Equip the church, think theologically, and live redemptively in their context.
- Equip the church (1): Jesus gives pastors and teachers of the local church to equip communities of Spirit-led disciples for their own Gospel renewal and mission together, for the glory of Christ. As missional disciples have been poured into by their respective pastors/teachers, they in turn pour back into the local church from their own theologically enriched education and experience.
- Think theologically: Jesus’ disciples learn to begin their “thinking where the consciousness of all life has its unity—theologically in God and existentially in drawing near unto God” (2). More precisely, the missionally-educated Christian thinks with a God-entranced worldview, affectionately acknowledging God as the Source, Sustainer, and Goal of all things (3).
- Live redemptively: Renewed and theologically-minded disciples have a “gospel-motivated critique and change of cultural forms and content,” to redeem places, products, practices, domains (4). No culture is morally neutral. Nor is every culture wholly good or bad. All mankind since the Fall is deeply corrupt in their whole being. But God’s common grace “functions as a culture-forming and activating power in [redemptive] history, in which man is both the instrument and co-worker with God” (5). Spirit-led learning communities learn how to sacrificially and creatively engage such cultures for their Gospel renewal.
- Truth: All truth is Trinitarian truth, as especially exemplified above in the truths of Gospel, Community, and Mission. Missionally-educated disciples view the world and all therein with this Trinitarian lens.
- Christ-Centered Worship: All things are in, through, and for Jesus (6). Missionally-educated disciples’ hearts burn within them as they study, know, and adore Jesus, to whom all of Scripture points as: coming Messiah (7), crucified Lord (8), risen Savior (9), reigning King (10), interceding Priest (11), returning Judge (12), and Restorer of all things (13). When this Christ, infinitely worthy of worship, is prized in all of life, redemptive discipleship in his name will inevitably follow.
- Redemptive Discipleship: All missionally-educated disciples serve in the power of the Spirit and after the pattern of Christ. Apart from Christ and his Spirit, Gospel-centered missional discipleship proves impossible. Spirit-led disciples, however, live as Jesus lived, love as Jesus lived, and leave what Jesus left behind—namely other followers of Jesus (14).
(1) As previously noted, Paul’s words in Eph 4.11-12, “And [Christ] gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ” (emphasis added).
(2) Kuyper on Contemporary Value of Calvinism (Jonathan Dodson)
(3) Rom 11.36; Col 1.15-17.
(4) Culture: To Redeem or Not to Redeem? (Jonathan Dodson)
(5) This Kuyperian view of culture holds that “common grace, although non-saving and restricted to this life, has its source in Christ as mediator of creation since all things exist through the eternal Word” (120). See Van Til, Henry R. The Calvinistic Concept of Culture. (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2001), 118.
(6) Col 1.16.
(7) Isaiah 53
(8) Acts 2.36; 1 Cor 2.8.
(9) Luke 24.25-26, 34, 44-46 .
(10) Heb 2.5-8.
(11) Heb 4.14-15.
(12) Acts 17.31; Rev 20.11-15.
(13) Rev 21.5.
(14) Lovejoy, Shawn and David Putnam. Notes from their talk given at the Verge Missional Community Conference (2010), Austin, TX.