Reading the Bible On Behalf of the World

In a meditation on Psalm 2, Brian makes these excellent remarks:

In our 21st century context, it is crucial for missional leaders to always read the Bible on behalf of the world. Within the Church, we have a tendency to read the Scriptures only from the perspective of insiders. Many preachers and teachers routinely rage and rail against those outside of the walls of the Church. Yet how does such talk serve to advance the Gospel? How does an insider versus outsider mentality help outsiders to become insiders?

The Church exists as a missional community that exists to reflect God’s character in, for, and to the World. Jesus continually leads His church into the world on mission. If these propositions are true, then this should affect the way that we read Scriptures. I call this a missional hermeneutic. A missional hermeneutic approaches Scripture through the lens of mission. It reads Scriptures for the World on behalf of all people. It doesn’t read the Bible as Christians or non-Christians, but as human beings.

This perspective is critical for learning to proclaim the Gospel in our post-Christian context. If we read only from the perspective of the Church, we are forgetting about those on the outside; if we read only from the perspective of non-Christians, we miss the call to realign that the Scriptures continually pronounce to believers. Instead, what is needed is a reading of Scripture that speaks human. One that calls insiders to the Gospel to realign themselves with God’s missional work in the world and one that calls outsiders to align their lives with God’s missional work in the world. (read more)

We forget that the Bible is God’s communication to the whole world at our peril. It is all too easy for those of us who work with the Bible to treat it is purely a subject for academic study and theological reflection.

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1 reply on “Reading the Bible On Behalf of the World”

I’m sure I heard Steve Chalke say “Jesus didn’t come to teach people how to be Christians, but how to live” – similar to your thought “that the Bible is God’s communication to the whole world”.

I (as a regular church attending Christian) would be very offended to hear a preacher “rage and rail against those outside”. I’m glad mine don’t !

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