Newbigin’s Trinitarian framework can be expressed as the kingdom of the Father, the mission of the Son, and the witness of the Holy Spirit. It is worth noting that Newbigin believed that the mission of Christians is mainly based on the expansion and clarification of God’s work centered in His son Jesus Christ. The Trinitarian framework also asserts that the work of Jesus Christ is the stepping-stone for understanding the redemptive work of God and the mission of Christians within the church. More so, the Trinitarian framework reiterates that the mission of Christ can only be understood through the Triune work of God or missio Dei. Newbigin (1995) asserts that the Triune work of God forms the identity and the mission of Christians as they uphold the mission of Jesus Christ in their churches. In Newbigin’s view, the kingdom of the Father forms the platform for the Son’s work, Jesus Christ. The Son, Jesus Christ significantly reveals Himself to Christians and accomplishes the kingdom for them. The Spirit then witnesses the presence of Jesus Christ and the accomplishment of the kingdom of the Father. In line with this framework, the mission of Christians is to carry on with the work of Jesus Christ and should do so with the belief in the Father and the Spirit. This is because of the strong linkage between the Father, the Son, and the Spirit.
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According to Newbigin (1995), election refers to inclusion of individuals in the mission of God of bringing salvation to others all over the globe. He believed that election is based on the grace of God to ensure that all individuals on earth have access to salvation. Therefore, election is based on choosing bearers to assist all individuals on earth to understand God’s salvation. Newbigin’s understanding of elections also reiterated that individuals are not elected for self-benefit of God’s salvation, but to spread the salvation to all individuals on earth. More so, election does not imply that those who are elected are saved, and others are lost, but they are to assist all individuals understand the salvation of God on earth. Based on Newbigin’s view of election, I do not think African-Americans have been de-elected for some particular missions. I do not think that African-Americans have been de-elected for some particular missions because God considers all individuals equal and chooses them for any mission at any place. Newbigin asserts that all individuals have the opportunity to be elected by God to spread His salvation to others around the world. African-Americans have not been de-elected for some mission because they are also part of God’s creation and He considers them for all missions. God’s grace is open to all individuals and African-Americans willing to spread salvation all over the world cannot be de-elected.
In Newbigin’s thinking, the local church engages in both mission and is a mission. The role of the local church in mission is to carry on with the salvation of God all over the globe. Newbigin points out that missions are the specific activities that human beings undertake to spread the gospel to places that did not have initial access to it. Hunsberger (1998) affirms that the local church in mission plays the role of spreading the gospel all over society and ensuring that all individuals are can bear witness of the salvation of God. In his thinking, the local church also plays the role of nurturing hope and re-imagined vision for the future among believers hence ensuring they bear God’s salvation all over the world. On the matter relating to the relationship between the local church and the Kingdom of God, Newbigin observes that the church is an agent of the mission of God. This implies that the presence of God can be felt significantly in the local church as it administers salvation of God’s behalf. The local church represents the mission of God on earth, it is in place with the aim of carrying on with this mission, and ensuring human beings embrace it. Therefore, the church is an agent of God, which invites all individuals to participate in God’s mission.
According to the first essay in Globalizing Theology, globalization refers to the interconnection of individuals emanating from exchange of ideas, worldviews, cultures, and technological aspects. Individuals are also interconnected spiritually as they move from one point to another with the aim of spreading the salvation of God. Globalization poses several impacts on the contents and methods of doing theology. Globalization has led to the translation of the Scripture. The spread of the salvation of God to different places around the globe necessitates the translation of the Scripture into a language that local individuals are able to understand. This has raised some issues as individuals assert that continuous translations alter the content of the Scripture hence changing the original meaning. However, translators are trying their best to uphold the original meaning of the content in the Scripture as initially written. Rieger (2010) reiterates that globalization has led to the spread of the word of God to different cultures and communities around the world. Individuals who did not believe in Christianity have continued embracing the religion because of the high level of globalization that is taking the entire world at an alarming rate. This implies that the population of Christians all over the globe is increasing because of globalization. More so, the methods of doing theology as individuals share different ideas pertaining to the conduct of services. Individuals are picking up new procedures for conducting services due to the ideas that are shared between them. Globalization has led to new methods of service organization and conduct hence ensuring that there is order within churches. People have can also pursue theology as a course because of globalization. This has led to improved methods of doing theology all over the globe. Training equips individuals with the skills to organize services and ensure that the intended message is passed across as desired.
The academic field of anthropology and history play an instrumental role in informing our ideas about the mission and Christian theology in the increasingly globalized context. Hunsberger (1998) affirms that the field of anthropology contributes to the study of human anthropology as it relates to God, their creator. Anthropology enables us understand the innate constitution of humans, commonly referred to as the nature of human kind. Therefore, it points out the relationship between the soul, body, and spirit, which combine form human beings. These relationships are discussed based on the description of individuals about the Bible and its significance in their lives. Anthropology also informs our understanding of Christian theology and mission by presenting three key traditional views of the human constitution such as monism, dichotomism, and trichotomism.
The field of history also contributes to our understanding of Christian theology and mission. The field of history informs us about different aspects relating to the origin of the Christian faith and the manner in which it has spread significantly to different parts of the globe. The field of history has contributed to individual’s understanding of the Trinity and the history of the son of God, Jesus Christ. It also gives a chronology of the different events that have been tremendously taking place in the world of Christianity. All these contributions are significant because they enable us understand the mission of Christians and Christian theology.
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