Global Missions Paper
HTH 469/Grand Canyon University
In this essay I will analyzes Escobar's thesis and compares and contrasts his theological contribution with other theologians. I will discussion Escobar's contextual approach as compared/contrasted in relation to one theological theme with two other contemporary theologians. I will summarize how Escobar's overall theological contribution either expands or challenges the theological perspectives of the two theologians chosen. Lastly, I will look at how these perspectives would influence my ministry if I were in a culturally diverse ministry setting.
In 1970 there was a group of theologists who came together and wanting to liberate themselves from a traditional fundamentalist view; they formed The Latin American Theology Fraternity called The International Fellowship of Evangelical Students. There hope was to establish their own identity within the fraternity because it was not tied to anything else. They received the chance to speak at a worldwide mixed denomination situation where they each deliberated spiritual matters that connected with the hardships of the Latin American people. In 1973 the Chicago Declaration was an effort to balance civic responsibility with Christian belief. Twenty years later as crisis arose it was renewed. Samuel Escobar was a leader who was among the first to know that a special methodology was necessary to get people to work together based on shared beliefs. His theology is structured by reevaluating Biblical disclosures and relating them to both social and political realities as he aims his concentration on a theology of mission work. In his book The New Global Mission I read about his lengthy thoughts on this matter. In there he is able to consider a new missionary drive and explores how he thinks evangelical mission work ought to be done. The Christian church’s mission on a more global front is to bring together believers from around the world. Escobar established a theology which started with the fraternity that merged social, church and state. Escobar understood that evolving cultures may not always be in line with traditional Christian beliefs. Missionary work needs to investigate each new situation for the best possible outcome of all involved. Escobar proposed a missionary work that assigns the bond faith with in its tasks. He hails the success of spiritual works as integral to a mission. The overall effort must bring forth the involvement of each person who desires to share their faith socially. The projected outcome would be a church able to combine its mission objective with the desire to share its faith with others. Contextual theology disputes the differences of who and when theological literature was written. Theology also argues the contextual change in the setting. As the need arises to interpret various new religious questions new theology is formulated. Evangelicals now try to relate the theology to mission work in a framework that recognizes cultural changes. Escobar’s theology is said to have incorporated both social science and Biblical revelation. He was an avid supporter for the Bible and started the basis for the theology of mission work. He believed that working missionaries carry out the work as noted in evangelical revelations. The early theologian did not attempt to relate passages in the bible to the current events of the world. Escobar meet with both Pannenberg and Moltmann on this topic. Moltmann believed theology needed to relate to experiences in life. Pannenberg does not view this issue as relevant. He knew that the scriptures stated for followers to await a specific moment in time when the final truth, that which we cannot understand with limited knowledge would be revealed to us. Moltmann’s theology is grounded in biblical descriptions to him the scriptures are more than mere tales, they are real historical events and should be clarified as such....
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