The Mission Of God
Upcoming National Conference speaker Christopher J. H. Wright reflects on "The Mission Of God."
Extending the Kingdom of God through church planting and missional living.
Chris Wright. Ph.D., Cambridge
BIO: Chris is the International Ministries Director of the Langham Partnership, providing literature, scholarships, and preaching training for pastors in Majority World churches and seminaries. He has written many books including commentaries on Deuteronomy, Jeremiah, Lamentations, and Ezekiel. His books include The Mission of God, Cultivating the Fruit of the Spirit, Old Testament Ethics For The People Of God, and Knowing Jesus Through the Old Testament.
“The whole Bible is itself a missional phenomenon. The writings that now comprise our Bible are themselves the product of and witness to the ultimate mission of God. The Bible renders to us the story of God’s mission through God’s people in their engagement with God’s world for the sake of the whole of God’s creation.
“The Bible is the drama of this God of purpose engaged in the mission of achieving that purpose universally, embracing past, present and future, Israel and the nations, ‘life, the universe and everything,’ and with its centre, focus, climax, and completion in Jesus Christ. Mission is not just one of a list of things that the Bible happens to talk about, only a bit more urgently than some. Mission is, in that much-abused phrase, ‘what it’s all about.’
“Evil and sin weave their way into every aspect of God’s creation and every dimension of human personhood and life on earth.”
“The reality is, of course, as soon as you think seriously about it, that the mission field is everywhere, including your own street – wherever there is ignorance or rejection of the gospel of Jesus Christ.”
“Our mission is nothing less (or more) than participating with God in this grand story until he brings it to its guaranteed climax.”
“The jubilee then is about restoring to people the capacity to participate in the economic life of the community for their own viability and society’s benefit.”
“Mission is not ours; mission is God’s. Certainly, the mission of God is the prior reality out of which flows any mission that we get involved in. Or, as has been nicely put, it is not so much the case that God has a mission for his church in the world but that God has a church for his mission in the world. Mission was not made for the church; the church was made for mission – God’s mission.”
“The tragedy of polytheism and idolatry is not the arithmetic (many gods instead of one), but that they exchange the only true source of salvation for lifeless and powerless substitutes, and in doing so, introduce injustice, bondage, and cruelty into human life (cf. Rom. 1:21–32).”
“I wanted them to see not just that the Bible contains a number of texts which happen to provide a rationale for missionary endeavor but that the whole Bible is itself a ‘missional’ phenomenon.”
“The God who walks the paths of history through the pages of the Bible pins a mission statement to every signpost on the way.”
“For we need to be clear that in the Bible the conflict with the gods is a conflict waged by God for us, not a conflict waged by us for God. To be sure, the people of God are involved in spiritual warfare, as countless texts in both testaments testify. However, it is assuredly not the case that God is waiting anxiously for the day when we finally win the battle for him and the heavens can applaud our great victory. Such blasphemous nonsense, however, is not far removed from the rhetoric and practice of some forms of alleged mission that place great store on all kinds of methods and techniques of warfare by which we are urged to identify and defeat our spiritual enemies. No, the overwhelming emphasis of the Bible is that we are the ones who wait in hope for the day when God defeats all the enemies.”