Friday, October 4, 2013

Believing in the Future: Quotes from David Bosch

Believing in the Future (Toward a Missiology of Western Culture) - David J. Bosch

“And in more recent book, Küng depicts the contemporary world as post-Eurocentric, post-colonial, post-imperial, post-socialist, post-industrial, post-patriarchal, post-ideological, and post-confessional.
The “post-“ phenomenon is not just a fad. We have truly entered into an epoch fundamentally at variance with anything we have experience to date.”

“It is a permissive society, without norms, models, and traditions, an “immediate” society, without past and often without future: people live utterly in the present and seek instant gratification.”

“People in the West are inundated by a veritable deluge of information and entertainment, mainly via television, a circumstance that gives rise not only to shattering pluralism but also to widespread pollution of the mind.”

“It is important to keep in mind that the fathers of the Enlightenment were all Christians; they viewed what they did and said as service of God.”

“John Locke, for instance, insisted that theology cannot be at odds with science, for revelation, on which theology was based, is nothing less than an exalted form of science.”

“It is not that the new worldview publicly opposed religion or proscribed it, rather it fostered a private religion that had no real function in society as a whole. And the underlying “Christ against culture” stance in Protestantism meant, in practice that religion was relegated to the private sector, to the world of values, where people are free to choose what they like. “

“Religion lost the function it had in an earlier era – that of explaining the world.”

“The philosophy behind this is “ Since there is no absolute value, I consider all values to be equally unimportant,” or, “Since there I more than one value, I appreciate all values equally.””

“Both dogmatic scientism and extreme relativism had disastrous consequences. In one case the point of departure was the utter reliability of unaided reason; in the other it was personal preference or experience.”

“The illusion that human hopes for freedom, justice and true progress can be realized by relying on reason or human resolve alone, or by the mechanics of economic, technological, or political development, has finally exploded.” 

“It is interesting to note that the word, mission, in its modern sense, was first used in the sixteenth century by Jesuits in Northern Germany to refer to their work of reconverting Protestants to Catholicism.”

“The church should recognize…that she is in reality a missionary Church, not only in heathen lands… but in every country”

“Because God is a missionary God, God’s people are missionary people. The church’s mission is not secondary to its being; the church exists in being sent and in building up itself for its mission.” 

“Ecclesiology does not precede missiology; there cannot be church without an intrinsic missionary dimension, the church exists by mission, just as fire exists by burning.”

“Mission is more than and different from recruitment to our brand of religion; it is alerting people to the universal reign of God” 

“This is, after all, in keeping with the Enlightenment worldview: religion is a private affair, its truth claims are relative and have no place in the public sphere of “facts”. But Christian theology itself also contributed to this notion, as it increasingly individualized, interiorized, ecclesiasticized, and privatized salvation.”

“It belongs to our mission mandate to ask questions about the use of power in our societies, to unmark those that destroy life, to show concern for the victims of society while at the same time calling to repentance those who have turned them into victims, and to articulate God’s active wrath against all that distorts and diminishes human beings and all that exploits, squanders, and disfigures the world for selfishness, greed, and self-centered power.”

“This is not to suggest that we will build God’s kingdom on earth. It is not ours to inaugurate, but we can help make it more visible, more tangible; we can initiate approximations of God’s coming reign.”

“Reinhold Niebuhr, in his Moral Man and Immoral Society ([1932] 1960), had so thoroughly exposed the self-confident rationalism of the secularists, the self-confident dialectical materialisms of the revolutionaries, and the holier-than-thou pseudo-innocence of the Christians. “

“The task of postmodern theology is to interpret the Christian message at a time when the rebirth of religion, rather than its disappearance, poses the “most serious questions”. “There is, apparently, “more God than we think”.” 

“Authentic religion, says Josuttis (1988:17), endangers the emerging post-modern worldview. With the easy integration of religion into its system, it has swallowed a poison that it will find hard to digest (:16). The biblical faith, however, contains elements that are much more intractable and antagonistic to the new worldview than may be expected (:19). Faith in the one God who revealed himself in Jesus Christ does not fit into the pluralistic post-modern order.”

“The missionary can proclaim the living God to one’s contemporaries, seeking the searchers, providing new roots to the uprooted, caring for those who do not care, giving direction to those who, in a despair they are not consciously aware of, live by the horoscope, and gently touching the deeper stirrings in the heart of those who sense that what they enjoy today cannot be all there is, those who seek after “the spiritual dimension of life” and “an antidote to dehumanization”.

“Unless you understand, you shall not believe.”

“Belief is, in fact, the source of all knowledge.”

“Deny the existence of any meta-truth and meta-narratives against which we may test our convictions, and therefore and in relativism and subjectivism indeed, in irrationalism.”

“A sense of imperfection is essential to the Christian faith.”

“A missiology of Western culture must include an ecological dimension. The time is long past that we can afford to exclude the environment from our missionary agenda.” 

“It follows from the previous point that a mission to the west must be countercultural, though not in an escapist way.”

“A mission to the West will have to be ecumenical.”

“Mission is, rather, the communication of the good news about the universal and coming reign of the true and living God.”

“We have, at long last, come to the conviction that mission in the Third World must be contextual.”

“A missionary encounter with the West will have to be, primarily, a ministry of the laity.”

“I have to take this one step further: in the context of the secularized, post-Christian West our witness will be credible only if it flows from a local, worshiping community. Newbigin (1989:222-33) suggests that the only hermeneutic of the gospel is a congregation of men and women who believe it and live by it.”

“However, unlike philosophical schools or scientific experiments, theology has no life unless it is borne by a community.”

“Christians are sitting on a gold mine called the church, but unfortunately the very categories we have been taught as Western Christians make it difficult for us to notice that it is gold.”

1 comment:

  1. Nice collection about future quotes. I have compiled some quotes from you. Thanks for sharing!!