Friday, September 02, 2011

out of the closet? or just the closest I’ll ever be to Barthian?

I’ve just had a short piece published on Share, a UK fresh expressions website. Titled “Welcome home? Hospitality as mission”, (a cut down piece from something I wrote here last year), I explore how often the church hears hospitality as welcoming people who come to us. I start with a New Zealand singer, Dave Dobbyn, move to Jesus and then to fresh expressions. I conclude with a mission question

“I wonder what it means for the church to see itself as homeless rather than home-owner? To forget practising welcome and instead go looking for welcome? To make ourselves reliant on people to make space for us?”

Which, as I reflected today, might actually make me a closet Barthian. I’ve never read all of Barth, but am informed that it was he who describes the Father’s sending of the Son into the world as “The Way of the Son Into the Far Country.” (Church Dogmatics Vol IV 1 and 2). Just as the prodigal son traveled off into “the far country” (Luke 15:13), so in Jesus, the Son takes the same journey (While the Son of God, in contrast to the Prodigal Son, carries out this journey in total obedience, this journey into the far country is radical, risky, excessive and prodigal.

So there we are. Am I a closet Barthian? Or simply a missiologist coming close?

Anyhow, head on overand see what you think of the piece. Or go here, for another – David Fitch – angle on the whole Incarnation-mission thing.

Posted by steve at 02:15 PM

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