Friday, January 21, 2011

Christ for us today: in pluralism, colonisation, environmental degradation

The blog title is a reference to Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a German pastor seeking to be a Jesus follower during Hitler’s reign in Germany. He found his theology must address the question: Who is Jesus Christ for us today?

The context today is not Nazi Germany.

Our context is one of pluralism, the challenge of how to name Jesus when my neighbours might be aetheist, Muslim or hedonist.

Our context is also one of colonisation, the challenge of the fact that the land I live on originally belonged to someone else, an indigenous community. It was pretty much taken by force, with the aid of gun and often by someone professing to follow Jesus. And the money that funds so much of the mission of the Anglo-church today is based on historic exploitation of indigenous land. To use the term of Chris Budden, how are we Following Jesus in Invaded Space: Doing Theology on Aboriginal Land.

Our context is also one growing environmental degradation. We live with growing talk of global warming, with acid rain and deforestation and decline of species and bio-diversity.

This is the Bonhoeffer challenge: who, what is Christ for us today.

All of this by way of saying that I am currently writing a distance course on the topic of Jesus. And I am looking for sermons. Have you preached a sermon that relates Jesus, or any part of the Gospels and New Testament, to the issue of either pluralism, colonisation or enviromental issues? Have you heard a sermon on this? Do you know of someone who might have preached on this?

Because I am looking for examples, with a view to inclusion (full acknowledgement will be given), to help students in the course think about how they will answer the the Bonhoeffer challenge: who, what is Christ for us today.

I am not looking for book chapters or readings, simply examples of how people are having such conversation in relation to the preaching life of the church.

Not am I hoping for a particular theological slant, simply examples of people having a thoughtful conversation between Jesus and the issues of pluralism, colonisation or environmental degradation.

Posted by steve at 04:23 PM