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Some great thoughts from Leslie Newbigin on the role of proclamation in Christian mission (from The Gospel in a Pluralist Society):

 

“…by proclaiming Christ the Christian world mission offers to all people the possibility of understanding what God is doing in history. By its witness–in word and deed and common life–to the centrality of the work of Jesus in his ministry, death, and resurrection it offers to all people the possibility of understanding that the meaning and goal of history are not to be found in any of the projects, programs, ideologies, and utopias which offer themselves in competition with one another; the rise and decline one after another of movements promising happiness in the future; movements which sweep forward for a time and then falter and fall back like the ceaseless movement of the waves on an ocean shore; but that it is to be found in a person and a history which breaks decisively through this endless succession by breaching the final barrier of death and opening a new horizon for human affairs, a hope which on the one hand affirms and energizes all those human hopes which correspond to God’s purpose as revealed in Christ, but yet on the other hand transcends them all. The Church, reaching out to every human community, living a life which is centered in the continual remembrance and reenactment of that central revelation, offers to all peoples a vision of the goal of human history in which its good is affirmed and its evil is forgiven and taken away, a vision which makes it possible to act hopefully when there is no earthly hope, and to find a way when everything is dark and there are no earthly landmarks.”

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