How to tell the biblical story in a way that makes a difference

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25 Jan 2022

John Franke’s Missional Theology: An Introduction starts with the idea associated with Karl Barth and the missiologist Karl Hartenstein that the biblical God is in his very nature a missional God. Mission is not primarily what the church does; it is what God does, expressed most fully in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Through the Spirit the church participates in the missio Dei—the “mission of God”—as its social, historical, and cultural embodiment, and is fundamentally defined by that participation. The church is not missional in one or other of its activities—doing evangelism, planting churches. It is missional at its core and in its entire purpose.

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I am trying to give serious thought these days to how the church goes about its “mission” (for want of a better word). The methodology is usually pragmatic: the church as it currently is, in its various institutional forms, faces challenges of numerical decline or social irrelevance, and asks what… (21 Jan 2022 | 2 comments)
I have two “passions”—as far as my work goes. The first is the narrative-historical thing. I think we understand the New Testament best when we read it essentially as a prophetic-apocalyptic narrative about the concrete historical experience of the Jesus movement in the first… (14 Jan 2022 | 7 comments)
I am very interested in the “eschatology” of Jesus and his followers—how they predicted future events—not only because it is the key to understanding the New Testament but also because it teaches us how to think theologically about the crises of our own age. So I was keen to listen to a Nomad… (5 Jan 2022 | 2 comments)
I got to hear several good online presentations at the SBL Annual Meeting last week, including a provocative panel discussion on “Doing History and Doing Theology in the Study of Paul,” which demonstrated that the more serious fault line now is between an old guard that thinks that the debate about… (26 Nov 2021 | 1 comment)
Helge Seekamp recently drew attention to a paper by Jem Bendell, Professor of Sustainability Leadership at the University of Cumbria, entitled “Deep Adaptation: A Map for Navigating Climate Tragedy.” He suggests that Bendell gives us a “secular agenda for an apocalyptic time.” I think that the idea… (10 Nov 2021 | 8 comments)
Earlier this week I had a stimulating online conversation with my friend Michael Cooper. Michael is a missiologist, and back in the day, when he used to hang out with Communitas, we spent long hours talking about scripture, narrative, history, and mission in the post-Christian western context. So… (22 Oct 2021 | 2 comments)
I read Roger Olson’s blog from time to time. He has recently written a couple of posts asking, “What is the Essence of Christianity?” We need to address these simple but fundamental questions from time to time. I know, it’s been a while, what with Covid and a major writing project to … (12 Oct 2021 | 9 comments)