Missiology and Deep Incarnation

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Much as the concept of missio Dei has shaped missiological thinking and the theology of mission, the growing interest in God’s incarnation and embodiment may play a very formative role in missiological reflection in the future, and is already evident in the World Council of Churches’ mission affirmation Together Towards Life: Mission and Evangelism in Changing Landscapes (ttl; 2013).

In this research, “deep incarnation” has been introduced as an important concept in the theology of mission, in terms of the recent work by a number of leading theologians under the title Incarnation – On the Scope and Depth of Christology (Gregersen 2015). “Deep incarnation” has been summarized as the coming-into-flesh of God’s eternal Logos. In the process of incarnation, God the creator and the world of the flesh are conjoined in such depth that God links up with all vulnerable creatures. In Christ, God enters into the biological tissue of creation in order to share the fate of biological existence. In the incarnate One, God becomes Jesus, and in him God becomes human, sharing the life conditions of the least in creation. The most high and the very lowest are united in the process of incarnation.

This research emphasizes the importance of the concept of “deep incarnation” for theology of mission, and how it may inform missiology, with brief reference to ttl and how the major themes of “deep incarnation” (such as an orientation towards life in the broadest sense, the importance of suffering and marginality, the nature of unity and community) are already present in ttl.

Missio Dei 这样的概念已经塑造了宣教神学。日渐对上帝道成肉身的兴趣, 可能会令此概念扮演一个相等的角色,这在普世协会的宣教声明‘一起生活’ (2013) 中也明显可见。在这篇研究里,‘深度道成肉身’是指向基督论的范围和深度 (2015) 来说的。它被总结为上帝永恒的道成为人的样子,上帝创造主与血肉之躯深深地连接在一起,也与所有易损坏的被造连接在一起。在基督里,上帝进入被造的生物组织,并且分担生物存在的命运。在道成肉身中,上帝成为耶稣,并且在他里面上帝成为人,分担被造最卑微的生活状况。本文研讨这概念的创造可能性,如何影响宣教及其他应受到关注的课题。

El concepto de missio Dei ha moldeado la teología de la misión. El creciente interés en la encarnación de Dios puede desempeñar un papel igualmente formativo, y es evidente en la misión del Consejo Mundial de Iglesias que se titula “Juntos por la vida” (2013). En la presente investigación, la terminología “encarnación profunda” se presenta de acuerdo al libro Incarnation: on the scope and depth of Christology (2015). Se explica como el Logos eterno de Dios hecho carne. Dios el creador y el mundo de la carne están unidos con tal profundidad que Dios se conecta con todas las criaturas vulnerables. En Cristo, Dios entra en el tejido biológico de la creación y comparte el destino de la existencia biológica. Como El encarnado, Dios es Jesús, y en Él Dios se hace humano compartiendo las condiciones de vida de los más pequeños de la creación. Se presta atención a las posibilidades creativas de este concepto, de cómo puede impactar a la misionología y a sus temas principales.

This article is in English.

Mission Studies

Journal of the International Association for Mission Studies

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See Bentley (2016) for a more comprehensive discussion on deep incarnation, kenosis and Pauline Christology.

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