Unlocking the Bible's Grand Narrative. Most Christians would agree that the Bible provides a basis for mission. But Christopher Wright boldly maintains that there is a missional basis for the Bible! The entire Bible is generated by and all about God's mission.
In order to understand the Bible, we need a missional hermeneutic, an interpretive perspective in tune with this great missional theme. We need to see how the familiar bits and pieces fit into the grand narrative of Scripture.
Beginning with the Old Testament and its groundwork for understanding who God is, what he has called his people to be and do, and how the nations fit into God's mission, Wright gives us a new hermeneutical perspective on Scripture. This perspective provides a solid and expansive basis for holistic mission. God's mission is to reclaim the world—including the created order—and God's people have a designated role to play.
"This marvelous book is all I hoped and expected, and more. It threatens to revolutionize what people usually mean by the missional aspect of the Scriptures. And it also threatens to revolutionize understandings of the Scriptures by its demonstration that they are, through and through, a missional document." --John Goldingay, David Allan Hubbard Professor of Old Testament, Fuller Theological
Christopher J. H. Wright (PhD, Cambridge) is international ministries director of the Langham Partnership, providing literature, scholarships, and preaching training for pastors in Majority World churches and seminaries. He has written many books including commentaries on Deuteronomy, Jeremiah, Lamentations, and Ezekiel, The Mission of God, Cultivating the Fruit of the Spirit, Old Testament Ethics for the People of God, and Knowing Jesus Through the Old Testament. An ordained priest in the Church of England, Chris spent five years teaching the Old Testament at Union Biblical Seminary in India, and thirteen years as academic dean and then principal of All Nations Christian College, an international training center for cross-cultural mission in England. He was chair of the Lausanne Theology Working Group from 2005-2011 and the chief architect of The Cape Town Commitment from the Third Lausanne Congress, 2010.
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When someone asks me to recommend a good, solid book on the Biblical basis for world missions, I usually point them in the direction of either Patrick Johnstoneâ€™s â€œThe Church is Bigger Than You Thinkâ€ or John Piperâ€™s â€œLet the Nations Be Glad-The Supremacy of Christ in World Missions.â€
When, however, someone is extremely patient and willing to go deep into the theology of world missions, I recommend Christopher Wrightâ€™s epic (almost 600 pages) â€œThe Mission of God.â€
Because Christopher takes the whole Bible and not just Jesusâ€™ Great Commission as his model for our approach to the subject of world evangelization, it seems to take on a more â€œholisticâ€ approach than many other books on the same subject. Seeing the Bible as a â€œgrand narrative,â€ he traces the Biblical story from Creation to the New Heaven and the New Earth and brings into play some of the Biblical themes, especially in the Old Testament, that are lost upon present day treatments of New Testament missiology. He speaks of the Exodus, the Year of Jubilee and even touches a bit on taking care of Creation, which seems to have been hijacked from the evangelicals as of late and revived by either the Liberals or the Emerging folks to try to get us to be more â€œgreen.â€ I think Wright gives a great balance.
However, if youâ€™re an evangelist you would not be disappointed if you read Wrightâ€™s book as he puts the Cross of Christ at the center of Godâ€™s redemptive plan and the need to preach the Gospel to every person.
Wright is a protÃ©gÃ© of the great British theologian John Stott whose excellent writings tend to bleed through in Wrightâ€™s writings, which, for myself, being a real Stott fan, was an extra bonus. I highly recommend â€œThe Mission of God.â€
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