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The Mission of God: Unlocking the Bible's Grand Narrative

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Overview

Winner, 2007 Christianity Today Missions/Global Affairs Book

Most Christians would agree that the Bible provides a basis for mission. But Christopher Wright boldly maintains that mission is bigger than that--there is in fact a missional basis for the Bible! The entire Bible is generated by and is all about God's mission.

In order to understand the Bible, we need a missional hermeneutic of the Bible, an interpretive perspective that is in tune with this great missional theme. We need to see the "big picture" of God's mission and how the familiar bits and pieces fit into the grand narrative of Scripture.

Beginning with the Old Testament and the groundwork it lays 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 new perspective provides a solid and expansive basis for holistic mission. Wright emphasizes throughout a holistic mission as the proper shape of Christian mission. God's mission is to reclaim the world--and that includes the created order--and God's people have a designated role to play in that mission.

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Editorial Reviews

Eckhard J. Schnabel
"Chris Wright, known for many important studies in Old Testament ethics and theology, has again written a book that deserves wide circulation. At a time when many biblical scholars continue to emphasize the minutiae of diverse traditions, and at a time when the missionary task of the church is either questioned by postmodern critics or diminished by pragmatic pundits, Wright's new book is a reminder of the unity of Scripture, the importance of sound hermeneutics and exegesis, and the fundamental significance of the missionary calling of the church. Wright demonstrates with consistent and passionate argumentation that the missionary mandate of the church does not simply rest on the great commission in Matthew 28, but that the whole Bible, from Genesis to Revelation, is the result of the very nature of God and of God's people. This book should be a required text for theologians and exegetes, pastors and students, missionaries and Christians in general."
Andrew F. Walls
"A rich and most impressive work. It is a splendid exposition of a comprehensive biblical theology of mission, and will have to be taken seriously by every student of the subject."
Dr. Charles Van Engen
"This excellent book encourages Bible scholars, pastors, missionaries and informed Christians to read the Bible with new eyes, the eyes of God's missional intention for the world that God loves. The author joins others like Walter Kaiser, Johannes Nissen, Arthur Glasser and James Chukwuma Okoye in demonstrating that only a missionary reading of the Bible does full justice to God's self-revelation described therein. I will be using this book as a primary textbook in several courses."
David W. Smith
"To an already impressive list of publications dealing with the Bible and mission, Chris Wright now adds what must surely be his magnum opus. This remarkably comprehensive work does nothing less than point the way ahead for the global Christian movement in the twenty-first century, and in the process it challenges a host of received assumptions in biblical scholarship, Christian theology and missionary practice. I believe Wright's book will be seen as the most important work of its kind since David Bosch's contribution in the 1990s, and, like that work, it is likely to be read, discussed and hopefully applied to practice for years to come."
Scott Moreau
"Wright blends Old Testament scholarship, missionary experience and missiological heart in this extraordinary book. He does a marvelous job of framing the questions and detailing the answers in accessible prose. Missiology has long been in need of someone who can offer an appropriate map not just for walking us through mission in the Bible but for leading us more deeply into the Bible through a missiological lens. Chris Wright offers us this bidirectional map in masterful fashion that will become standard reading in the field for years to come."
M. Daniel Carroll R.
"Christopher Wright has made two important contributions. First, he demonstrates that the Bible, from beginning to end, is about God's mission to the world. Second, Wright grounds the meaning and significance of this mission substantially in the Old Testament. Often relegated in textbooks to short introductory chapters that cite a handful of passages about God's concern for the nations, the Old Testament at last receives its full due. This comprehensive study by a seasoned missiologist and Old Testament ethicist demonstrates that the entire Scripture is consistent in its message and thrust. I have waited years for a book like this!"
Gerald H. Anderson
"Beautifully written, Wright's work sees God's mission as a framework for understanding the whole Bible; a key that unlocks the 'grand narrative' of Holy Scripture. It clarifies many difficult issues and is a major contribution to a biblical theology of mission."
John Goldingay
"This marvelous book is all I hoped and expected, and more. Chris Wright has spent thirty years combining an academic involvement with the Old Testament and a commitment to God's mission in the world. We are so fortunate to have the mature fruit of a lifetime's reflection on the missional nature of the Bible by this outstanding teacher, scholar and missionary theologian. 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."
Doctor - Charles Van Engen
"This excellent book encourages Bible scholars, pastors, missionaries and informed Christians to read the Bible with new eyes, the eyes of God's missional intention for the world that God loves. The author joins others like Walter Kaiser, Johannes Nissen, Arthur Glasser and James Chukwuma Okoye in demonstrating that only a missionary reading of the Bible does full justice to God's self-revelation described therein. I will be using this book as a primary textbook in several courses."
M. Daniel Carroll
"Christopher Wright has made two important contributions. First, he demonstrates that the Bible, from beginning to end, is about God's mission to the world. Second, Wright grounds the meaning and significance of this mission substantially in the Old Testament. Often relegated in textbooks to short introductory chapters that cite a handful of passages about God's concern for the nations, the Old Testament at last receives its full due. This comprehensive study by a seasoned missiologist and Old Testament ethicist demonstrates that the entire Scripture is consistent in its message and thrust. I have waited years for a book like this!"
John Goldingay
"This marvelous book is all I hoped and expected, and more. Chris Wright has spent thirty years combining an academic involvement with the Old Testament and a commitment to God's mission in the world.We are so fortunate to have the mature fruit of a lifetime's reflection on the missional nature of the Bible by this outstanding teacher, scholar and missionary theologian. 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."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780830825714
  • Publisher: InterVarsity Press
  • Publication date: 10/23/2006
  • Pages: 582
  • Sales rank: 316,048
  • Product dimensions: 6.50 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Christopher J. H. Wright (PhD, Cambridge) is the international director of the Langham Partnership, providing literature, scholarships and preaching training for pastors in Majority World churches and seminaries. He has written several books including commentaries on Deuteronomy and Ezekiel, Old Testament Ethics for the People of God and Knowing Jesus Through the Old Testament.

An ordained pastor 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 is also the chair of the Lausanne Theology Working Group and he serves on staff at All Souls Church, Langham Place, London.

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Table of Contents

Preface
IntroductionPart I: The Bible and Mission
1. Searching for a Missional Hermeneutic
2. Shaping a Missional HermeneuticPart II: The God of Mission
3. The Living God Makes Himself Known in Israel
4. The Living God Makes Himself Known in Jesus Christ
5. The Living God Confronts IdolatryPart III: The People of Mission
6. God's Elect People: Chosen for Blessing
7. God's Particular People: Chosen for All
8. God's Model of Redemption: The Exodus
9. God's Model of Restoration: The Jubilee
10. The Span of God's Missional Covenant
11. The Life of God's Missional PeoplePart IV: The Arena of Mission
12. Mission and God's Earth
13. Mission and God's Image
14. God and the Nations in Old Testament Vision
15. God and the Nations in New Testament Mission
Conclusion
Bibliography
Indexes
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