Reading Journal: The Mission of God Pt.1

4 06 2007

Over the next while I hope to add posts to this blog on books that I’m currently reading, under the theme of ‘Reading Journal’. These won’t constitute book reviews, or even a judgement on the overall worth or benefit of any volume, but just some things which are challenging me and making me think from books which I’m studying.

At the moment I’m working through Christopher J. Wright’s ‘The Mission of God’, which examines the missional basis for the Bible, contending for the fact that mission is not merely sanctioned in Scripture, but is at its very centre. This is a refreshing read for me at present as I consider our future service for God in Peru. I am presently enjoying chapter 2, wherein Wright seeks for a missional hermeneutic through which to come to terms with the missional core of Scripture. His approach is refreshing, and bang up to date, with many of the issues and problems raised by postmodernism not merely steamrollered, but engaged and at times resolved.

Three realities are at the heart of Wright’s view of Scripture’s authority to motivate us to mission. In a sense they represent an missionally adjusted biblical theology, and are hugely challenging. They are:

1. The Reality of this God: “not only is YHWH the God ‘enthroned as the Holy One’ and the ‘praise of Israel’ (Psalm 22:3), He is the GOd rendered to us by the lips and pens of Israel”.

2. The Reality of this story: “the Old Testament tells its story as the Story or, rather, as a part of that ultimate and universal story that will ultimately embrace the whole of creation, time and humanity within its scope. In other words, in reading texts we are envited to embrace a metanarrative, a grand narrative”.

3. The Reality of this people: “the story of Israel had an anticipated future right at its beginning. They were a people with a future in the purposes of God. The call of Abraham included the promise that through his descendants God intended to bring blessing to all the nations of the earth”.

“IN JESUS we meet this God…as it was for Israel in knowing YHWH, so for us knowing the reality of Jesus carries its own authority for how we are to live and act in God’s world’

“IN JESUS we have the climax of this story and guarantee of its final ending”.

“IN JESUS we have become part of this people…such an identity and belonging generate an ethical and a missional responsibility in the church and the world, which the New Testament spells out in some detail”.

I’ll post some more on this as I work my way through other chapters…

Meanwhile, any thoughts on the strengths, weaknesses, potential or problems of what Wright asserts would be greatly appreciated!

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