incarnation, mission, pneumatology

Mission, Gift, and the Missio Dei: Some Beginning Thoughts

I’m taking a missions and ecclesiology class this semester. Below is part of the first section titled “God in Action” for my paper. Thoughts?:

pt. 1: God is specifically present (i.e. incarnation, pneumatology) in human history (Abraham, Israel, David, Jesus).

pt. 2: This is understood as a gift.

pt. 3: This first gift, that continues in plenitude, enables us to give. The specific/particular instance of divine gift is meant for more than those who first receive.

pt. 4: This economy of giving allows us to exist/participate within the mission of God proceeding from the inner Trinitarian life.

In other words, the specific or particular in the incarnational way of God working in human history empowers humanity to respond to the cosmos in gift. And for those of you wondering about the upshot of this, there are many — one is that this is part of an answer for why, to put it bluntly, the Christ was a Jew 2,000 years ago, and another is that it is the proper, under girding logic for missions (as opposed to the neo-colonialism of neo-liberal economic theory and its globalization).


5 thoughts on “Mission, Gift, and the Missio Dei: Some Beginning Thoughts

  1. Sounds good to me. I’d be curious to read the full paper to see how this economy plays out with Jesus, and what form that specifically takes in the church. How do we as a church correspond with the divine giving to the cosmos? Do we come to possess this gift in order to “pay it forward?”

    • Good questions. I do have some answers already built in, but I’m trying to determine how to order them within the structure of the paper. However, I will say now, I thoroughly object to the idea of “possessing” grace. Thanks for the push.

  2. Brad A. says:

    David, you should pay particular attention to the way God is specifically present in Israel, which encompasses Abraham on, and particularly Israel as constituted in the Sinaitic Covenant. Jesus is not only God incarnate, he is also Israel incarnate, and that matters (though not in a way that precludes the rest of humanity). Gerhard Lohfink (Does God Need the Church?), to me, is the best on this issue.

    • I haven’t read the book, but the summary seems in line with moves toward missio dei. I think I would like a look at it sometime, but it was a bit removed from the focus in my paper so I didn’t give it a hard look.

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