Mission: Tradition confronts the future

Christianity Rediscovered - An Epistle from the Maasai

Masia woman and childVincent Donovan's book, first published in 1978 by an obscure publishing house, “became a classic of modern missionary writing”.  Wanting to strip away all preconceptions of faith, Donovan sought to offer the essential message of the grace of God as seen in Jesus Christ to a spiritually interested and aware people from a quite different culture.

As the church in the West and its members attempt to engage with a post-modern society, many many of  whose members have a clear hunger for and belief in a reality beyond this world, what has Donovan to teach us?  How can we learn from his experience about the God who comes to us, who seeks to communicate himself into our lives, our society, our culture?

read Please read the Preface to the Second Edition, the Introduction and Chapter 1 of Christianity Rediscovered

reflecton your own and others’ attempts to communicate the gospel in your local context over, say, the last 30 years.  [If you are participating in an international course, you may have to say a little about where you live.]  Have you been involved in any form of outreach, evangelism or mission in recent decades?  To young adults, senior citizens, teenagers, the middle-aged or to children?  In the street, the community, clubs, a home, a stadium ... 

Donovan towards the end of chapter 1 talks about the “credit side of the missionary ledger” and of “the debit side.”  What would you list on the credit side of the ledger for your own country since 1970?  What would you put on the debit side?

respond Go to the Forums area ( Forums icon ) where you will find Forums already set up for credit and debit.  Go to each in turn and try to add a couple of new postings to each.  Click Post, compose a headline for the Subject: box, then write some text in Message: that states why you think this is a credit / debit in the ledger.  The Post message button will send your contribution to the Forum area.

Don't forget to look at what others have put and to comment where appropriate.  It may be good to add to what someone else has put in preference to starting a new, very similar, thread of your own.

link to next learning materialWhen you have finished, use the button (right) to move on to the next learning material.

And the Word became flesh and lived (‘tabernacled’) among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth.

John 1:14