Missio-Dei as paradigma vir die verhouding tussen geloofsgemeenskappe
The theological theme missio Dei functions increasingly as the paradigm for local faith communities to renew the self-understanding of their identity and purpose in a changing world. There is, therefore, great interest in theological publications and religious practices regarding the so-called missional church. The missio Dei does not only have implications for the local faith community to be missional, but also for the way in which these faith communities should act in relation to each other in light of their new self-understanding. The missio Dei should, therefore, also shape the relationship between faith communities. This is already happening, especially in missional church-planting networks, but these networks have not thoroughly been grounded theologically or researched empirically in the light of the missio Dei. The purpose of this study is to develop a Scriptural matrix for the establishment of the relationship between faith communities in light of the missio Dei. The research is done by way of the practical theological methodology of Gerben Heitink (1999). * The first section of this study is a hermeneutic process, seeking to put the current state of affairs into perspective and develop Scriptural principles. Chapter 2 of the hermeneutic inquiry seeks to understand the way in which the missio Dei functions in existing literature on the role of the missio Dei in the relationship between faith communities. Literature on existing missional networks are also included. In Chapter 3, an understanding is developed of the role of the Trinity in the missio Dei and of the fact that its elements should also be present in the relationship between faith communities that are participating in the missio Dei. This is done by way of grammatical-historical exegesis of John 17. Chapter 2, therefore, helps to understand what needs to be changed, and Chapter 3 helps to understand the preferred practice. * The second section involves an empirical research in Chapter 4 of four missional networks in the United States of America and in Canada to determine the role of the missio Dei in the practice of those networks. These networks are Redeemer City to City, Church Innovations, Acts 29 and Forge Canada. * The third section is the strategic moment and involves the integration of the research results from Chapters 2, 3 and 4 in a practice theory. In Chapter 5, a practise-theory matrix is eventually developed for the establishment of the relationship between faith communities in light of the missio Dei. This matrix may also have many useful applications, ranging from being used as an instrument for measuring and developing the missionality of local faith communities to the evaluation or even development of missional networks. The conclusion of the study is that the degree of insight into the role of the Trinity in the missio Dei determines the extent to which faith communities and missional networks function missionally. The nature, boundaries, function and purpose of the unity of the Persons of the Trinity determine the nature, boundaries, function and purpose of the unity of missional communities of faith in their relationship with each other. The better a faith community's understanding is of the role of the Trinity in the missio Dei, the better that faith community will be able to function missionally with other faith communities. The matrix that has been developed helps the assessment, adjustment, establishment and prediction of the effectiveness of missional relationships between faith communities.
- Theology