Bliese, Richard H., and Craig Van Gelder. The Evangelizing Church: A Lutheran Contribution. Minneapolis, MN: Augsburg Fortress Press, 2005.
This book is a collection of essays about how Lutheran theology is inherently evangelistic. The culture and traditionalism of European immigration has tended to thwart the evangelizing nature of the Lutheran faith, but the ember still remains smoldering under the surface for those who would pray for the Spirit to reignite the Lutheran Church for evangelistic outreach.
Keifert, Patrick R. Welcoming the Stranger: A Public Theology of Worship and Evangelism. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1992.
Patrick Keifert is Professor of Systematic Theology at Luther Seminary, St. Paul, Minnesota. He has also been an adjunct professor at the School of Law, Hamline University, St. Paul, since 1984.
Ordained in 1978, Keifert served congregations in Chicago, Washington state, Wyoming and Minnesota. He has been the general editor of the Journal of Law and Religion, and served on the editorial boards of Word & World and dialog.
One of the underlying questions of my research is how the inner life of spirituality relates to the outer life in community. Which comes first? Do we relate to God through an inner life of prayer and meditation that then overflows to others? Or, do we connect to God by our interaction with others in the Church?
This question is expanded even further when we talk about the relationship between spirituality and evangelism. We usually think about these as two separate activities. We commonly think that there is one part of your life in which you practice your spiritual disciplines to “get right with God” and there is another part of your life where you “share your faith” with non believers.
I am preaching on Matthew 28:16-20 this weekend as we follow the Narrative Lectionary through Easter. This is the sketch that emerged as I worked through the text.
God’s mission (missio dei, to use my fancy missional ecclesiology language) is:
The disciples all worshiped Jesus when they saw him post-resurrection, but some doubted. I find great comfort in that. Joseph Ratzinger (aka Pope Benedict XVI) began his Introduction to Christianity by noting that doubt is the one thing that unifies us as humans (read my annotated notes here).
Toward a Missional Spirituality in the Suburbs