Posted by: rogermitchell | June 22, 2011

overturning thrones and judgement

This weekend I came in at the tail end of an illuminating conference with input from a Nigerian apostolic friend. As I see it the African church is at a crucial transition moment where they can head into a new Christendom or pioneer a radical new direction for the ecclesia. The issue turns on how we understand the nature of dominion, which is essentially what my thesis is all about. My friend used a striking translation of Lk 22:29 “And I give you a kingdom, just as my Father gave me a kingdom.” This follows the well known statements of the inversion of hierarchical rule of course, so the implications are clear I think. Tomorrow I have the viva for my PhD research, so please pray for me, but afterwards I will blog on this challenging juxtaposition of the inversion of the world’s hierarchical notion of sovereignty and the promise of thrones and judgement.



  1. All the best with your viva Roger. What will you do when it is all done?

    • Thanks for this Joanna. As I see it the ecclesia’s role is intercession. Intercession is standing in a gap where’s there’s a lack. It’s been prayer, then theology, now we are getting ready for what the good news of the kingdom of God has always been about, intercessory politics. I believe that this is what the last 3 generations of Holy Spirit visitation have been restoring. But first of all the foundations had to be shaken by prayer and the accompanying prophetic voice, then the discredited theology had to be reconfigured and only then can the politics of the kingdom be seen and expressed.
      Some of us are called as forerunners to pioneer the way ahead. This is what I have found myself doing, not by my own initiative but, I believe, God’s. Intercessory prayer (Nightwatch for Europe etc), intercessory theology (my thesis on church and empire) and now intercessory politics, which is how I see where we have got to now.
      The ecclesia’s intercessory politics is not party politics of course. It is the activation of the kenotic love of Jesus through each aspect of society. And I hope it’s understood that I’m not saying intercessory prayer and theology are over. But when they are in place then politics becomes the cutting edge once more. So now I have been awarded my PhD (yesterday) my plan is to be available to help the ecclesia and its peaceloving friends get on with this cutting edge politics.

  2. Yes Roger we hope and pray for success tomorrow and for you to be on form


  3. Go Roger! But what’s next for you, now that this epic adventure is coming to an end? c.

  4. Very interested in your comment regarding African churches and ecclesia. I’m really grappling with this in Leeds at the moment. I’m in touch with 4 african networks consisting of about 40 congregational groups Love to chat with you more about this sometime or maybe you can come and speak to them.

    Paul Lancaster

    • I am convinced that the African ecclesia has a crucial calling right now to turn into the wind of the Spirit and begin to embrace the radical politics of Jesus. But their tendency to embrace dominion theology uncritically means that the very spirit of empire that led to the oppressing/ blessing polarity of colonial mission is still carried forward into the African church. This is a tragedy because dominion theology is in part a reaction to the passivity and church state divide of the West. But the state church divide in the West is itself a response to the past partnership of church and empire.
      I know that many African and African Brits and African American friends and co-workers click on this blog but don’t generally comment. It would be great to hear more from them. And yes of course I would be delighted to get together with you on this and to interface with Leeds African networks.
      Blessings Rog

      • You wanted an Anglo-African response – here goes.
        There’s a time and a place for everything. On the road to saving a dying girl, Jesus healed an old woman. What did they have in common – 12 years. The old woman is the church in the West, the young girl the African church and all its other nascent incarnations. If you want to see radical transformation in the African church deal with the root that spawned it. Deal with the root and the fruit will change – will be healthy. Change the DNA of the mother and all her offspring will follow. May the western church cry out for her healing, may it do everything possible to touch the hem of his garment – then and only then will the African church have a chance of a different and new life.



  5. Thanks very much for this Rosie. You are exactly one of those people I was hoping for insight from, so thank you hugely for this contribution.

    I’m coming from the experience of the Europe/ Africa Reconciliation Partnership and the long walk back through the1884-5 Berlin Congo Conference which African and European church leaders took together to its prophetic reversal in Berlin in 2005. I seriously believe that we cut a tap root there together, and began to recognise and change the DNA of the old woman. We then traced some of its ramifications in the continent into Zimbabwe, Gabon, and the DRC together as European and African leaders, with subsequent forays into Rwanda, Kenya and Nigeria carrying the news of what had been done together in the Spirit. Significantly it was the exact gospel story to which you refer that was one of the motivations for this, and was brought to us at the time by South Americans praying for Europe and undergirded by intercessors from Uganda.

    So my observations and research flow in part from this, as well as my research into the roots of the European marriage of church and empire and the insights of many African brothers and sisters along the way. It’s on the back of this that I look to Africa with expectation and hope, and offer my observations about the crucial part awaiting the African church, and look for African response to my sense that this is a critical moment and my thoughts about some of the theological tensions that need to be resolved.

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