He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?" - Romans 8:32

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Monday, May 03, 2010 

Missions: We Offer Christ Himself!

Though she and I approach these matters from different theological viewpoints, and though we would undoubtedly make different applications from the statement, I can agree with Mother Teresa’s observation: “If you give to the people a broken Christ, a lame Christ, a crooked Christ—deformed by you, that is all they will have.” We do not offer to the nations of the world a Christ in our image. Nor do we offer ourselves. Rather, we offer Christ himself!

Yes, “we have this treasure in earthen vessels” (2 Cor 4:7), but we do have this treasure, whatever the container might be! And we have the responsibility to share this treasure with others. But we must never forget that, ultimately, it is the treasure that we share, not ourselves.

Samuel Ruiz Garcia’s statement – “The Church's mission is to perpetuate Christ's incarnation - to be ‘made flesh’ in terms of human life and culture, leading to the full humanization of men within a pluralism of persons and cultures.” – though made in the context of a seemingly sincere and legitimate attempt to discover how to contextualize the gospel, can be terribly and dangerously applied.

Christ’s incarnation is unique. [Pope John Paul II said,] “It is precisely this uniqueness of Christ which gives him an absolute and universal significance.” Though a great theological gulf stands between the Roman Catholic Pope and me, I find his affirmation regarding Christ, rightly applied, to be eloquent and clear. We can no more perpetuate Christ’s incarnation, i.e., preserve and continue in the world the physical presence of God the Son, than we can turn Brad Waggoner and Mary Mohler into Oklahoma Sooners fans, or myself into a Florida Gators fan! But we can say to the nations that God has come in the flesh!

- Dr. George Martin

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