Costas, an Hispanic evangelical, gives a provocative interpretation of missiology from the margins. He calls for bold self-evaluation of missionary effectiveness and suggests missional commitment is shown not just by beliefs but lived behaviour. Costas perceives a crisis of church and theology includes:
* a culturally bound church and an ideologically captive theology * a clergy-dominated church and a laity-dominated clergy * a gospel without demands and demands without the gospel * a mission in crisis and a crisis in mission
He bemoans individualised feel-good domestic religion that insulates Christians from following Christ in the world: `Salvation lies outside the gates of the cultural, ideological, political, and socioeconomic walls that surround our religious compound and shape the structures of Christendom. It is not a ticket to a privileged spot in God's universe but, rather, freedom for service' (p191). It is good to learn from people from other cultures, and Christ Outside the Gate is a classic call to mission that is not just from but to the Western world.
Originally appeared in Darren Cronshaw, `The Emerging Church: Introductory Reading Guide', Zadok Papers, S143 (Summer 2005).
Mission has to be done outside the gate to have credibility. Sep 26, 1998
Orlando E. Costas, a missiologist born in Puerto Rico, was a former professor of Missiology at Eastern Bapstist Theological Seminary and Andover-Newton Theological Seminary. Much of his missiology was reflecet on the road, as he used to say. In "Christ Outside the Gate", Costas proposes a missiology and a missionary work which has to be autenticated by the those who hane not. It was Outside the Gate that Christ died and it was Outside the Gate that he set the example for the church. This book challenges the rich church to consider what kind of mission it is producing. For Costas, a mission done from the center to the periphery is not validated by the Gospel. This book is still a challenge for many missions directors and missionaries as well. Whoever reads this book will have his/her life challenged. My Ph.D. dissertation was on Costas'Missiology.