Justice and Mission (Issue 35 Dec 2010)

Issue 35 Editors: Andy and Carol Kingston-Smith

A warm welcome to this edition of Encounters. A number of topics are considered which highlight the central role of justice in contemporary mission. Living in an increasingly interconnected and complex world requires of us an acute awareness of issues at both local and global levels and how they are likely to play out in each new context. We trust that this edition will contribute to sharpening your thinking and vision for mission in our world today. Please take the opportunity to interact with us we seek to grow together in the understanding and application of Jesus’ ministry mandate of bringing “… good news to the poor…freedom for the prisoners…recovery of sight for the blind, set[ting] the oppressed free [and announcing]…the year of the Lord’s favour.” (Luke 4: 18-19).
The first article by Dr Dewi Hughes reviews the way in which principles of biblical justice influenced the missionary endeavours of William Carey.  Dewi reminds us that the question is not, to what extent should justice become a key element in mission, but rather, assuming its centrality, why have issues of justice not remained at the forefront of mission? In the response, Dr Jonathan Ingleby challenges us to consider whether our eschatology is sufficiently well-(in)formed. He suggests that the way we approach matters of justice is, to some degree at least, influenced by how we conceive and live in the light of our understanding of biblical eschatology.

The third article by Carol Kingston-Smith draws on our mission experiences in Bolivia in a thought-provoking and challenging critique of how we engage in matters of compassion and justice glocally; taking into account local contexts and their histories, with an understanding of how macro-level economic, socio-political and cultural factors are influencing and having significant repercussions on these contexts. A central question is whether acts of compassion can sometimes stall the establishment of justice.

An important test for our theorising about justice is, of course, how it is achieved in practice. A number of leaders, engaged in cross-cultural ministries, have contributed their thoughts and experiences. Helen Sworn’s dialogue discloses the heart-wrenching, yet vital, work of Chab Dai, in advocacy, intervention and training, and its key role in advising the Cambodian Government on combatting the evils of sex-trafficking. Based in the UK, Rachel Davies further examines the role of the Christian community in advocating on behalf of victims of trafficking. She explains CARE’s UK work in parliamentary lobbying for just laws at both national and European Union levels.

Micah Network’s International Director, Sheryl Haw, shares her observations on the interplay between justice and holistic mission, and supports the necessity of training future missionaries enabled to interface appropriately across inter-cultural contexts.

Tearfund’s Ben Niblett exhorts us to both consider and act on the important issue of climate change. Ben unpacks how environmental degradation is affecting millions, most particularly those who have done the least to contribute to the environmental damage; the poor in the Global South.

No theme of justice can ignore economic issues, and Ian Meredith, turns our attention to issues of trade. He exposes some of the realities and problems of Fairtrade and suggests that we can do better in establishing ‘just trade’. Economic issues are also at the heart of poverty-fuelled violence in Muhabura, Uganda. The Rt. Rev. Cranmer Mugisha, Bishop of the Diocese of Muhabura provides us with a profile of the struggles the Church faces there. Finally, Tim Davy provides a succinct book review of In His image, written by Oasis’ International Director, Andy Matheson.

In conclusion, let us mention that at Redcliffe we are currently working on new initiatives in areas of justice and integral mission. We will share more in the early months of the New Year but in the meantime please contact us if you have a particular interest in the subject-matter covered by this edition at akingstonsmith@redcliffe.org and ckingstonsmith@redcliffe.org.

Andy & Carol

Global Mission and Justice – Snapshots from History.
(Dr Dewi Hughes, 5148 words, pdf 245 KB) PDF -:- Abstract & Discussion
Justice and Eschatology – A Response to Dr Dewi Hughes.
(Dr Jonathan Ingleby, 1164 words, pdf 144 KB) PDF -:- Abstract & Discussion
Caring Wisely in a Globalised World.
(Carol Kingston-Smith, 4298  words, pdf 194 KB) PDF -:- Abstract & Discussion
Bodies for Sale: Globalised Trafficking for the Sex Trade – An Interview with Helen Sworn founder of Chab Dai, Cambodia.
(Carol Kingston-Smith (ed.), 1758 words, pdf 256 KB) PDF -:- Abstract & Discussion
Speaking up for Justice – Connecting Church and Government
(Rachel Davies, 1469 words, pdf 174 KB) PDF -:- Abstract and Discussion
Do Justice, Love Mercy and Walk Humbly – An interview with Sheryl Haw, International Director, Micah Network .
(Andy Kingston-Smith (ed.), 1419 words, pdf 137 KB) PDF -:- Abstract & Discussion
Act now! Inspiring Churches to act on Climate Justice.
(Ben Niblett, 4400 words, pdf 528 KB)  PDF -:- Abstract & Discussion
Is Fairtrade the Same as Just Trade? A Direct Trade Perspective.
(Ian Meredith, 1662 words, pdf 235 KB)  PDF -:- Abstract & Discussion
A Case Study of Relational Justice and Patterns of Familial Violence – Muhabura District, Uganda Mission.
(The Rt. Rev. Cranmer Mugisha; 1144 words, pdf 190 KB) PDF -:- Abstract & Discussion

Book Review: In His Image: Understanding and Embracing the Poor.
(by Andy Matheson; Authentic Media)

And finally, a single PDF of the whole issue. Ideal for using offline or to make printing easier.

Issue 35:  Single Document Version (in full)

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