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Ressourcement and Mission

Alan Kreider


In recent years, Evangelicals have joined Catholics in participating in ressourcement, “the self-renewal of a people from the original sources of its life” (Dulles). This has involved appropriating insights from “the Great Tradition” of the church’s first five centuries for today’s postmodern, post-Christendom world. This “exchange of gifts” between past and present Christians is valuable especially in the area of mission. This paper proposes several practices and assumptions of the pre-Christendom Christians that are worth exploring by Christians today: worship of God for God’s own sake, without a primary focus on seekers; worship that forms the worshipers to be missionally attractive; catechesis that shapes Christians to have alternative habits and distinctive reflexes; and worship that takes place in domestic settings. These themes, illustrated in the witness of Christians today, show how wisdom from pre-Christendom can be a source of hope and fresh ideas in Christian mission in a post-Christendom world.

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