Tuesday, May 16, 2006

emerging AD:missions 4

emergingadmission1.jpg a series of posts called emerging AD:missions; reflecting on the emerging church in light of mission thinking.

MONASTICISM: THE MISSIONARY IDEAL: Athanasius on Anthony, Readings in World Mission, page 8-9.

“While he lived in the desserts as a hermit, [Anthony the monk] was able to move in and out of contact with people. In certain periods, he served almost as a spiritual director for others.”

We glimpse a a fascinating mix of radical monk yet settled pastoral care; a life of prayer that interfaced with real people ministry. We see a Christian counselling other Christians who are attracted to him. Hold on. In a missions text! Why is a monk, who encourages visiting monks, a mission text? Why is attraction, people visiting you, deemed missional?

Perhaps because history has deemed that, with hindsight, the radical monastic exploration of new forms of spirituality preserved Christianity. Such is the wisdom of history.

What will history make of the emerging church? For all our missional talk, what will history write of us and our exploration of new forms of spirituality? Will we be deemed to have been a salt preservative in the grand sway of missio dei?

What comforts me is that such questions are none of my business. I doubt Anthony considered them. He just took risks, practiced prayer, loved God and people.

For an introduction to emerging AD:missions, go here.
For all the posts in this series go here.

Posted by steve at 02:25 PM

1 Comment

  1. In reference to “For all our missional talk, what will history write of us and our exploration of new forms of spirituality? ”
    I wonder, is the ermerging church movement too self-aware to enter fully into a significant preservation movement? Won’t it be the fringes of those identified with the movement, or those acting apart from it that will lead to true monastic exploration?
    Maybe this reveals more of personal concern that i can think and talk transformation and preservation much easier than I can walk it. We all hope the the ermerging church movement doesn’t succomb to the same temptations.

    Comment by scott bothel — July 1, 2006 @ 7:14 pm

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