The purpose of this website and blog is to provide information about who I am for interested students and others and to promote discussion on two themes that I care a great deal about – God’s mission and Methodism. I strive to integrate these themes in my scholarship as well as in my teaching even if it is not always immediately apparent that I am doing that. Simply put, I am a United Methodist who cares about the mission of God in the world today and throughout history. My hope is that this website will be a place for fruitful conversation about these things.
I also need to say something about the beautiful painting on the banner of this site. It is entitled “The Great Commission” by the artist Nalini Jayasuriya. I sometimes begin my classes with this picture to encourage imaginative reflection on the meaning of Christian mission that is portrayed here. My hope is that this blog will help others to do the same whether persons are writing from the perspective of world Methodism or from some other tradition.
“[Missiology is] the science about the Word of God as the Church in her becoming; the Word as the Church in her borderline situations; the Church as a surprise and a puzzle; the Church in her growth; the church when her historical appearance is so new that she has to strain herself to recognize her past in the mirror of the present; the church where she is pregnant of new revelations for a people in which she dawns…. Missiology studies the growth of the Church into new peoples, the birth of the Church beyond its social boundaries; beyond the linguistic barriers within which see feels at home; beyond the poetic images in which she taught her children… Missiology therefore is the study of the Church as surprise.”
— Ivan Illich cited in David Bosch’s Transforming Mission, p. 493.