Making Room for the Missio Dei in Missiological Research

In: Mission Studies
Lynne Taylor University of Otago Dunedin New Zealand

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The phrase missio Dei represents a significant advance in contemporary missiology: recognizing that God’s agency and impulse precedes and lies behind human engagement in mission. While missiological research can help Christians discover how God is at work in the world, in order to become involved in the missio Dei, missiology generally borrows its methodology from the social sciences, which focus on human processes: potentially desacralizing faith and discounting the agency of God. This article explores how critical realism offers an ontological framework within which to explore the missio Dei. It further shows that grounded theory provides a rigorous methodology for areas of study that have previously not sought to discern God’s agency. Finally, the article provides an example of research attentive to the missio Dei: exploring why previously secular (unchurched) Australians are becoming Christians today.

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