Ecumenism, Mission and Evangelisation Northampton Diocese Ecumenical Commission What is the gospel we share? A presentation by Jim Currin, Church Army Captain, Secretary for Evangelisation Churches Together in England
Aim of the day: to find a new compass for Ecumenism, mission and evangelisation in 2012
‘Compass’ is the ‘Gospel’ • Four books of the Bible • Sunday reading • Message of salvation • ‘swear gospel truth’ • Doctrine • Preaching • Good news • Etc
What is the gospel we share? Answers on a post card please ... The gospel message is ...
Text from 40 cards = www.wordle.netwww.jesus360.org.uk (RC Northampton)
Compare with ‘FPE Conference’ www.wordle.netwww.jesus360.org.uk (FPE Conference)
Premise – • 300 books • Protestant ‘systematic theology’ • Catholic St Paul ‘primary source EC’ • Mar Thoma: St Paul the ‘architect’ • Missionary Methods: St Paul’s or Ours? • ‘Conversion’, and ‘being saved’ language Even: ... ‘born again’ used to fit Pauline structure ... the western church has largely inherited St Paul’s model of mission and evangelisation:
Premise seen in - • Church • Language • Letters • Theology • Structure • Sermons • Etc Discuss ‘Past and Present’ / ‘Right / wrong’?
St Paul’s gospel explanation • ‘Gospel .. Regarding his son’ Rom 1:3 • ‘power of God for salvation’ Rom 1:16 • ‘Delivered to death for our sins and raised to life for our justification’ Rom 4: 25 • ‘Wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ’ Rom 6:23 • ‘Grace given you in Christ Jesus’ 1Cor 1:4 • ‘sent .. To preach the gospel’ 1Cor 1:17 • ‘we preach Christ crucified .. Christ the power of God’ 1 Cor 1:24 Q – who were the words written for?
‘Paulin – ism’ Frost + Hirsch ‘Shaping’ p112/3 • Preaching and church planting • Church pattern and order • Theology to Early Church • Etc, so Paul = architect BUT: who is the rock? What are the great theological / missiological themes which St Paul explored, shaped, presented and handed down to us?
Paul’s great theological themes: • Redemption • Justification • Sanctification • Salvation • Election • Etc >>> Add?
NB: Evangelisation / experience • Parents • Osmosis • Conversion • Pastoral • Counselling • Vision • Healing • Etc Q – what was Paul’s experience? Ergo?
Examples of St Paul as norm • Roland Alan ‘Missionary Methods’ • CH Dodd ‘Apostolic Preaching’ • John Finney: Emerging Evangelism • The Biblical Foundation for Mission Arguments for Paul > Jesus x4 ‘Almost all of Jesus’ universal commissions found int he Gospels are presented as post-Easter contexts....Thus the Gospels do not offer strong evidence that during his lifetime Jesus of Nazareth engaged in an explicitly universal mission, no did he so commission his disciples’ p142
Start from different place? • Scripture • Tradition • Reason • Experience • Holy Spirit • Kingdom • Old Testament • Jesus • Incarnation • Crucifixion • Resurrection Q - your starting place?
Different place = Gospels Task to find: The gospel – in the Gospels Q – What is the message of Jesus? A new compass for ecumenism, mission and evangelisation?
NB: Paul points to Jesus • ‘Follow me’ Mt 4:19 • ‘Blessed a re the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven’ Mt 5:3 • Ask and it will be given to you’ Mt 7:7 • ‘Take up your cross’ Mt 16: 24 • ‘Your sins are forgiven’ Mark 2:5 • ‘Go, sell what you own, and give the money to the poor’ Mk 10: 17-20 • etc Q – who were the words written for? A – John 20: 30, 31.
Introduce ‘360’ - not a formula 360 used in: • Pictures • Interview • Antivirus • Xbox • Digger • ADD … • Jesus 360?
Lessons from the Master • Bill Hybells: Contagious Christian • Martin Hengel: composite Gospel • James M Robinson: Q • Tom Wright: ‘For everyone’ • Robin Gamble • Pope Benedict XVI .... etc
360 jigsaw • Pieces to big picture • From all four Gospels • Removing duplicates • Listing ‘as given’ words of Jesus • Taking ‘top 50’ • Looking at all facets • Possible answers to question: ‘what must I do to inherit eternal life’.
‘Jesus 360’ • All angles • All directions • Contradictory • Paradoxical > Experience of paradox? > Faith Development / stages of faith >> Cyprian Smith, The Way of paradox. DLT
Gospel - exciting adventure Paradox Paradox Paradox Paradox Paradox Paradox Paradox in the Gospel?
The ‘360 Gospel of Jesus’ Jesus model is not ‘one size fits all’. Just like the facets of a diamond it depends on the angle as to what you see: • ‘Repent and believe’ • ‘Follow me’ • ‘You must be born again’. • ‘Give away your goods to the poor’ • ‘Take up your cross’ • etc Add?
