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The mystery of the poor

The mystery of the poor is prior to the ecclesial mission, and that mission is logically prior to the established church. What Jürgen Moltmann wrote many years ago is still true: “It is not that the Church ‘has’ a mission, but the reverse; Christ’s mission creates itself a Church. The mission should not be understood from the perspective of the Church, but the other way round.” It is not that the Church already existed, and later asked what to do for and with the poor, as if the Church were formally established prior to its relationship with them, or as if its way of carrying out that option were unrelated to the essence of the Church, which remains unchangeable throughout history.

Jon Sobrino, No Salvation Outside the Poor, 21).


  1. dan wrote:

    That is a damn good collection of essays. It’s the first thing I recommend to people interested in liberation theology. I wish Sobrino got more attention in North American circles.

    Sunday, May 23, 2010 at 4:31 pm | Permalink
  2. Amen, Dan. Reading No Salvation Outside the Poor was a significant point in my own development. Sobrino really sparked a journey into a more assertive sort of Anabaptist anarchism…before that I was still avoiding anything that smacked of activism.

    Monday, May 24, 2010 at 7:54 am | Permalink
  3. I recommend the book frequently as well. Thanks for highlighting it here, Halden.

    Wednesday, May 26, 2010 at 11:10 pm | Permalink

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