Random thoughts and questions

Your mission, should you choose to accept it…

There is theology.  Then there is theology that is a pleasure to read.  This book is definitely in the latter category.  Chris Wright apologises in his introduction for any elements in the books that echo its origin in sermons that he has given – but this to my mind is a strength; he’s worked hard to make the ideas he’s sharing simple enough to speak, be heard and understood.  Having said that – those sermons will not have been short ones; there’s tons of good stuff here.

Not that this affects the depth of what Wright has to say; he has a profound thesis that he presents with clarity all the way through the book.  It is this: The mission of God’s people must reflect the mission of God.  Having written a whole book* on the latter (which he then unsurprisingly quotes widely), he now looks at the former and traces the echoes of the calling given to Abraham through the prophets which is expressed by Jesus and then in the thoughts of St Paul and St Peter, the early church leaders.

Some notes that Chris Wright makes right at the beginning should be echoed here.  This is theology that directly connects to mission: ‘No theology without missional impact: No mission without theological foundations.’  Additionally – this is theology that addresses the whole Bible – it starts in Genesis and ends up in Revelations. The fact that Abraham has already been mentioned is not by chance; the covenant made with him is a key point in Wright’s understanding of what God’s people are supposed to be about.

This is the question then: what is God up to – and how are we to echo it in the 21st Century?  The answers that Wright gives include ones that address life inside the church and out, at work, in the spheres of ecological response and public domain as well as the witness to and procamation of the Gospel message.

What’s your mission?

* The Mission of God: Unlocking the Bble’s Grand Narrative, Christopher J.H. Wright, pub. Downers Grove, Il: IVP, and Nottingham: IVP, 2007


So what’s the book…

…I hear you cry?
Actually – I have read two in recent weeks that have challenged me in my thinking.
Both are still sat on my bookshelf and will be re-read and then quoted, commented on and chewed over in this blog in days and weeks to come.
The first is ‘The Mission of God’s People’ by Christopher JH Wright (published by Zondervan). Subtitled ‘A Biblical Theology of the Church’s Mission’, the book is a part of Zondervan’s ‘Biblical Theology for Life’ series.
The second is technically not theology (sorry about that). It is, instead, ecclesiology ( thinking about the church); as  I have a slightly longer and probably more unfamiliar description, I hope you you’ll forgive this loose terminology. (It’ll probably get a lot looser than that, as we go on.) The book is ‘The Forgotten Ways’, by Alan Hirsch, published by Strand/BrazosPress.

If you’ve read these already – let me know your thoughts.

I just read this amazing book…

And what was even more amazing – it was theology.

‘Theology? Surely not! The paper version of mogadon on steroids.’ Not on this occasion.

Did someone pay you to read it?  Someone suggested I did (and that was connected to my job) – but they’re not paying me to review it, quote from it or argue with it.

Are you doing this with an end in mind? Yes – I hope to have conversations with fellow-travellers (of the faith variety) about the ‘whats’ and especially the ‘hows’ of Christian mission and ministry. I might one day also speak to someone else on the Tube!  But don’t hold your breath on that one. It’s NOT the done thing.  And I’m a introvert – much easier to read a book… (I think this where I came in…)