I have only read two books by Christopher Wright, but they have been very good books (The God I Don’t Understand and The Mission of God’s People). I have been waiting for the Mission of God to be put on kindle format, but that hasn’t happened yet so I probably should just buy the paper version. It was the 2006 Missions Book of the Year for Christianity Today.
Trevin Wax blogging at The Gospel Coalition is doing a series of book reviews on the Church’s mission. Earlier this week he reviewed Mission of God (although I think that a better choice for his project might have been Wright’s Mission of God’s People. This is a fairly long review, and I have not read the Mission of God. But based on my reading of the Mission of God’s People, Trevin missed the real point of Wright’s books. Wright is saying that the mission of God’s people cannot extract social action and ministry from evangelism, because God’s work merges them together. But Trevin’s eventual complaint is that Wright does not give priority to evangelism.
Today, we’re tackling Christopher Wright’s The Mission of God, an ambitious project with an expansive missiological vision intended to transform one’s hermeneutical approach to the Scriptures.
In other words, instead of searching the Scriptures with a flashlight hoping to shine light on “mission” wherever it may be found, Wright believes mission is the flashlight that illuminates the whole Bible. Along these lines, he offers a novel way of reading the Bible, an approach that sees the mission of God as the key that “unlocks the whole grand narrative of the canon of Scripture” (17). The Bible is simultaneously a witness to and a product of the mission of God. Therefore, the text of Scripture ought to be read as having originated in issues and controversies confronted by the people of God seeking to fulfill their mission.
“The text in itself is a product of mission in action” (49).
h/t Ed Stetzer