« London Shootings | Main | Adding for Lent? »

Saturday, February 17, 2007


Jason Clark

Hi Brodie, great post. You mention everything flowing from our understanding and theology of God, but what about experience? By that I mean do we move from thinking to practice?


One of the things I have been trying (and failing) to do this week is finish my review of Frost's Exiles. It exhibits exactly the kind of problem you highlight, trying to move directly from Christology to Mission.

Thanks for the post, you've got me reflecting...

andy goodliff

Brodie what a great post! I've been thinking about it the last few days, trying to work out my response to it. I've often wondered whether missiology is overplayed. if missiology drives ecclesiology, then i fear that church ends up accomodating itself to the culture in which it finds itself. a good ecclesiology that must emerge from christology (i think of hauerwas saying that the story of Jesus is a social ethic), will always be missiological. Interestingly Steve Holmes, baptist theologian (now at university of st. andrew's) wrote a paper called 'trinitarian missiology', where he bases his argument in part on John 20.21-23. I can email you a copy if you like.


Jason - I think we seek to move from thinking to practice, but this is not something that just automatically happens. I think there can be a lag between our thinking and behaviour, and of course our experiance also feeds into our thinking.


Fernando - Will look forward to your review of exiles.


Andy - I think all the recent talk and writting on missiology has been an important corrective. For years those going to do overseas mission have been thinking about these things and "we've" not. So if there has been an overplay then I think it may have been one that was needed!

I'd be interested in having a read at the Holmes article.

rodney neill

hello Brodie,

Taking the pulse of some involved in EC community within NI there is a definite but gradual change to a rigid apophatic theological outlook - God cannot be known within the structure of human thought, imagination, understanding ,concepts etc which leads to a very remote transcendent inacessible view of God and being more comfortable with absence ,void and darkness rather than presence in relation to God.
What does mission,ecclessiology etc look like with this view rather than a trinitarian one I wonder.


Rodney - I'm not too sure to be honest. I know that the whole apophatic way of understanding God has it's roots in the Eastern Church. This church had / has a strong liturgy and I wonder if this might have been a means both of teaching and of mission? I think the apophatic appraoch can be attractive as it is an invitation to mystery. How such a view of God then feeds into eschatology or ecclesiology I'm not too clear on.
I should however point out that to have an apophatic view of God does not mean that we can not talk of God as Trinity.
I would be interested to know how those in NI who are apophatic are thinking about mission etc?


'So from my Trinitarian understanding of God things like mutuality, non-hierarchy, community, generosity, a going out of oneself to embrace the other come to the fore and inform my view/understanding of ecclesiology, christology, missiology and eschatology'

I suppose Brodie I am thinking of some recent conversations of people within IKON. If our view/perception of Christology etc flow from our understanding of God (such as your idea of the Trinity) we are left with a somewhat sad predicament of the impossibility of percieving anything via revelation if God is essentially unknown and unknowable - the religion without religion approach of John Caputo.

I am much better talking about stuff over a pint than writing !!! I hope to attend a one day conference held by Belfast Bible College (a mainstream evangelical college) led by Eddie Gibbs (who has written a book called Emerging Churches) about Christian leadership
which will give me a far wider perspective of what is happening within NI as regards the EC.


The comments to this entry are closed.