Thursday, September 11, 2008

Celtic Way of Evangelism

I recently received The Celtic Way of Evangelism after reading about the book in Harold Percy's book Your Church Can Thrive.

Today I read the preface and chapter one — and it does appear to be a promising read. Evangelism is always a matter for colourful discussion among clerics. Wonder what this book has stirred, or will yet stir.

Chapter One: St Patrick, one of the patron saints of Ireland, figures hugely in the first chapter. Patrick brings a familiar and friendly spirit of evangelism to Ireland as interpreted by Hunter. An interpretation that appears to be well worth bearing in mind as other consider evangelism and the gospel.

Chapter Two: Contrasts the differences between traditional western monasteries and the monastery communities of Ireland, some that were 3,000 strong. Three items highlight the differences between the traditional West and that of Ireland.
One - he notes that Irish communities were not as rigidly build as other European towns. (see p. 27).
Two - the Irish monasteries were community orientated, rather that orientated toward the individual spirituality.
Three - he presents contemplative prayer as prayer that can be without ceasing, and does not attempt to control the Divine.

Chapter Three: After the death of Patrick the missionary efforts continue. Hunter presents to the reader the missionary efforts of Columba, Aidan, Paulinus. The Synods of Whitby and Autun stand for the Celtic Christian as the enforcement of law from the outside - the Roman way was insisted upon and prevailed, making no allowance for resident culture and understanding. The implications of what Hunter writes for evangelism today is significant.

Chapter Four: The Celtic Christian Community in Formation and Mission. Hunter highlights the differences between the Roman way and the Celtic genre of community and mission.

- Roman sent out a single missionary or two.
- Celtics go out in teams.

Benedicitne Rule #53

In Chapter Four Hunter gleams much for Recovering Our Past: Celtic and Roman Mission (John Finney, 1996). However, this book by Finney may be hard to acquire. I did not find it at four of the five sources that I checked (Amazon -- Chapters
- Google Books - Library of Congress -) Only the British Library listed the book.

No comments: