Total Church Meets The Mission of God

totalchurchHow do you come across the books that are on your “to read” list?  One way I do so is by taking careful note of referenced works in the books I am already reading.  For example, my buddy Jed and I started slowly working through Chester and Timmis’ Total Church.  Jed lives out in Boston and we connect once a month by phone.  So we read a chapter, get on the phone and talk it through.  In processing the first chapter, I flagged another book referenced at length and have added to my “to read” list.  missionofgod

The book I flagged is The Mission of God by Chris Wright.  The below is the section of Total Church quoting Wright’s work at length.

“In his book The Mission of God, Chris Wright shows that the Bible Story is “all about mission”–God’s mission to save a people for himself through Jesus Christ.  Jesus is the focus of the story, but his identity has missionary implications (Luke 24:45-48).  This radical, God-centered perspective, Wright suggests, “turns inside out and upside down some of the common ways in which we are accustomed to think about the Christian life…It constantly forces us to open our eyes to the big picture, rather than shelter in the cosy narcissism of our own small worlds.”

  • We ask, “Where does God fit into the story of my life,” when the real question is “Where does my little life fit into this great story of God’s mission?”
  • We want to be driven by a purpose that has been tailored just right for our own individual lives, when we should be seeing the purpose of all life, including our own, wrapped up in the great mission of God for the whole of creation.
  • We talk about “applying the Bible to our lives.”  What would it mean to apply our lives to the Bible instead, assuming the Bible to be the reality – the real story – to which we are called to conform ourselves?
  • We wrestle with “making the gospel relevant to the world.”  But in this story, God is about the business of transforming the world to fit the shape of the gospel.
  • We argue about what can legitimately be included in the mission that God expects from the church, when we should ask what kind of church God wants for the whole range of his mission.
  • I may wonder what kind of mission God has for me, when I should be asking what kind of me God wants for his mission.

~ by toddbumgarner on April 30, 2009 5:20 am.

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