Theology speaks to all of life

Mention the word theology and some people yawn while others run for the door. For many, theology is "ivory tower" stuff with little relevance to "real life."

How sad, for true theology (God knowledge) speaks directly to the ultimate "real life," which is the triune communion of the Father-Son-Spirit that they are sharing with all humanity in and through their union with all people (indeed the whole cosmos) in the person of the God-man, Jesus Christ.

Trinitarian, incarnational theology addresses this abiding union of grace, which is the "truth of all truths." It is the "logic" - the "reality" by which we rightly address all other issues/truths including the nature of humanity (anthropology), the nature of the church (ecclesiology) and the nature of Christian mission (missiology):

1. Anthropology. We understand that humankind is united to the triune God through the incarnation of the Son of God in the person of the man Jesus. Understanding who God is, leads to a right understanding of humanity as the accepted, forgiven and dearly loved children of God.

2. Ecclesiology. We understand that the church is the assembly of all who, through the ministry of the Spirit, have come to understand and embrace their identity as God's children, and have committed to following Jesus as one of his disciples.

3. Missiology. We understand that God the Father has a mission, that he sends Jesus, in the Spirit, to fulfill within our world. Jesus then sends the Spirit to call and gift his church to participate with him as his "Ambassadors" in fulfilling the Father's mission. In that sense, the church does not have a mission, rather, the Father's mission has a church. Our calling to mission is not to a mission "for" Jesus, but "with" Jesus. We join him in what he is already doing in our world - which is multiplying his disciples (followers). Indeed, God (like a good father) disciplines ("disciples") those he loves, and God's discipling is fully relational. He disciples by sharing his life and love with others. Thus our call to share in the Father's mission with Jesus is a call to be "place-sharers" with Jesus, in the Spirit. This is the ongoing, incarnational loving and living (ministry) of Jesus.

For more on mission as "place-sharing" I highly recommend the book Revisiting Relational Youth Ministry by Andrew Root. As the title suggests, it focuses on youth ministry, but its principles are applicable to all types of Christian ministry.

Comments

  1. Thank you Mr. Johnston for another thought provoking post! I have thoroughly enjoyed reading this blog because you are able by God's grace to put things so clearly where they are easy to understand. Trinitarian Christ- centered theology is what the Lord has been leading me to understand for many years now but I was never able to communicate it as clearly as you and the other theologians in Grace Communion International do. Thank you sir for allowing the Lord Jesus Christ to do all this hard work through you! I have benefitted greatly.

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