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SCM Studyguide: Christian Mission

Historic Types and Contemporary Expressions

SCM Studyguide: Christian Mission

Historic Types and Contemporary Expressions

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Publisher: SCM Press
ISBN: 9780334041085
Number of Pages: 300
Published: 30/05/2007
Width: 17.2 cm
Height: 23.4 cm

The SCM Studyguide: Christian Mission explores the nature of Christian mission in contemporary post-modern society.

It presents a range of answers from the past as well as the present. It lays out some of the Biblical and doctrinal groundwork that is needed before looking for an answer. It examines the main historic types of mission in the Christian tradition, seeing how they were forged in the cross currents of history and how they continue to be expressed by different Christian communities today. It looks at contemporary social, economic and religious trends in society, global and local, listening to the signs of the times. It assesses different expressions of mission in the postmodern context, assessing how consistent they are with the underlying principles of Jesus' own mission in Galilee.

In all of this, it seeks to present resources that any student would need to work out their own understanding of the issues.

Part 1 Orientation

1. Mission in Crisis 

2. Origins of a Word: Mission as Missio Dei  

3. Digging Deeper: Mission as Participation in the Trinity  

4. In Human Terms: The Prophetic Mission of Christ 

Part 2 Types and Expressions 


5. Filling the Ark: Apostolic Mission  

Background: Jewish Christianity (c.40–100 ad)  

Jewish-Christian apostolic mission  

Case study: Paul’s calling 

Some more recent expressions of the type: Protestant and Catholic  

Debate 63

6. Radiating Eternal Truth: Hellenistic Orthodox Mission 

Background: the rise of Platonic philosophy within Christianity 

Christian mission within the Hellenistic paradigm 

Case study: Antony of Egypt and the founding of monasticism  

Some recent expressions of the type: Michael Ramsey’s theology and Taizé  


7. Establishing Christendom: Medieval Catholic Mission  

Background: the impact of Constantine and Augustine of Hippo  

Mission within the medieval Catholic paradigm  

Case study: Pope Gregory VII and Roman supremacy 

Some other expressions of the type: the establishment of the  Church of England   


8. The Conversion of Souls: Protestant Reformation Mission  

Background: Augustine’s awkward legacy and Luther’s doctrine  of justification by faith  

Mission within the Protestant Reformation paradigm 

Case study: the awakening of John Wesley  

Some recent expressions of the type: Pentecostalism  


9. Building the Kingdom on Earth: Enlightenment Modern  Mission  

Background: the Enlightenment and Hegel  

Mission within the Enlightenment modern paradigm  

Case study: William Temple and the founding of the  welfare state  

Some recent expressions of the type: liberation theology and  Faith in the City  


10. Finding Hope in Local Communities: Mission within Postmodernity  

Background: twentieth-century crisis and Karl Barth’s theology  

Mission within postmodernity: Bonhoeffer’s legacy  

Case study: Vincent Donovan and the Masai  

Other recent expressions: the emerging church movement 


Conclusion: Which Type of Mission? 

Epilogue: The Coming of the Rains 

Stephen Spencer

Dr Stephen Spencer is Vice Principal of Yorkshire Ministry Course. He has extensive experience as a theological educator and parish priest and is the author of the SCM Studyguides for Anglicanism, Christian Mission and Church History.

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