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In die Skriflig

On-line version ISSN 1018-6441

Abstract

KRUGER, Jaco. The philosophical-theological underpinnings of 'missionai' church: A critical evaluation. In Skriflig (Online) [online]. 2013, vol.47, n.1, pp. 1-8. ISSN 1018-6441.

This article presents a perspective on the growing tendency - also in South Africa - to characterise the church as missional. Thinking of the church in missional terms is apparently in reaction against an earlier, static view that focused on the church as an institution, and more specifically, an institution that functions by drawing people to itself. In contrast, the missional approach to church wants to start with God, as the One that sends, and from that perspective develops a more dynamic and communicative conception of the church. An important implication of this would be to have the church much more present in and to the culture of the world, in order to effectively point to a new reality. The research question informing this article has to do with the philosophical and theological underpinnings of the missional church approach. What assumptions about the relation between God and creation, or transcendence and immanence, underlie this approach? What implications would the consideration of the philosophical and theological assumptions underlying the missional church movement have for its evaluation? These questions are answered by placing the missional notion of the church, as well as the institutional-contractual notion against which it reacts, against the background of a sacramental understanding of the church. The latter was the notion of the church that was almost universally taken for granted in the first millennium of the church's existence.

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