Sunday, May 14, 2006

Transfiguration of Mission 3: the Uncontrollable Spirit

Kuitse's chapter makes the necessary connection between pneumatology and missiology, and I found him insightful, particularly in making the breath and wind imagery used of the spirit come to life. It seems to me that a healthy perspective on the uncontrollability of the Spirit, which moves unmanipulatively beyond our borders to reconcile people to God, to one another, and to themselves, could be a valuable aid for a community seeking to follow Jesus' way of non-coercion and the giving up of power.

Granted, it's a major challenge for us to begin to see God's activity beyond our provincial borders. We tend towards infighting, both within specific churches and across denominational borders, so the thought that God is at work outside the church (123) will stir up opposition, particularly within exclusivist-minded sectors of the Christian tradition. Yet this is very defensible in light of the missio dei, and it seems to me that the starting point for making the connection would be God's mission of redeeming the world and Jesus' role in this. When we start there, we can see the spirit of God at work outside our bounds more readily than if we take other entrance points to the question of mission (ie - proselytism as the goal).

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