“Theological hospitality”–the practice of welcoming other Christians whose understanding of scripture and theology may seem strange or challenging–is a way for the church to pursue unity among theological diversity. Instead of an “us versus them” mentality, the church should expand its “gene pool” of theology, culture, and ethnicity. While it is not a strategy of theological minimalism or compromise, practicing theological hospitality reflects God’s heart to care for one another and avoids a combative style of orthodoxy.
April 8, 2010
Modern Western evangelicalism is experiencing a crisis of discipleship and gospel witness because of its perception of spiritual maturity in almost exclusively individualistic terms. The Scriptures, however, conceive of spirituality and growth in corporate terms. The leader’s role, then, is not to disciple a select few, but to create a culture of mutual discipleship, resulting in communities of genuine grace and repentance. Western churches need to recapture this community approach to discipleship to combat the crisis.
Christianity is inherently polycentric. Africa, Asia and Latin America are important not just numerically for the church, but theologically. These are some of Andrew F. Walls’ insights into the cross-cultural nature of the Christian faith. He is an important guide who will help us understand global Christianity today as well as the nature of the church’s mission in the 21st century.
Church-based community organizations often struggle with navigating partnerships in their communities, as they sit at the pluralistic community “table” in order to serve the poor and faithfully proclaim the gospel without compromising their Christian witness. What community issues can Christian organizations agree to work on with others in the community in order to bring honor to God’s kingdom? How exactly will they bear witness to the gospel so as not to be seen merely as one group among many committed to social transformation? This study offers some theological guidelines.
Most well-to-do North American Christians have a misunderstanding of poverty, as well as of themselves in relation to the poor, and therefore apply misguided solutions that end up hurting rather than helping already desperate situations, in spite of their good intentions. Here is a book that seeks to help the church, especially the well-to-do North American church, gain a better understanding of poverty that will lead to better practices of mercy ministry.