All things Newbigin

On the 8th of December 2009 Lesslie Newbigin, (1909-1998) a true theological and missiological giant, would have been 100 years old.

Read this tribute to Lesslie Newbigin, The Missionary Wouldn’t Retire from Christianity Today.

Or what about these 10 Things You Probably Did Not Know About Him. (HT: Brisco)

And for a classic from the archives what about this one by Tim Stafford from 1986 God’s Missionary to Us (HT: Brisco again)

Or if none of those satisfy you and you want the steak and red wine of introductions to Lesslie Newbigin check out my paper introducing Newbigin, which I wrote for a post-graduate course in Missions.

And don’t forget to check out for a load of free resources, papers, etc – and this is one time you don’t get what you paid for!

Which Newbigin book would I recommend to a virgin-Newbigin reader: A Word in Season was the first one I read, and as a collection of articles, papers and talks given by Newbigin over many years it is a brilliant and stimulating introduction to his theology.

And how can I end a Newbigin tribute without, a classic Newbigin quote: (If he had lived in the age of social media he would have been all over YouTube – this guy is a walking soundbite of brilliant quotes):

“… what the gospel offers is not just hope for the individual but hope for the world.  Concretely I think this means that the congregation must be so deeply and intimately involved in the secular concerns of the neighbourhood that it becomes clear to all that no one and nothing is outside the range of God’s love in Jesus Christ.” Word in Season p43

Ok, one more…

“… the hope of which the Church is called to be the bearer in the midst of a famine of hope is a radically otherwordly hope.  Knowing that Jesus is King and that he will come to reign, it fashions its life and invites the whole community to fashion its life in the light of this reality because every other way of living is based on illusions.  It thus creates signs, parables, foretastes, appetizers of the Kingdom in the midst of the hopelessness of the world.  It makes it possible to act both hopefully and realistically in a world without hope, a world that deals in illusion.” Word in Season p44

~ by John on December 12, 2009.

4 Responses to “All things Newbigin”

  1. Ok, so you knew I would be commenting! 🙂

    In my opinion, more important than all the thinking he has helped us with, Newgbigin was a humble example of missional spirituality. Although I fall far short, he has been my mentor for the past 17 years.

    As a Presbyterian he was asked to be the first Bishop the the Church of Southern India which he worked so hard at uniting. He said he did not have a clue what a Bishop’s role was, so he went back to Scripture and …. did an amazing Job (It was based on function and not title).

    So here is one more quote from the first book I read of his in 1991, A Faith for this One World? (1961) pg 86

    ‘The Church’s mission is simply the continued ministry in the world of that same divine Spirit who was in Jesus. His presence in the world means that the new age of the Kingdom has really dawned ….

    ‘This new reality expresses itself in three characteristic ways: in the existence of a new community based upon a common sharing in the life of the Holy Spirit; in activities which reveal in action the presence of the new reality; in words which bear witness to the new reality’.

    May the Lord bless the world with a Church that understands this and commits herself to it.

  2. Great quote!

  3. An excellent tribute to one of my greatest heroes. Thanks!

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