“Mission is the Mother of Theology” – Martin Kahler

MissionRev. Gregory Seltz, speaker of The Lutheran Hour writes,

“Messengers are always tested in new communities to see if they actually believe what they are saying.  The community examines, even tests, words and deeds as part of the process of making them their own. As Martin Kohler stated more than one hundred years ago, ‘mission if the mother of theology.’  Frontline missionary outreach will force evangelists to examine and apply theological truths in ways often not experienced by those nestled in the safety of their studies and chancels.

That’s a tension that exists for every sermon preached on the radio, for every issue engaged with a Christian worldview broader than our congregational or communal boundaries. But it is the reality of Acts 10 ministry. To stay the course of servanthood in the heat of ministry is to see mission for others in the way that Christ sees mission for you (Heb 12:1-3). Sacramental certainty endures the barriers that all cultures erect against the Gospel, but it also rejoices in the garb of language and custom that allow the gospel to speak ‘anew in the specific cloak one’s humanity in community.'”

From: “Empowering Confident Confessor-Servant Evangelists: Twenty-First-Century Multicultural Mission Work” in Concordia Journal, Summer 2014, p. 209.  Click on “Concordia Journal” to read Rev. Seltz’s article.

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