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Each of the young Anglicans who write on the Five Marks of Mission were at the Edinburgh 2010 Conference in June of that year. The articles were then reworked in Toronto a year later, so what you read here is the fruit of much labour, writing, and rewriting. These articles are also open and honest reflections from a range of young Anglicans in a variety of contexts. Here we see a glimpse of the strenths and struggles of the Anglican Communion. There is no space for complacency. The title of the book created much discussion. I still remember the excitement we all felt when our first contributor, from Hong Kong, explained to ust the meaning of the Chinese character for'life-widening'. We all thought that this captured that this captured the essence of how we long for mission not only to be but also to be experienced; as life-widening. Our God is a God of love, life and spaciousness so we long for the missio Dei to be practised and received as life-widening. We hope that this book may disturb, challenge, comfort and enrich your life. We think it will disturb and challenge as you read of the hardship and injustices experienced in many parts of God's world and creation today. We think it will comfort and enrich as you read stories of change and renewal, and as you meet the writers through their writings.
- 'Valuable Contribution' Review by Church Times
IT IS said that most religious publishers avoid books with the word “Mission” in their title. Unless they are clearly about church growth, and that means largely numerical increase, they just don’t sell. As the chair of USPG (now “Us.”), however, has written in these pages, the challenges and opportunities facing the Church today leave us in urgent need of the kind of theology of mission — what we are about and how we should do it, or, rather, what God is about and how we should join in — which David Bosch provided in the 1990s.
These books are a valuable contribution to that task. They are the latest in the Regnum Edinburgh Centenary series, sponsored by the Oxford Centre for Mission Studies, some of which are now available for free download.
In 1910, at the peak of the colonial era, representatives of the world’s missionary societies met in Edinburgh. Almost exclusively white and male, they were confident that their Western gospel and church structures could soon dominate the world. Yet, within a decade, European imperialism began to disintegrate, slowly leading to the kind of world which we now see: independent nation states, religious conflict, and a globalisation with its new imperialisms, both political and economic.
So the centenary conference that met in Edinburgh in 2010 was very different in both agenda and participants. The Anglican delegation was mainly younger people, ministers and theologians from around the Communion. Life-Widening Mission is their shared reflection, with individual contributions on the Communion’s Five Marks of Mission: proclaiming the Kingdom (Hong Kong), baptising, teaching and nurturing (United States), loving service (South Africa), transforming injustice (Kenya), and caring for creation (Zambia). Others deal with gender (Canada) and modern technology (Brazil).
What understanding of church and mission emerges? Some of them pick up on Paul Avis’s definition: mission is the good news of God’s love, incarnate in the witness of a community for the sake of the world.” Many of them emphasise that old distinctions between evangelism and service no longer make sense, especially in non-Western Churches.
(Posted on 02/05/2018)