Recently I have spent significant time in the writings of theologian and missiologist Lesslie Newbigin (click this link if you want to read more about his life and ministry). He was a prolific writer and lecturer, but one piece of his theology was integral to all he published and spoke about: “the gospel as public truth.”
The purpose of this next series of posts (The Integrated Life) is to help today’s Hong Kong Christians understand how to live the gospel as public truth. In order to achieve this purpose we will first explore what Newbigin means when he proposes this theology; second, we will uncover two theological challenges present in conversion to Christianity and living the gospel as public truth in the Chinese context; and third, hear Newbigin respond to these challenges. This brief study is important because by it we confront head-on one of the greatest obstacles to Christian mission today: a faith that is too private and therefore irrelevant to the culture in which we live.
At the outset we must acknowledge Lesslie Newbigin’s context in most of his writings (Europe at the end of the 20th century) is different than the Asian, Hong Kong context. However, there are not radical differences, as we shall see, especially as Hong Kong finds its way in postmodernism. If you do not live in HK, I think you will find this equally applicable to where you do live. As always, I invite your comments to each post. They begin now (see below).