I’ve long been fascinated by the questions of discernment in missiology, particularly if we accept that God is already at work within the variety of contexts that we find ourselves. I had to talk on this subject to a group of Anglican priests, newly ordained and my core question was a Christological one – how is Christ being formed and incarnated in this place?
My friend Steve Taylor and I used to talk about this many years ago, and at the time I was particularly exploring a weaving together of the Ignatian and the Missional. There is still life in that exploration for me, but I’ve done nothing more on it.
Then I came across a recent post (30/05/16) by Steve in which he picked up the question of discernment again, this time in conversation with Dietrich Bonhoeffer (Christ taking ‘form among us today and here’”) and Paul Fiddes (Wisdom (and presumably discernment) emerges from a common sense approach to living in the ordinary and the everyday and observing how things work; discovering and discerning the kinds of patterns and characteristics that transform our everyday observations into a seeing or perceiving of the signs and traces of God within the ‘text’ of the world, which in turn exists within the relationality and communion of the triune God).
For Steve, “the possibilities of Christ taking “form today” as a Christian practice of discernment are tested in three steps… As a first step, a set of questions is developed by which the specific shape of Christ’s form might be discerned…”
“…Drawing from Trinitarian narratives,  do we see signs of creating, reconciling or the making of all things new? Drawing from wisdom literature,  what can be blessed because it contributes to human flourishing? Drawing from the processions of mission,  where do we see relationships of extravagant giving and receiving?
You’ll find a summary of Steve’s next steps here… For more on Fiddes take on wisdom see his essay The Quest for a Place Which is 'not -a-place The Hiddenness of God and the Presence of God published in the excellent collection of essays Silence and the Word Negative Theology and Incarnation (pub. 2002) and edited by Oliver Davies and Denys Turner. The collection is dedicated to the Memory of Herbert McCabe OP.