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Dan DeBevoise

Charles, are you saying we are all talk and no action?

Matt Ferguson

Having been a part of this current discussion for all 25 years of my ordained service of God in the PCUSA, I have long heard folks encourage us to simply focus on the mission and not on theology. Surely you remember the call "Mission unites / Theology divides". I think what you are blogging about here is simply the same ol’ same ol’ and does not, in the end, work. I will often ask folks when I hear or read such talk, "What Jesus are you seeking to serve / follow / join in mission?" There are many who believe in a Jesus who is not the One we read about primarily / foundationally in the Bible but is a Jesus they have envisioned / created / fashioned for themselves as a false idol. I am not speaking about all progressives but I believe many do not believe in a Jesus who was fully God and fully man, who died on the cross for our sins, was bodily raised from the dead and, who because all this is true, is the only one through whom salvation is available. Treating less-than-essential things as essential needless divide but there are essential beliefs that must be required for there to be any true unity. And when we have that true unity we can then move into working meaningfully together in the mission of Christ in this world.

Charles Wiley

I, by no means, want to put forth "theology divides, mission unites." What I was trying to get at is that we may be using missional language to cover for our navel-gazing tendencies. The missional vision is theological in nature, not just activity.

Walter L. Taylor

If we (the PCUSA, that is) cannot agree on theology, then I can't really see us agreeing on mission, since mission is an outgrowth of confession, and we simply do not share a common confession. Oh, we may share a shibboleth or two, but we do not share a common confession, not in a practical, lived out way.

Sorry to sound cynical, but really I'm not. It is just the present reality of our broken, failed denomination.

Charles Wiley

Although I don't like the word that much, to be honest, I like the intention of the missional movement. Apostolic witness is both "sentness" and commitment to the apostolic witness. The theology funds the mission and the mission shapes the theology.

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