Franklin, Patrick S. “Bonhoeffer for the Missional Church: An Exposition and Critique of the Missional Church Movement’s Ecclesiology in Light of the Ecclesiology of Dietrich Bonhoeffer.” Th.M., Regent College, 2004.
This thesis explores the question: what are the implications of Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s ecclesiology for the ecclesiology of the Missional Church Movement? It begins with a discussion of the development of the Missional Church Movement, showing that it built upon the foundational ideas of Lesslie Newbigin regarding the gospel and Western culture. Next, it includes an exposition of the ecclesiology of the
Missional Church Movement, followed by an exposition of the ecclesiology of Dietrich Bonhoeffer (particularly the relational, Christological, and missional elements of his ecclesiology). Subsequently, the congruencies between Bonhoeffer and the Missional Church Movement are discussed. Finally, a critique of the ecclesiology of the Missional Church Movement is offered, in light of Bonhoeffer’s ecclesiology.
The findings of this paper demonstrate that Bonhoeffer’s ecclesiology supports the Missional Church Movement advocates in their efforts to embody the gospel and to rethink it in light of current cultural shifts. However, Bonhoeffer’s ecclesiology also exposes the following weaknesses in the Missional Church Movement’s conception of the church: i) the methodology employed by the Missional Church Movement is highly contextual and not sufficiently grounded in the Word of God; ii) the movement’s literature emphasizes certain biblical metaphors for the church while neglecting others; iii) in its critique of the North American church, the Missional Church Movement creates or intensifies a number of false dichotomies; iv) by subjugating church to mission, there is a danger of the Missional Church Movement conception leading to an overly functional or task-oriented ecclesiology, in which the church is regarded merely as a means to an end; and v) in its development of a missional ecclesiology, the Missional Church Movement does not sufficiently address multicultural, multiethnic, or minority voices.
Thesis (Th.M)--Regent College, 2004.
Table of Contents
Introduction – Missional Church Movement Development – Missional Church Movement Ecclesiology – Bonhoeffer’s Ecclesiology: Part One – Bonhoeffer’s Ecclesiology: Part Two – A Critique of the Missional Church Movement’s Ecclesiology.
Copyright, Patrick S. Franklin, managed by Regent College. All rights reserved.
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