Tuesday, 26 January 2016

I'd appreciate input from others about the 'person of peace' theology.

Over the last few years there's been increasing adoption of the idea of the 'person of peace' mentioned by Jesus when sending out the 12 (Matt 10 and Luke 10) as being a person with whom one should share the gospel. While I can see the adaptation, this is not at all how the passage reads to me, and is much more about staying with someone with integrity and honesty while performing an itinerant ministry.

In one sense it's semantics, but in another it seems to me to be seriously misrepresenting scripture. I'm also not comfy with the idea that if someone isn't open to hear about Jesus then you should "shake the dust off your feet" over them (the original meaning seems to have been effectively a curse) and move on, that accompanies the PoP theology.

I'm coming to dislike contrived theology.


  1. That sounds like a different take from what I've understood by reference to the 'person of peace' passages. What I received, pondered and accepted years ago was that these people were those who would support Christian ministry (evangelism is the core of the two passages you highlighted but the concept was sometimes pushed further) without necessarily espousing Christian faith, or a particular variant of it, themselves.

  2. Carol4:22 pm

    This concept seems to be similar to the concept of 'righteous gentile' held by Jews. That someone outside of the faith can be used by God for godly purposes ... Like Herr Schindler ... I don't like the whole idea of 'shaking the dust of my feet' either ...

  3. Thank you for taking the time to comment Carol, Wulf, much appreciated. This thinking is deeply embedded in the whole Missional Communities motif that's being adopted by quite a portion of the church right now.

  4. Carol3:49 pm

    I'd not heard it before, and reading up on it started a whole train of thought around how God might view such a person... and their reward at the end of time (if they got one, and should they get one) ... and whether it was an abuse .... and about parallels between other faiths getting themselves onto boards of governors and local associations and what Christians have done for years and friend evangelism rather than just being friends ... hey, no one said a Christian life was meant to be easy ... thanks for the prompt

  5. And thanks for the response, Carol.

    For some time now I've seen how Christians look from outside the bubble, when they they 'do' stuff to 'win souls' rather than because there's a need or a possibility of friendship. A lot of people get very angry seeing themselves as a harvest to be gathered without being given humanity or dignity. It's made me question why I do things, from who I'm friends with to where I eat my lunch to why I help people.

    Floyd McClung said that the 70s and 80s were an amazing time, when you could just tell people about Jesus and they'd want to know Him for themselves (I have slightly different memories, but I'm not him). Now everyone has a reason not to believe God can exist and think they (or someone else they can quote) knows what's real and what's sky-fairies. Trying to be Jesus in public is quite different now, and calls for a much bigger dose of reality than simply learning 5 points to bring someone to faith.

    I do somewhat buy the concept that God has prepared people to hear the gospel from us at certain times, but the background to the PoP seems to almost deliberately undermine it's own validity by twisting a scripture to mean something different from what it really does mean. I've just finished reading Building A Discipling Culture by Mike Breen/3DM, and the whole book is like that, contrived and trying to fit scripture round it's program, rather than fitting the program round scripture. It feels really unhealthy, and even though some of the things it proposed seemed incredibly good, it was like the house was built on mud, rather than rock: imagination, rather than truth.


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