The occasion for writing and publishing this book was the Third Lausanne Congress of World Evangelism, held in Cape Town, in October, 2010. Its presentation to the Chairman of the Dutch Lausanne Committee took place in the context of the symposium Hope for Holland, held in Veenendaal, on May 14th, 2011. It is, of course impossible to summarize the book I have written in the fifteen minutes that have been assigned to me. Let me, then, give you three points which are fairly close to the core of the Lausanne Conference – apart, of course, from the Cape Town Commitment, which forms about half of the book, and is highly commended to your perusal. Before I do that, let me recount an event that happened during some of the very few free hours that we were allowed to have in Cape Town. With a friend I made a visit to the so-called Slave Lodge, now a museum, but built originally as a place where slave traders literally ‘dumped’ their trade in the18th century. We saw one old Dutch document, entitled NEGENTIEN DOODE NEGERS. It was a list of nineteen black slaves, ‘niggers’, found dead upon disembarkment of the ship. At least they took the pains to make a note, and then buried the corpses without much ceremony. But the rest of the slaves, before set on further transport to the West, were left in this dungeon. Very close to its rear side was (and still is) a church. The Dutch colonists, of course, piously went to church every Sunday, and the story goes that whenever the screaming from the dungeon became too loud, the organist was instructed to play a bit louder and the congregation would sing harder, in order not to hear the sound. These were my Dutch ancestors. But in a way, as I realised with a shock, I have been for many years so close to a whole world full of the direst misery, yet turning my back to it, and increasing my religious noise in order not to hear the screaming. After this confession, let me now summarize the content of the Third Lausanne Conference of World Evangelism in three terms from John 1: the Word, the Life and the Light. In my book these are the topics on which I elaborated. The Word was God, and the Word was with God. Summarized like this: Divine life plus human communication is change. This is where every concept of mission must begin: with the Son of God ‘translating’ Himself. This is the Missio Dei: God sending Himself. The Life was Christ, indeed eternal life. But He came to share His life with us, abundantly. So after He finished His work, and was resurrected and glorified, this glorious equation can be made: Head + Body = the Christ. In the Greek the article is used, ho Christos – it is the corporate manifestation of Christ. The embodiment of His person. The Body. That means: we do not just bring the Gospel, we are the Gospel. The Light of life, the glory of God in the face of Christ Jesus, radiates through us, into the very darkness of this poor suffering world. Put it like this: humans + Holy Spirit = the New Man. Much more than an individual Christian who goes to Church, it is the collective ‘incarnation’ of Christ. Mission, seen in this light, is not being in church, but being in this very world. Being there, not elsewhere. Mission is not the attractional strength of the Gospel, that might draw people out from this world to the church; it is the incarnational presence of the Church in this world, that makes Christ touchable in this place. Back to the Slave Lodge. The attitude of our Lord was completely different from Dutch colonists. He did not turn a blind eye or a deaf ear to humans crying out for help. His sighs were real, from his heart: Effatha! What is it that the Holy Spirit does now? Not just worshiping in tongues. He sighs. And the real thing in us, when He operates in our lives: making us sigh, with unspeakable sighs. And can we say that this is the hope for Holland? That people sigh about the misery of this present world. It is the groaning, the birth pangs of a new era, the Kingdom. This world is eagerly longing for the manifestation of the Sons of God.
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Ik houd mezelf JHWH voor, voortdurend’ (Psalm16:8) ‘Waak over mij, God!’ (Psalm 16:1) Soms (vaak, misschien wel altijd) weet
interTXT U6 Vijfentwintig kilometer boven NImes vind je zonder problemen het plaatsje Uzes. Wij zijn daar wel eens
Zou het niet prachtig zijn als er zo’n tempel was, net als bij Ezechiël, waaruit een rivier stroom die leven