The Product and Guide of Mission: Introduction
This is the first in a series of blog posts which will examine the relationship between the Bible and Christian Mission. Some of the things I have to say are fairly obvious, but others may be slightly more contentious. The basic thesis of the series is that the Bible and mission are intimately related. The church’s mission and the Bible are both expressions of God’s mission to reach out to a fallen creation and to reconcile it to himself in Christ.
He gave the Bible to a fallen world as a way of communicating himself and his nature to mankind and in a similar way, he has sent the church out into the world to bear witness to his reconciling work in Jesus. Because mission and the Bible are both expressions of God reaching out to the world, it is not surprising that they are closely intertwined. The Bible is the guide to mission for the church: the instruction book about what we should do and how we should do it. But the Bible is also the product of mission. One of the results of missional activity is that people gain access to the Scriptures and to the story of God’s dealing with the world. Bible translation is on of the obvious ways in which this happens. But not only that, the Bible owes its origins to missional encounters. We will explore this theme in the first post in the series.