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.read more
Tormod Engelsviken is Professor at the MF Norwegian School of Theology and Editor of Norwegian Journal of Missiology.
Englesviken provides an important exploration of the key terms involved in 20th century missiology in the West–missio Dei, Kingdom of God, and church. He discusses and critiques the two ways in which these terms have been used. On the one side is the Evangelical perspective which understands God to be a sending God and the church to be a primary agent of God’s mission. On the other hand is the ecumenical perspective which is, in itself, a mixture of two views. One view was promoted by Hoekendijk in the 1960s which understood the missio Dei to be God’s universal movement toward peace in the world. The church was incidental to the mission. The other view is closer to the Evangelical view which sees the church as participatory in God’s mission to bring both redemption and peace/justice to the world.read more
I am a suburban pastor. I love the suburbs and the busy suburbanites that live in them. It is my native environment and I would not trade it. However, I must confess something. It is difficult to be a suburban pastor. It is especially difficult to be a suburban pastor who is trying to cultivate spaces for spiritual formation and a missional imagination for a Lutheran congregation.
Suburbanites are busy people who are pulled in a hundred directions and feel immense societal pressures to be successful and productive in every area of life. Beyond that, they are expected to produce even more successful children. The suburban Lutheran family has the additional pressure to make sure that their children are not only the best in sports, academics, and the arts, but are also properly baptized, catechized, and confirmed along the way. Suburbanites find themselves running from one activity to the next, constantly trying to decide which is the most efficient use of their precious time to yield that greatest result to meet all of the expectations placed upon them.read more