Integral mission in Bonhoeffer

by
Michael Phiri, Evangelical Bible College of Malawi – Micah Global: 6th Global Consultation, Lima, Peru 2015

The paper explores how Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s life and writings embody the principle of integral mission. It then endeavours to understand the mission of Evangelical Association of Malawi as integral within the framework of Bonhoeffer’s theology. Evangelical Association of Malawi is an umbrella body of evangelical Churches and organizations in the country. The Association embodies the concepts of religionless Christianity and mature worldliness as well as that of salvation as wholeness. With that understanding, the mission of the Church is not limited to proclamation of the Gospel for salvation of the soul but rather extends to matters of socio-economic and political justice. The Association is credited with equipping the Church for evangelism and Church planting as well as with advocating and fighting for justice in the socio-political sphere. The paper explores integral mission in the life and writings of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, critically highlights recent interventions of Evangelical Association of Malawi understood within the framework of Bonhoeffer’s theology, and then discusses lessons from the Association regarding the essence and practice of integral mission with the assumption that the lessons could be replicated in other contexts.