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Role of Christianity and the Church in the world today

What is the task of Christian discipleship and the mission of the church in the world today, based upon the views of Martin Luther King, Jr in "Letter from Birmingham City Jail, Dietrich Bonhoeffer," "Ethics and Gustavo Gutierrez," "Sacrament of Liberation"?

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Gutierrez seems very clear on the opinion that discipleship involves a return to a Christian paradigm common in the first-century, but embodying it in a "critical" fashion. This means, based on his discussion of the gradual union and then separation of church and state, that the role of the church is now found in counter-position to that state. In other words, in order to function properly, the church must first and foremost view itself as not so much an enemy but a challenge to the process of the "nation-state" politic. Also, note that this position incorporates a sense of "otherness" for the church - to put it simply: if the church is not looking out for those outside of it, it ceases to properly exist. In fact, Gutierrez seems to go as far as claiming that the "Christ and His Spirit" are in this world outside the church itself, a truly radical ...

Solution Summary

The role of the church and discipleship is discussed from three unique but inter-related vantage points: liberation, civil disobedience, and personal salvation.