Posts

Showing posts from July, 2019

Evangelism: a trinitarian approach

Image
Note how the apostle Paul exhorts his young protégé Timothy:
I give you this charge: preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction…. Keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.” (2Tim. 4:1-3, 5) Here Timothy, apparently serving as pastor of the church in Ephesus, is exhorted by Paul to fulfill his duties, including that of evangelism. Note Paul's similar instructions to Timothy in an earlier letter:
Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through prophecy when the elders laid their hands on you. Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress. (1Tim. 4:14-15) The “gift” here seems to be Timothy’s calling to be an elder/pastor. With ordination came certain expectations, which in 2 Timothy 4 Paul exhorts Timothy to fulfill, evangelism being one of them. Though in…

Sharing ministry with Jesus (Christopraxis)

Image
Central to incarnational Trinitarian (Nicene) faith are the twin doctrines of the Trinity and the Incarnation. Though both involve amazing, mysterious truths, these doctrines are highly "practical" in that they address the reality of how things actually are, both with God and humanity. Theologian Ray Anderson addresses this reality in The Shape of Practical Theology, drawing on insights from Karl Barth, T.F. Torrance and Dietrich Bonhoeffer. According to Anderson,
[Bonhoeffer] laid the groundwork for a praxis-oriented theology through an ethic of discipleship and obedience, where theory emerges only through engagement with truth as an ethical demand in the form of the claim of Christ through the other person. (pp. 17-18) Anderson emphasizes how theology (theory) flows from and so is informed by practice (praxis). We see this dynamic in operation in the way Jesus ministered to his first followers. He did not disciple them with lectures on theory. Instead, he said to them: &q…