This rather uncomfortable sounding phrase essentially means reading the Bible through the light of God’s mission. Michael Goheen, has just published an excellent set of notes on the subject over at the Gospel and Our Culture Network.
The outline of the paper gives a feel for what he is saying.
Scripture is the Record of God’s Mission:
- The Bible is the true story of our world in which we find our place and role
- God’s mission to redeem the world is the main story-line of the narrative that the Bible tells
- In Old Testament God chooses and forms Israel as a people with a view to bringing salvation to the whole world
- In Jesus, God’s purposes to restore the creation come to a climax
- The Church is taken up in God’s mission to continue the mission of Israel and Jesus
- The already-not yet period of the kingdom is an eschatological era of the missional ingathering of the nations.
- The mission of God’s people involves a missional encounter with culture which both embraces the treasures and opposes the idolatry of all cultures.
Scripture as a Tool of God’s Mission
- The Old Testament Scriptures were written to ‘equip’ God’s people for their missional purposes.
- The New Testament Scriptures tell the story of God’s mission through Israel as it climaxes in Jesus, and bring that story to bear in various ways on the early church to form and equip them for their missional calling in the world.
It’s well worth reading the whole paper, which you can find here.