This study’s focus is Jesus’ significant representation of the kingdom of God
utilizable for mission today – a topic of importance for contemporary Christianity’s
sustainable reaction to a globalizing world. Christianity should not have to be a
spectator to globalization but one of its agents, one of the forces at work by
extending interconnection between peoples, shared ideas and promoted social,
political and cultural links. How should Christian churches conceive of their mission
within the context of a globalizing world? It is remarkable that after two millennia of
Jesus’ life, ‘mission in the kingdom of God’ is still of great importance for human life
on earth. Indeed, contemporary secularists might not commend religion with the
custody of such a fundamental burden of responsibility. Yet, considering the times
we live in, a foundation of sustainable values for earth are inescapably important.
Nevertheless, from what foundational values does Christianity draw to bear witness
of the divine in a secular age? When considering all the factors mentioned, what
foundational ethics and virtues of Christianity that we bear witness to are still
believable in a secular age?
The purpose of this study is not to provide a complete response to the question of
mission of the church in a globalizing world, but to establish a framework within
which answers may be sought. The study is informed from a variety of disciplines
such as politics, cultural theory and politics, which are not the usual fields of New
Testament Studies. Therefore, this study presents itself in five chapters informing
one another. Chapter 1 addresses the issues that surface from current missional
reaction and the broader implications that globalization has on changing social and
institutional realities and the churches’ response to it. Chapter 2 identifies
indispensable characteristics of the early twentieth century Social Gospel movement
to implement those values as essential building blocks in globalized mission. In
Chapter 3 investigates the potential use of Postcolonial Theory for categorizing
postcolonial characteristics of marginalization, oppression, neo-imperialism and neocolonialism.
Chapter 4 applies the outcomes of Chapter 1 through 3 with which
Richard Horsley’s proposed perspective on Jesus’ mission in Roman Palestine as the ‘renewal of Israel’ is considered to discern about the first century world and the
implications it has for the third millennium.
The Christian faith, among others, has marginalizing practices derived from centuries
old traditions and biased interpretations of Scripture. We see examples of it strewn
over two millennia. Chapter 5 concludes this cursory study by summarizing the
valuable and constructive characteristics in mission, globalization, postcolonial
studies and the Social Gospel. These characteristics can inform the Christian faith in
its responsibility of living, and letting others participate, through ‘mission’, in the
kingdom of God. Because if we do not, what is still believable today about the
significant life of Jesus?