Gospel in the Gospels • Q: What must I do? Answer x2! • Read all 4 Gospels • Lose duplicates • List all possible ‘answers’ (84) • Eliminate to get ‘top 50’ • Add all texts to www.wordle.net >> What are possible texts? NB: accept text out of context = pretext, BUT argument from Pope Benedict XVI in Jesus of Nazareth about ‘historical criticism’ method
Word picture of ‘top 50 texts’ Q - What does this ‘word cloud’ say to us about the gospel?
Headlines counted in ‘top 50 texts’ Repentance of sin (x16) Follow and love me (x13) Live a righteous life (x8) Care for others (x8) Believe and trust for eternal life (x13) Q – How close to St Paul? Q – Implications for ecumenism, mission / evangelisation?
The compass = the gospel in the Gospels Principles: Three stories Their story and God’s story > my story What they hear is more important than what I say At appropriate time, name the name of Jesus Don’t point finger – Jesus didn’t The motivation, and the gift, is love John 3:16 ‘gospel in a nutshell’
Ecumenism and Evangelisation • Paradox of unity (Vine / branches) • Growth at the edge • Adventure ‘people / God’ • Look to Jesus ‘pioneer and perfecter’
Facets of the gospel – for all • Their need > ours • Prayer, Care, Share ... dare! • Name the name of Jesus • Individualise the message PLAY You tube video J John: ‘He is the one’
Inherited evangelism model? • Preaching • Bible bashing • Pressure • Judgement
New evangelism model? • Three relationships: Ecumenism? Mission? Evangelisation? God You Me Sharing faith the Jesus way: Bible Reading Fellowship
Mission together - principle Christ's intercessory (high priestly) prayer ‘I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.' John 17: 20b,21.
Swanwick Declaration 1987 'It is our conviction that, as a matter of policy at all levels and in all places, our churches must now move from co-operation to clear commitment to each other, in search of the unity for which Christ prayed and in common evangelism and service of the world'.
Prayer of Churches Together Lord God, we thank youFor calling us into the companyOf those who trust in ChristAnd seek to obey his will.May your Spirit guide and strengthen usIn mission and service to your world;For we are strangers no longerBut pilgrims together on the way to your Kingdom.Amen
Five Marks of Mission • To proclaim the good news of the Kingdom • To teach, baptise and nurture new believers • To respond to human need by loving service • To seek to transform unjust structures of society • To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of earth.
Five Marks of Unity • Working together • Mutual accountability • Visible unity • Whole inhabited earth • Coming kingdom of God
Missiodei : the 'mission of God'. The missiologist David Bosch is often quoted as saying: 'mission is not primarily an activity of the church, but an attribute of God. God is a missionary God'. (David Bosch in Transforming Mission, Maryknoll: Orbis Books 1991. p 389/310).
The Lund Principle Since the World Faith and Order conference at Lund in 1952, the churches have been asked whether they 'should not act together in all matters except those which deep differences of conviction compel them to act separately? The question is sometimes asked the other way round!
Churches Together in England 'Churches Together in England is a visible sign of the churches commitment as they seek a deepening of communion with Christ and one another, and proclaim the Gospel together by common witness and service. It's strength comes from people from different traditions finding new ways to work and worship together’. Annual Report.
'Churches Together' and 'churches together' England : 2500 local 'Churches Together' groups, some of which like Bristol and Cambridge have a long history going back to the 1920's and 30's. Many were formed after World War II when the World Council of Churches came in to being, especially in the 50's/60's/70's 800+ formal Local Ecumenical Partnerships
There are 6 kinds of LEP: • 1. Single Congregation Partnerships • 2. Congregations in Covenanted • 3. Shared Building • 4. Chaplaincy Partnerships • 5. Mission Partnerships • 6. Education Partnerships
Hope 08: 1500 gps of churches 88.2% report that as a result of Hope08 their church's attitude towards other Christian groups and denominations improved. In areas where inter-church partnerships were already in place, 71% thought these working relationships were strengthened. No one thought attitudes had got worse as a result of Hope08.
Hope 08 churches involved: • 91.7% said Baptists involved • 88.9% CofE • 77.8% Methodists • 58.3% Roman Catholics • 55.6% Salvation Army • 50.0% URC • (47.2% said other ‘new’ churches) • 41.7% AOG
Mutual Respect and Interdependence = MRI Phrase has been key for 20 years in overseas mission activity and reports of the Council for World Mission and Evangelism of the World Council of Churches. The MRI principle, it has lead to fundamental changes in how mission is conducted, especially overseas (eg missionaries are now called 'mission partners') and is now seen by many as a guiding principle for mission in the UK.
The Great Commission A key mandate for mission comes from the Great Commission of Jesus: 'Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.' (Mt 28: 18-20)
2012 Mission Together ‘Unprecedented’
www.cte.org.uk/2012missiontogether Web resource:
Contact: • Jim.firstname.lastname@example.org