Do the Four Gospel’s contradict or complement one another in their presentation of the mission of Jesus? This course assesses this question by examining the Gospels’ coherency (One Jesus) and diversity (Four Portraits) of the person and missional message of Jesus. A richly textured portrayal of Jesus’s mission and practices are in evidence in the Four Gospels via Matthews’s messianic focus, Mark’s deep concern for Gentiles, Luke’s attention to the marginalized, and John’s very different but unique and complementary Christological slant.
The bachelor level course introduces students to some of the ways in which Jesus went about his mission through a consideration of his life-style and the practical methods he employed. The master’s course seeks to equip students to reflect on critical questions re the mission of Jesus so that they can confidently follow those methods and share the good news.
Too often Christians turn to the letters of the Apostle Paul for an understanding of the Gospel and not to the Gospels and the message of Jesus. A study of the latter and of Jesus’s methods and practice in mission provides a blueprint for Christians to imitate and incarnate the Gospel message so that they engage the world and culture they live in through their words (belief) and their ways (behavior).
This course mines the Four Gospels in order to present how Jesus understood and went about his mission.
The Gospels continue the Old Testament story-line of the missio Dei via Jesus’ mission to bring in the new Israel, extended now to the Gentiles and all nations.
Just as an awareness of the cultural context of the first century was important for Jesus and his disciples to engage meaningfully in mission, so it is also critical in order for people to engage meaningfully in diverse cultural contexts today.
We look at the socio-cultural context in order to help students understand how Jesus’s method in mission was never to work alone but to collaborate with others, including some women, in the fulfillment of his mission. Being aware of Jesus’s collegial approach will be a necessary antidote to a one-wo/man-band-ministry or ‘lone-ranger’ approach to mission today.
This course will give students an understanding of how to follow some of the principles of Jesus in carrying out mission wherever they are and whatever the nature of their ministry.
Students will be given opportunity via online discussion groups and reading materials to be able to test some of the ideas and concepts discussed during the course so that they can apply them in their own situation.