Missio Dei:巴特與教會宣教

Missio Dei: Karl Barth and the Mission of the Church


The idea of missio Dei emerged as a mission paradigm after the missionary conference of 1952 at Willingen, Germany. This paper discusses Karl Barth’s contribution to such an idea and his mission thinking in the later Church Dogmatics. Many regard Barth as having started such thinking at a conference in 1932. However, well before this conference, his theology had already influenced the missiology of Karl Hartenstein, who later helped popularise the idea of missio Dei. Historically, missio Dei developed in two conflicting ways. One emphasised that God was in charge of mission and the results of mission. Other missiologists developed missio Dei to say that mission was any liberating action, and that the church was not essential to this. Barth’s theology offers a helpful corrective to both concepts, by placing his examination of “mission” within his discussion of the prophetic office of Christ. The Christian is then defined in terms of the calling of God as witness and thus to participation in Christ’s prophetic work. This participation in the “sent Christ” is essential to our being as a Christian. Our existence is thereby defined in terms of proclamation because, by our unity with Christ, our starting point must be the same as his—God’s will and work for the world. The Church also finds its role in its participation in Christ’s prophetic office. The sending of Jesus by the Father is the essential mission upon which all other mission depends and finds its shape. This means the Church’s task is both definite and limited. Barth helpfully shows how word and deed fit together with the priority given to word—making the gospel known.