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In: Mission Studies
In: Mission Studies
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The theological treasures gathered here show the intriguing coherence of an unfolding vision. Earthed in the ministry of a priest, missionary, academic theologian, and well-travelled bishop, the five settings provide 16 chapters written over 34 years in Kenya, Cambridge, Islington, Sherborne and Lambeth. Art, poetry and archives mingle with theology, history and spirituality. Memorable scenes include a Kenyan liturgy on the environment and Bishop Gitari’s preaching, the drama of worship on the streets of London, a Deuteronomic prequel to the Prodigal Son, flashes from the lives of Henry Martyn and Stephen Harding, the birth of South Sudan and the historic dialogue of John Stott and Basil Meeking.
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Abstract

This chapter came from an invitation to write for a book celebrating the 200th anniversary of the Church Mission Society. It studies the background influences and interweaving theologies of mission of Max Warren and John V. Taylor, who, as successive General Secretaries of the CMS (1942–63 and 1963–74), had such a profound influence on the worldwide Anglican Communion and world Christianity, and in particular inter-faith relations.

In: Nourishing Mission
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In 1989 I attended the evangelical world mission conference, ‘Lausanne II in Manila’, in The Philippines, as one of the Church Mission Society delegates. After describing the context, I consider theologically three themes: the holistic gospel of the Kingdom and the co-inherence of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit; eschatology and its influence on mission theology; and how the doctrine of the unity of the Church challenges some principles of church growth.

In: Nourishing Mission
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This was the inaugural lecture of the Mission Theology in the Anglican Communion project, given in June 2016 in Durham Cathedral, and in July at Lambeth Palace. It begins with the significance of the Venerable Bede (Durham), Alfred Tucker (missionary bishop in Uganda and then Canon of Durham) and Theodore of Tarsus (Archbishop of Canterbury), before expounding the story of Sarah in Genesis 18, with Silvia Dimitrova’s painting and my poem, and considering current influential mothers of mission theology.

In: Nourishing Mission
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This chapter grew out of an annual silent retreat at All Hallows Convent, Ditchingham, Norfolk, in July 1996. I tried to read the whole book of Deuteronomy imaginatively through the eyes of Christ, and surprisingly discovered a possible seed of the parable of the Prodigal Son in Deuteronomy 21.15–21. I consider the context in Deuteronomy of protection against a capricious father who had two sons; the dreadful stoning of the recalcitrant son at the town gate; an honourable father and son relationship in Hebrew scholarship; Luke 15 and the prodigal son; Paul’s use of Deuteronomy 21 in Galatians 3 and Jesus stopping the stoning of the woman caught in adultery in John 8.

In: Nourishing Mission
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In my conclusion, I consider Genesis and the Ascension in tracing the concept of God who creates and then ‘gets out of the way’, providing space for human beings, while also reshaping God’s supportive presence. Mission involves following this pattern of God, who creates, gets out of the way, and assures. I point out that in the previous chapters mission and church, theology and practice, worship and ministry have all interwoven over the years, and give three answers to the question ‘why write?’. I end with my poem, The Prayer Stool, which involves delving deeply into God and being sent out by God into his world.

In: Nourishing Mission
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I provide the context of the parish of St Mary Islington, London, where I served as vicar from 2000–2009, through a focus on worship and particular public events of witness: Good Friday processions; a South African update of the medieval Chester Mystery plays; civic services with interviews with Muslims; a Christmas Day BBC radio broadcast; and the pioneering of Praise Nights. The use of dance, drama, art and sculpture in worship and mission is natural and effective.

In: Nourishing Mission
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In this introduction I expound each of the words of the title of the book, ‘Nourishing’, ‘Mission’, ‘Theological’, and ‘Settings,’ provide autobiographical settings to the each of the 16 chapters and overviews of them, consider six cohering themes of the whole book, and conclude with thanksgiving.

In: Nourishing Mission