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THE NEED FOR MISSIOLOGICAL PARADIGM SHIFT

How much Lord of Lords and King of Kings do we think Jesus is, as the Righteous Reigning King, Whose Sovereignty has no end and no boundaries and Whose Authority and Power has no match? (Jer 23:5; Dan 2:44, 7:14, 27; Matt 28:18; Luke 1:33; Heb 1:8; Rev 11:15)

Something is missing in the Church about the full Heavenly Kingdom commission of Christians and the Church to the world.

1. *ECCLESIASTICAL and MONASTIC Christianity* (Act 2-6) has misconstrued Christianity to be designed only for winning and calling out MEMBERS/CLIENTS/PATRONISERS and meeting the needs and demands of the DISCIPLES in their FELLOWSHIPS/FOLLOWERSHIP (Denominations and Ministries). So much study and skill even subterfuge have gone into this.

2. *EVANGELISTIC and PHILANTHROPIC Christianity* (Act 11-18) thinks of the Church as Kingdom agency for salting the earth only through philanthropy and charity to needy SOULS and for lighting the world only through preaching the Gospel for conversion of sinful SOULS. (Outreach Agencies). Reasonable study and experience is coming on along these lines.

3 There seems to be either ignorance or negligence of *MISSIOLOGICAL or KINGDOM Christianity* (Act 22-26) that sees every Christian as a Kingdom diplomat and agent sent on the strategic ambassadorial assignment of lighting, salting and leavening the world through statesmanly involvement, coherent infiltration and purposeful influence. Such missiological impact must aim towards the reformation and saturation of the NATIONS and MULTITUDES at every level of the SOCIETY, with the kingdom best practices, kingdom worldview and kingdom values of God’s goodness, loving-kindness and righteousness. This should be done through strategic Christian ramified involvement in the Mass Media, the Professions, the Corporations, the Academia, the Arts, and amongst the Entrepreneurs, the Politicians, the Security Operatives, the Opinion Leaders, the Masses, the Princes, the Magistrates, the Parliamentarians, the Experts, the Pacesetters, the Consultants, etc; but this requires biblical purposefulness and strategic cohesion amongst all Christians and Churches. Yet there is very minimal study, reflection and coordination in this direction!

From the times of the Early Church, Apostolic Christianity believed in bringing the PASTORAL Reign of God’s gracious justification and regeneration of human souls through the Church and her pastoral ministers (Rom 12; 1Tim 3) as well as the PRINCELY Reign of God’s glorious justice and restraint in human societies through the State and its princely magistrates (Rom 13; 1Tim 2). When the Church introduced university education in the 11th century, training for PASTORAL purposes focused not only on theological studies but also on general studies. Even training for PROFESSIONAL purposes focused first on general studies for all before the specific legal, medical and architectural studies as the case may be. Therefore the Church in Europe eventually found herself in a society produced and dominated by the influence and ideas of Christianity. However, during the missionary explosion of the 18th and 19th centuries, there arose the specific demand for mission studies with the only preparation for missions being recommended extracurricular reading. The first university chair for missiology was the chair of Evangelistic Theology established in 1867 by Alexander Duff at the College of Edinburgh, Scotland. Next was the chair of Missiology established in 1897 by Gustav Warnek at Halle University, Germany. The first Catholic university missiology chair came in 1914 when Joseph Schmidlin was appointed to the chair of Missiology at the University of Münster, Germany.
(See Andrew F. Walls, “Missiological Education in Historical Perspective,” in J. Dudley Woodbury, Charles Van Engen and Edgard J. Elliston, eds., Missiological Education for the 21st Century: The Book, the Circle and the Sandals, Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 1996, 17).

Since the First and Second World Wars which changed global societal culture and impacted changes in Church’s perspectives (e.g. separatist despondency) and doctrine (e.g. escapist dispensationalism), missiology seems to have receded to studies limited to separatist EVANGELISTIC SOUL-WINNING and secluded Church planting for PASTORAL cure and PHILANTHROPY without the component for diffused PARTICIPATORY SOCIAL-ACTION through purposeful PROPHETIC concsientising dialogue and strategic PRINCELY leadership influence. But faced with aggressively paganising modernity, the Church is waking up again to the full import of her mission of God’s Kingdom to the world.
(See David J. Bosch, Transforming Mission: Paradigm Shifts in Theology of Mission, Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 1991).

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