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Mysterium Deus in missio: The mysterious God in mission

Jonas S. Thinane
Published: 22 September 2022

Abstract: As in all other world religions, a deep sense of the mystery is also central to the Christian religion. The mere existence of God is accepted as something mysterious beyond human comprehension. While theological literature speaks extensively of the mysterious nature of the triune God, little or nothing is said of such mysterious nature of God in missiology in the context of the missio Dei, particularly from the perspective of the Willlingen’s International Missionary Conference (IMC) of 1952. The question underlying this article is: how does the perception of the mysterious God relate to the context of the missio Dei? In other words, how mysterious is God in his own mission (missio Dei)? At its core, this article is more about the mysterious God in the mission leading to the mystery of the missio Dei itself. Consequently, this article made use of a search in literature to conceptualise the mystery encompassing the inherent character of the triune God in his own mission (missio Dei). In other words, it underlines the mysterious triune God through his innate attributes, namely omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient, which are eternally at work in the missio Dei. It then concludes with the view that the understanding of the triune God as a mystery within the missio Dei economy may lead to different but comprehensive understandings of the missio Dei itself. Contribution: The content of this article will contribute immensely to a better understanding of the missio Dei and as such will subsequently be used by missiologists as a reference in their attempts to describe the character of God within the context of the missio Dei.
Keywords: mystery / missio / religions / mysterious God / triune / Dei / words

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