of the three. The Church’s public witness to Christ would have no significance if its inner life were already occupied by other gods.’
- D.T. Niles, As Seeing the Invisible, p.16, 21
Jesus has not left us with a rigid modelfor action; rather he inspired his disciples to prolong the logic of his own action in a creative way amid the new and different historical circumstances in which the community would have to proclaim the gospel.
‘What do we really need in order to recognize and to resist this new metanarrative of globalization? Surely a story that counters the global dominance of the profit-motive and the culture of consumption with a powerful affirmation of universal values? But the Christian metanarrative can adopt this role only if it resists becoming a tool of the forces of domination.’ [p.97]