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  • Apr30Fri

    Integral mission

    April 30, 2021

    This week Tuesday marked the passing at the age of 88 of C. René Padilla, who was an influential Christian leader.  Although he did receive his theological education in the United States and the United Kingdom, you may not be aware of him because most of his ministry work was done in Latin America.  He was born in Ecuador but for reasons of poverty his family moved to Columbia at an early age.  He was best known for promoting a perspective of “integral mission” by which he insisted on connecting social action to evangelism.  “Integral mission pushed evangelicals around the world to widen their Christian mission, arguing that social action and evangelism were essential and indivisible components—in Padilla’s words, ‘two wings of a plane.’”(see Christianity Today, April 23, 2021 obituary) One of Padilla’s most famous lines is: “Jesus Christ came not just to save my soul, but to form a new society.”

                Padilla was also critical of an Christian framework that simply imported ‘the American way of life’ and thinking to other countries.  His emphasis was more that of Matthew 25:35-36 in which Jesus says, ‘For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ We may pray that even if Padilla has passed his comprehensive vision of serving Christ and his kingdom will continue.  -EGN

    To access Pastor’s Eric’s regular COVID-19 MEDITATIONS, click here … http://www.bethel-crc.ca/blog/covid-19-meditations/