I would argue that in general use, the term integral mission is now used to describe various forms of social action, but that the overt proclamation of the Gospel has more or less dropped off the agenda. In practical terms, holistic mission isn’t holistic and integral mission isn’t integrated; a huge chunk of what mission is all about is simply not included.
It is one of the interesting ironies of the Western missionary enterprise that the evangelical motive actually helped to shield indigenous populations from the unmitigated assault of the West and that through the elevation of the vernacular in translation, missions furnished the critical language for evaluating the West in its secular and religious impact.
We can read the OT as both pointing to Jesus and as an ethical guide; the one does not have to negate the other.
If we keep destroying habitats at the rate we are doing, we will inevitably come into contact with more animals carrying viruses that are potentially harmful to us and it is not impossible that we will encounter something that can be transmitted as easily as Covid-19, but with the mortality rate of Ebola.
One of the by-products of the long sojourn of the gospel in Western culture is the false assumption that all potential questions have been canvassed and answered and that there are fundamentally no new questions to be answered. Thus, Christian theology becomes static within certain fixed categories.
Christianity in Europe is no longer a purely European phenomenon. This 40 minute interview gives some insights into what God is doing in Europe today.
The challenge we wish to bring in this book is not merely that Christianity is a non-Western religion because historically its origins are in Asia; nor just that non-Western Christianities should be taken more seriously by theologians and scholars of Christianity because Christianity’s numerical strength now lies in the global South. What we argue is that all aspects of Christian studies, including church history, theology, inter-religious and societal relations, must be reshaped and revised in light of the nature of Christianity as a world religion.
Some suggestions for reading and places to look if you want to know more about what God is doing in the world today.
The church around the globe is too diverse and too big for anyone ever to claim to have a handle on it. We need to expand our horizons and get a better picture of what God is doing in the world, but we won’t ever see the whole thing.
This is a video that anyone who is interested in mission or church work should make time to watch.