The following comment came in today from a missionary…she has asked some serious and thoughtful questions regarding the Great Commission….and since I don’t have all the answers I thought I’d give my very capable readers a shot at answering her……
Hey, Phil. Thanks for this post. I’m a missionary (ha!) and have recently been questioning the universality of “The Great Commission.” I assumed that if it were really debatable, others would have already written about it, so I found your blog through a google search 🙂 Thanks.
Do you happen to know the history of this theology? I know the story of when William Carey “resurrected” (or invented- I’m not sure) the idea at a Keswick convention, and was chastised by the current leaders, but do you know how the Church interpreted Matt 28:18-20, before then?
I’ve often wondered about the two models of “take the light into/ share it with the world” vs. “be the city on a hill which people naturally see and are drawn to IF they are drawn to the light.” Any thoughts?
Why do you say that we are all called to disciple others? Are we actually called to disciple others, generally speaking? Or are we called to love God and others, and is “discipleship” more of a natural response to our recognition of His grace in our lives and our desire to share it with others? You referred to a Timothy passage- but that was specifically addressed to Tim, wasn’t it?
What is the purpose of the Church? Is it’s primary purpose really to grow numerically through evangelism? If so, why isn’t this addressed more in Paul’s letters to the first churches?
Finally, once “critique” for you- it looks like, from the Mark passage- these signs were to accompany those who believe, i.e. all believers, not specifically those bringing the message, i.e. apostles. Am I missing something?
Thanks so much!