The Congregation as a Hermeneutic of the Gospel
I always love re-reading Lesslie Newbigin’s The Gospel in a Pluralist Society, for it is a rich understanding of mission in today’s world, he helps us understand how to engage with religions, cultures and important issues with a sense of humility and integrity. It is in the 18th chapter of this book that Newbigin focuses on – The Congregation as Hermeneutic of the Gospel. He says, “It (the community formed by Jesus) becomes the place where men and women and children find that the gospel gives them the framework of understanding, the “lenses” through which they are able to understand and cope with the world.”
And insofar as the congregation is true to her calling, this community has six characteristics:
1. A community of praise.
2. A community of truth.
3. A community that does not live for itself but is deeply involved in the concerns of its neighbors.
4. A community where men and women are prepared for and sustained in the exercise of the priesthood in the world.
5. A community of mutual responsibility.
6. A community of hope.