Saturday, July 26, 2008

Cosmission 2

The logic of cosmission starts at creation. God, Father, Son and Spirit, created the world (Gen 1:1-2; Jn 1:1-2; Col 1:16; Heb 1:1-3). He formed it and filled it with glorious vegetation and animal life. The process is disputed by 6-day literalists, old-earth creationists and theistic evolutionists and is not the point of this blog, but all authentic Christians agree: God created the heavens and the earth. He placed humanity in this world, male and female, in his image (Gen 1:27). This means, capable of relationship, creative, emotive, volitional and alive. The male and females are to become one, marrying and propogating the human race filling the earth, forming families of love and truth. Humanity was given 'ownership' in the sense of 'stewardship' for this world, the task of governing it and caring for it (Gen 1:28; 2:7).


This creation mandate lies at the heart of cosmission. The 'big picture' of humanity is utilising the wonderful gifts of God in creation and building the world of human society. It means exploring creation, reflecting its artistry and utilising the elements of creation to form a world. It means building community based on the agape of the Trinity, spreading out through the world, filling it with people and living in love. It is not a whimpish soft type of humanity that is in mind however, but a blend of nurture and courageous joyous exploration.

It is thus a tremendously exciting vision of God's image bearers graciously accepting his grace-offered gift of this world and their role as stewards, and building it. Ideally, they would do so within the boundaries he gives. Jumping ahead then, cosmission is seeking to live out the creation mandate of God to care for his world on his behalf, exploring it, utilising its resources, building with all that he has given us with beauty and love a glorious world.

I don't know about you, but I find this extraordinarily exciting. Cosmission!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Reflections on a Trip To England

I am recently back from a trip to England and Wales for a conference. It was my first trip to Europe or GB and it was sensational. This is kind of a few comments and questions on the place and my experiences.

So...
1. How is it that you can be out in the England sun for 6 hours in the height of their summer and not get sunburnt. Quite seriously in NZ, you can do 30 mins in the sun and get burnt worse than I did in 6 hours. I saw one sunhat in 3 days of walking through the streets of London! What is that about?
2. English people ride bikes all over the place. I saw this in Cambridge in particular. But few wear helmets! In NZ we have to wear them and you are kind of frowned upon if you don't wear one.
3. Speed! Rush! I was stunned at the pace of life in England that seemed to increase nearer London in particular. I drove from west Wales to Cambridge via the M4, M25 and M11. I drove about 65-70mph (app. 110-120km) and had to stick to the inside lane watching people fly past me at pace. So I drove with the trucks and oldies! And in the streets of towns, speed. What a rush they are all in. We have sped up over the years, but are slow in comparison, I like it!
4. Expensive! Everything is sooooo expensive. Gas was 1 pound 20 which converts to about $3.50 NZ. We moan at a cost just over $2, yet it is not expensive relatively. More than that, everything is relatively priced which makes the exchange worse. So, a filled roll was about 3 pounds! That is in reality about $8-9 Kiwi. I reckon a pound was in effect worth about $5 NZ in many instances. It seemed that I only had to walk past a shop and my wallet was drained! It is soooo expensive.
5. The Tube! Oh yeah! The underground is sensational. It reinforced to me that we have to develop some form of train system in Auckland, whether over land, underground. It was fantastic to be able to jump on a train, leap off another one, and get out right where I wanted to go! Bring in on Auckland!
6. Tolls. I noticed this in Australia recently. They have tolls on the Sydney Harbour Bridge for example. In England, there were toll stations as well. It is time NZ got back to them as we had them when the Auckland Harbour Bridge was built. We need to bite the bullet and find ways to get money to develop our transport system and eco-friendly transport options.
7. Amazing places. The places I went to were fantastic. Cambridge! Ahhhh! What a cool place! The buildings were amazing. Our oldest buildings appear young beside these. Cardiff Castle is amazing, a family home used 6 weeks a year but so creative. London was full of utterly sensational places like Big Ben, Trafalgar Sq, Westminster, The Eye, Hyde Park, Museums and more.

That's enough for now. Got to go... think more.

Cosmission

I have been thinking of a word to describe mission as I now understand it. The word I would like to coin in 'cosmission'. I am not sure if it is a new word? Anyhow, it comes from 'cosmos' (Gk: kosmos) suggesting all of creation, the world; and 'mission' from 'missio' with the notion of 'being sent'. Thus, sent to the whole world lies at the heart of this new word cosmission.

I like it, because I think it grasps the notion of God's mission. I am increasingly persuaded that God's mission is to the whole planet and not just the saving of people from eternal destruction to eternal life. Certainly it is the latter and I am passionate about evangelism and conversion. This is the heart of the mission for me.

But cosmission grasps the notion of God's big mission, to restore his world, to see human relationships and society based on his character and love, community as we see in the Trinity and heavenly community. Cosmission means restoration of all the world; the redemption of creation, of all cultures, of all societies, of all institutions, of all realms of life including science, art, education, sport, governments and more.

Cosmission is the restoration of all of humanity, all of God's world. What do you think of the word?