I’ve just come across an excellent paper via Academia.edu written by my friend Mark Oxbrow of Faith To Share. It is a short review of the literature on the subject of Trinity and Mission and it looks as though my Amazon wishlist is about to get an awful lot longer. Here is the first paragraph:
By far the most significant advance in missiological discussion during the second half of the twentieth century was the acceptance within a wide range of theological traditions of the Missio Dei theology first advanced by Karl Barth and Karl Hartenstein in the 1930s. Reviewing that development at the end of the century Andrew Kirk writes, in his What is Mission? Theological Explorations (1999) “To speak about the Missio Dei is to indicate, without any qualifications, the Missio Trinitatis”. Missio Dei theology, which has its origins in Barth’s essay Die theologie und die Mission in der Gegenwart (1932), (although the terminology was only introduced by Hartenstein two years later) gained wide acceptance after the 1952 International Missionary Council, meeting at Willingen, Germany. That gathering saw the Missio Dei as expressing its desire for a new, postWorld War II and post-colonial, understanding of mission. They saw that that mission is not a programme of the church, but rather an attribute and activity of God, bringing God’s redemption to all creation. From Willingen onwards the study of Trinity and the study of Mission have been almost welded together.