Biblical Theology as Mission?

what-you-talkin-bout-willis-370x229The tagline of this blog is “Biblical Theology as Mission.” This may seem like either a grammatical mistake or a confusion of categories. It is neither. Yet, the concept needs some explanation, which this post will attempt to give. Many things could be said about this, but I’ll give a short description of my meaning along with a few reasons why biblical theology and mission are should be closely related. Most of the posts to follow will be further explanations of this central point.

The phrase “Biblical Theology as Mission” is intended to communicate the intimate connection between biblical theology and the mission of the church. Indeed, one does not exist without the other. In other words, mission is the natural outflow of biblical theology. On the other hand, God-honoring mission must be rooted in biblical theology. Thus, if rightly done, biblical theology is an essential aspect of mission.

Why is this so? Here are a few reasons:

1. The Bible is a Missional Book

In The Mission of God, Christopher J.H. Wright has ably shown that the Scriptures themselves are the product of God’s mission to restore the world. They are God’s redemptive self-revelation to humanity. The Bible is inherently a missional and contextualized book. Thus, the study of biblical theology is the study of God and his mission in the world.

2. Biblical Theology Invites us into the Missional God’s Story

Second, the Bible tells one, unified story of the Creator-King, his kingdom, and his people. This is the true story of the world  that invites its readers to participate. While the biblical story is similar to other stories in that it has a plot, setting, characters, etc., it is different in that it calls readers to join in the story. It invites us to become members of God’s family through faith in Jesus. Thus, the study of biblical theology is the study of God’s beckoning story.

3. Biblical Theology Provides the Content and Method for Mission 

Finally, the first two points lead to the conclusion that biblical theology provides mission practitioners with the content and method of mission. That is, the study of biblical theology helps us to understand both the content of the biblical gospel and the storying methodology for evangelism and discipleship. These ideas will be developed further in later posts.

So, “biblical theology as mission” communicates the intimate relationship between biblical theology (rightly understood) and mission (rightly done). The separation of the two results in deficiencies in both.

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