i am pleased to say i have a chapter in the end of theology: shaping theology for the sake of mission. the chapter was originally presented at a conference exploring the relationship between theology and mission. as you can guess from the title of my chapter pioneering mission for the church's theology, i reflect on the importance of the practice of mission for doing theology rather than seeing it as something somehow either prior to or abstracted from mission. i also use it as an opportunity to reflect on what we have been learning about teaching mission and theology in the pioneer training at cms. the book is a collection of essays from a range of writers such as pete ward, kirsteen kim, michael goheen and is edited by jason sexton and paul weston. it is good to see this sort of conversation taking place and it is fun to be part of it. if i may i'll quote myself in the chapter to give you the gist - apologies if that seems like the act of an egotistical maniac - it's not meant to be!
The title of the gathering at which the papers in this book were presented was "Doing Theology for the Church's Mission", but this is problematic. It seems to assume somehow that the thinking part comes first, and then the church's ministry, mission and practice will change. I am highly suspicious of this way of orienting the conversation. In my experience all the best theology comes out of practice, out of real questions arising from mission or ministry on the ground, not as something that is worked out in the academy and then banked up for dealing with mission later on. That is why I called my paper at the conference "Doing Mission for the Church's Theology"