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Good Fences, Good Neighbours? Holiness, Boundaries and Mission’

Starling, David I. (2013) Good Fences, Good Neighbours? Holiness, Boundaries and Mission’. Pacific Journal of Baptist Research, 8. pp. 19-26. ISSN 1177-0228


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This article explores the relationship between the communal boundaries of the church and the life of holiness and mission to which it is summoned in the gospel, with particular reference to the distinction between ‘bounded sets’ and ‘centred sets’ in recent missiological theory and missional ecclesiology. Drawing on the language of the First London Confession and the implied ecclesiology of Paul’s Corinthian letters, it argues that the church’s holiness-in-mission requires neither a fortress nor a boundaryless blur, but the kind of ‘good fences’ that assist the followers of Jesus to be ‘good neighbours’ to the people around them who do not know Christ.
‘Good fences’, it is argued, are communal boundaries that (i) are drawn as a circumference around the centre of the saving, ruling presence of Christ; (ii) accurately represent the distinctions and disciplines of confession and conduct that mark out those who follow Jesus from those who do not know him; (iii) make explicit the covenantal commitment of a community of believers to live under those disciplines together; and (iv) allow for the missional involvement of God’s people in the world and the hospitable welcome within the church of those who are in the process of learning Christ.

Item Type: Published Articles
Repository Version: Author's Final Manuscript
Keywords: Missional ecclesiology, 1 Corinthians, holiness, boundaries, mission, Baptist, First London Confession
Fields of Research: 22 Philosophy and Religious Studies > 2204 Religion and Religious Studies > 220401 Christian Studies (incl. Biblical Studies and Church History)
Socio-Economic Objective: E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970122 Expanding Knowledge in Philosophy and Religious Studies
Type of Activity: Applied Research
Subjects: B - New Testament
College/Association with University of Divinity: Morling College
Depositing User: Dr David Starling
Date Deposited: 01 Jun 2014 23:24
Last Modified: 01 Jun 2014 23:24
URI: http://repository.divinity.edu.au/id/eprint/1490

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