Saturday, May 17, 2008

"and it leads some people to ask the sort of questions that lead further"

“No sharing of the good news takes place except in the context of a shared human life, and that means in part, the context of shared conversation. In such conversation we talk about real things and we try both to communicate what we know and to learn what we do not know. The sharing of the good news about the kingdom is part of that conversation and cannot happen without it … It is the kind of conversation which is not an alternative to but the occasion for sharing our hope, and it leads some people to ask the sort of questions that lead further.

Some, but not many. I certainty cannot tell any story of ‘success’ in terms of numbers. I guess that is the experience of many working in such areas. The church remains small and vulnerable. I do not find in this ground for discouragement. The kingdom is not ours. The times and seasons are not in our management. It is enough to know that Jesus reigns and shall reign, and to be privileged to share this assurance with our neighbors and to be able to do and say the small deeds and words that make it possible for others to believe.” (Lesslie Newbigin)

3 comments:

Emily said...

Hey Scott, what is this? I'd love to see the the larger writing on this. It sounds a lot like what I've been dealing with lately.

Scott Savage said...

Emily,
The quote comes from an article by Newbigin called Evangelism in the City. I case across it in a reader compiled by Paul Weston called Lesslie Newbigin: Missionary Theologian. You can find this book in the NTS book store right now as they are using it for a course on Missional Theology.

There is so much richness, wisdom, and insight in Newbigin (as I am discovering). Based on what you have shared about what you have been dealing with lately, I have no doubts that it will expand your thinking and help you discern what witnessing to the rule and reign of God in Christ looks like in your context. Peace!

Rick Savage said...

Scott, I really needed to hear this. You know my struggles with how we measure things in the Church, and my struggle to be what many would refer to as successful. Newbigin helps me see again in fresh new ways that "the kingdom is not ours." I need to be reminded from time to time, "It is enough to know that Jesus reigns and shall reign, and to be privileged to share this assurance with our neighbors and to be able to do and say the small deed and words that make it possible for others to believe." Man, I need hear this. Thank you for passing along these words.