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Saturday, 9 January 2016

Martin Harris, sabbatical and Lesslie Newbigin

The memorial above at St Matthias, Chennai was amongst the things that re-ignited Martin Harris' interest in Lesslie Newbigin in 2012. Martin is currently on sabbatical in Chennai exploring further the thinking of Newbigin. His sabbatical posts can be followed at

He writes:

'These words from Newbigin's 'On Being the Church for the World' are staying with me:
"[W]hen Jesus said to them, 'As the Father sent me, so I send you', he showed them his hands and his side. In other words, the Church will be recognizable as the bearer of this mission on which the Father sent the Son and on which the Son sent the Church, in so far as the scars of the Passion are recognizable in its body. So you have that classic definition of mission, which has been so much ignored, in St Paul's letters, where he defines his apostolic mission as 'bearing in the body the dying of Jesus, that the life of Jesus might be manifest in our mortal flesh'.
"I think we have often missed something by concentrating entirely on that Matthaean version which can produce the kind of triumphalist picture of the mission of the Church. Here, however, the Church is recognizable as the bearer of the Kingdom, the presence of the kingdom, in so far as it is marked by the scars of the Passion... And if you see the mission of the Church in that sense, then all this futile discussion between evangelism and social action disappears."'

My posts drawing on Newbigin's writings can be found by clicking here.


Gungor - Church Bells.

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