Square Mile initiative

Square MileJesus calls his followers to be salt and light in the world (Matt. 5:13-16). Salt and light make a difference. You would notice if they weren’t there. But,

‘Would anyone in your community notice if your church ceased to exist?’

This provocative question is asked by the Evangelical Alliance as part of a new initiative called ‘Square Mile’, which aims to encourage churches to engage in truly integral mission.

Here’s what they say,

Square Mile is an Evangelical Alliance initiative which aims to catalyse and equip Christians to take a truly integrated approach to mission, expressed in four dimensions:

Mercy: demonstrating God’s compassion to the poor
 
Influence: being salt and light in the public life of the community
 
Life Discipleship: equipping Christians for missional living as workers & neighbours
 
Evangelism: faithful and relevant communication of the gospel

For more information, check out the Square Mile website

Mission, the resurrection and HIV AIDS

Today’s post is a contribution to Slipstream’s synchronised blogging day. Slipstream is part of the Evangelical Alliance and “exists to network, equip and grow leaders across the generations”. They asked bloggers to post an entry on the resurrection on Maundy Thursday.

In my recent post Human trafficking and mission I asked how we might connect certain texts in the Old Testament with the issue of contemporary slavery and trafficking. Today I want to highlight one aspect of the importance of the resurrection in relation to the global shadow of HIV/AIDS. In his The Mission of God: Unlocking the Bible’s Grand Narrative, Chris Wright offers the following comments, which are well worth reflecting upon:

Only the gospel offers and proclaims the promise of a new humanity to those whose present humanity has been shattered and shredded by this virus.

I say “only the gospel” with a double intention. First, because this essential gospel promise of eternal life for all who believe, founded on the cross and resurrection of Christ, is nonnegotiable and cannot be substituted for or sublimated into any of the other responses that we must make to HIV/AIDS, all of which have their own equally nonnegotiable validity and Christian interpretation. But secondly, I say only the Christian gospel, as distinct from all other religions and their view of death. For actually, it is the stark fact of death that throws up and defines most clearly the chasmic divide between religions and between the myriad views of what salvation might mean…

a missiology that omits the only ultimate answer to death from the range of responses to those in the grip of death has no claim to a Christian name either. (pp. 440-441, emphasis in bold is mine)