RESEARCH PROJECT: ABSTRACT
Trajectories of ‘Euvaggelizomai’ in ‘Luke – Acts’: Theological Implications for Mission in Myanmar
[The research work had been submitted to the United Theological College (UTC) Bangalore of the Serampore University, India for MTh degree in the field of New Testament in March, 2011.]
Luke projects the tangible salvific history in Jesus, centering on God’s reign right from the time of the Roman world of disorder. Lucan Gospel is a “new social order” of life-saving the destitute, poor and those in bondage in the light of the exclusive use of “Good News in various verbal forms” (euvaggelizomai). This active functionalism depicts the overruled conflicts in the rural and urban set up when the Jesus Movement and the institution launched on “the Gospel,” countering the ruling gospel which disordered God’s order and disrupted all socio-economic and religio-politico life as the fulfillment of God’s kingdom and salvific history in Jesus of Nazareth (Lk. 4:16 – 21).
In the meantime, Lucan relocation of Gospel movements inaugurated a new Gospel of God’s reign and salvific history to all. It was not just a revolution against political and religious leaders in authority; rather the “liberating act of Gospel” fulfilled to the oppressed. In the process, the Lucan Jesus Movement transformed into an “institution” in Acts to be “witness, witnessed and witnessing” about “the Gospel” in urban conflicting transactions for the “renewal of his people through the Spirit” and for “social transformation.” Thus, the Lucan Gospel resisted the oppressors, representing the “redeeming gospel” contest “oriental gospel” of those in power and it deconstructed the hegemonic systems in “sacrificial solidarity” with those “subaltern within subalterns:” the poor, the maimed, the blind, the women, sexual minorities and all under bondage (Lk. 4: 16- 30; Lk. 7: 41: 50; Lk. 13: 18-19; 16:1-13; 15:11:32 and Acts 8. The Lucan Gospel of social emancipation and transcendence from all kinds of human- made bondages and barriers authenticates and legitimates the history of salvific establishment and God’s rule in the world within the wider framework of futuristic eschatology. The subaltern reading of Luke-Acts identifies the presence of imperial reality: power and domination and binary antagonism such as rulers and the ruled, authority and lay, rich and poor and so on which reconstructs resistance against those in power who create systems of social injustice, economic exploitation and religious discrimination. Through this, the trajectories of the launched Gospel involve social emancipation from bondages, sexual equality, gender balance, social justice, equality, restoration of lost identity, healing, economic equality, acceptance and sharing, and egalitarian value.
Luke, a champion in an exclusive portrayal of “acts of the Gospel in salvation history” provides the theological formation of resistance and mission in the context. The “Lucan declaration of new era of God’s reign” is a submission to His rule in a way of standing against those oppressive rulers, and a witness and “gift of salvation” that establishes a new institution of salvation against dominant systems. Moreover, Lucan “existential activities, other regardingness and forgiveness” affirms emancipation of the needy, against all sorts of oppressive and of dominant systems. This mission is the “salvific order of gospel[ization]” on the grounds of three dimensions in the context, particularly in Myanmar. First, as becoming New Israel in the course of the gospel, second, the mission for Luke constitutes a “striving for emancipation of the subaltern” deconstructing oppressive powers in context. Third, the mission is “the gospel’s activity of God’s agent to renew the salvific institution,” both a regeneration of God’s salvific order and a regeneration of God’s people through social alternative in the context.
Lahpai Shawng Htoi
As a Baptist pastor of the Kachin Baptist Convention (KBC), Rev. Htoi teaches at the Kachin Theological College, Nawng Nawng, Kachin State, The Union of Myanmar (Burma), in the area of New Testament since 2007.
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