The Missional Church And The Biblical Story. There is a growing body of literature about the missional church, but the word missional is often defined in competing ways with little attempt to ground it deeply in Scripture. In A Light to the Nations, Michael Goheen unpacks the missional identity of the church by tracing the role God's people are called to play in the biblical story. Goheen examines the historical, theological, and biblical foundations of missional ecclesiology, showing that the church's identity can be understood only when its role is articulated in the context of the whole biblical story--not just the New Testament. He shows that the Old Testament is essential to understanding the church's missional identity. Goheen also explores practical outworkings and implications and offers field-tested suggestions, putting Lesslie Newbigin's missionary ecclesiology to work in shaping the contemporary church. The book is written at a level easily accessible to students in missions, pastoral, worldview, and theology courses as well as pastors, church leaders, and all readers interested in the missional church.
"Based on the whole biblical narrative, this book is a powerful presentation of what it takes for a missional church in the twenty-first century to be 'A Light to the Nations.' It is both compelling and persuasive!" --Gerald H. Anderson, director emeritus, Overseas Ministries Study Center, New Haven, CT
"In the face of the weakened ecclesiology of a church mired in a postmodern, consumeristic, entertainment-oriented morass, Michael Goheen in A Light to the Nations masterfully calls his readers to a renewed missional imagination. Goheen traces the missional theme through Scripture, enabling us to see that his vision is not really new but the rediscovery of the robust, missional ecclesiology that has always characterized the people of God at their best. Goheen leads us into an expansive vision of what it means to be God's called, eschatological people embodying the new creation. If you long to understand what it really means to be a missional church, not as a simple slogan but as our deepest identity, then this book is the indispensable road map. I heartily recommend it!" --Timothy C. Tennent, president and professor of world Christianity, Asbury Theological Seminary
"It is so encouraging to see the revived interest in missional interpretation of the Bible flourishing and bearing fruit. This marvelous book by Mike Goheen moves the discipline significantly forward. It roots our understanding of the church's role and mission in the whole of the Scriptures, showing how formative the Old Testament was for Jesus and his New Testament followers and remains for us. The nourishing meat of rich biblical reflection is sandwiched between a historical analysis of the cultural roots of the contemporary church and a challenging conclusion as to how a church today can be truly missional and biblical. This is biblical theology in the service of the mission of God through God's people for the sake of God's world." --Christopher J. H. Wright, international director, Langham Partnership International; author, The Mission of God and The Mission of God's People
1. The Church's Identity and Role: Whose Story? Which Images?
2. God Forms Israel as a Missional People
3. Israel Embodies Its Missional Role and Identity amid the Nations
4. Jesus Gathers an Eschatological People to Take Up Their Missional Calling
5. The Death and Resurrection of Jesus and the Church's Missional Identity
6. The Missional Church in the New Testament Story
7. New Testament Images of the Missional Church
8. The Missional Church in the Biblical Story--A Summary
9. What Might This Look Like Today?