Recovering reconciliation as the mission of God
In this excerpt from their book “Reconciling All Things,” authors Emmanuel Katongole and Chris Rice offer 10 theses on reconciliation.
Hope rests in a deep conviction that “the way things are is not the way things have to be,” write Emmanuel Kotongole and Chris Rice, founding directors of the Center for Reconciliation at Duke Divinity School. In their book “Reconciling All Things: A Christian Vision for Justice, Peace and Healing,” they offer 10 theses for recovering reconciliation as the mission of God, presented here in an edited form.
Reconciliation is God’s gift to the world. Healing of the world’s deep brokenness does not begin with us and our action, but with God and God’s gift of new creation.
Reconciliation is not a theory, achievement, technique or event. It is a journey.
The end toward which the journey of reconciliation leads is the shalom of God’s new creation -- a future not yet fully realized, but holistic in its transformation of the personal, social and structural dimensions of life.
The journey of reconciliation requires the discipline of lament.
In a broken world God is always planting seeds of hope, though often not in the places we expect or even desire.
There is no reconciliation without memory, because there is no hope for a peaceful tomorrow that does not seriously engage both the pain of the past and the call to forgive.
Reconciliation needs the church, but not as just another social agency or NGO.
The ministry of reconciliation requires and calls forth a specific type of leadership that is able to unite a deep vision with the concrete skills, virtues and habits necessary for the long and often lonesome journey of reconciliation.
There is no reconciliation without conversion, the constant journey with God into a future of new people and new loyalties.
Imagination and conversion are the very heart and soul of reconciliation.