Bonk, Money, Mission

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REFLECTIONS ON ARTICLE BY JONATHAN BONK IN NEW URBAN WORLD JOURNAL I received the email with a copy of Bonk’s article for my response just a few hours after I had preached at Mass on Jesus’ comment that it was easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of heaven! At the Mass I had been preaching for the sake of others. But as I asked the Lord how I should respond to Bonk’s article for the New Urban World, I believe he said to me that I was to respond to it in a personal way, that I should not be primarily writing a response for others but primarily making a personal response myself. I also felt that the Lord was saying I was to respond with my mind, with my heart and with my will. With my mind I need to ask myself both how much of what Bonk writes is correct and also what are the practical implications of what he writes for my life. In some cases I need to ask myself whether Bonk goes too far or not far enough. I need with my mind to ask myself what the scriptures really say. I need to ask myself what response to his Word, in both the Old and New Testaments, God requires of me. I must recognise that there are genuinely complex hermeneutical questions. Nevertheless, I must also recognise that it is very easy for me to use such questions as unconscious rationalisations to water down God’s Word. This is especially the case with the Old Testament but it is also the case with the New Testament. I can use hermeneutics to explain why Jesus did not really mean what he said, and even why he actually meant exactly the opposite of what he said! I need to allow the Lord to touch my heart through Bonk’s article. The article, like his book Missions and Money, is an outcome of his life, of painful personal experiences. It is not just about theory, it is not abstract theology but practical theology, and the Lord demands

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