This morning a few of us took the short train journey up to Newcastle, and then the metro to Jesmond, to hear Chris Wright from Langham Partnership International, and Vijay Menon from St. Helen's speak at Crossing Cultures, an event put on by Friends International. It was a great day, and a great chance to have my eyes opened to the massive plans God has for the whole world, and to see those plans being unravelled before my very eyes.
Chris' work on reading the whole Bible in relation to Mission was really insightful, with the big point being actually mission is more than our 'mission' activity, for actually God's committed to his mission. Interesting interlocking with my reading on Goldsworthy over the last few weeks: Wright says that the Bible points to Christ, for the Messiah is God's 'anointed agent' to fulfil the mission of Israel, which was to bring God's blessing to the nations. It helped me to see how Israel fits into God's plan, as well as looking at Jesus' role within that plan, and then our role as the church.
5 tips for reading the whole Bible for Mission:
Reading it in light of:
1. God's purpose for the whole creation (guilty of rarely bringing this into focus)
2. God's purpose for all human life (not really thought-through this before)
3. The election and role of Israel in God's purposes for the nations (have barely considered this, apart from a glance at Romans 2-3)
4. The messianic identity of Jesus (often don't see this so tangibly)
5. The mission of the church to the nations (very often don't see the church like this)
Vijay spoke about Hinduism, which is something I've never encountered, and also reminded us of the importance of prayer (Mark 10.27) and the word of God (John 6.63) in witnessing to the nations. Why is it that golddust is so often disregarded and left in one's pocket?