Reading the Bible Missionally in Church

I’m starting to get annoyed with Brian Russell because he keeps writing things that I wish I’d written and what’s worse, he writes them better than I would have anyway. His latest post on reading the Bible is somewhat of a summary of other things he has written, but it is well worth a read and he provides a couple of provocative questions to enlighten your study of the Bible. As always, here is a taster:

All Christians need to see themselves in light of overarching biblical narrative about God’s Mission. In earlier posts (The Big Picture: Part 1 and Part 2), I sketched out the major contours of the Biblical story: Creation – Fall – Israel – Jesus – Church – New Creation. Mission was shown to be the thread that holds this grand narrative together.

For many (if not most) 21st century believers, this overview will sound brand new, even groundbreaking. Of course, it is not. It is more indicative of the loss of Scriptural memory in our Churches. We have lost the overarching narrative of God’s engagement with our world and have as a result lost our own way through the world. We may have encountered the Gospel message, but it has impacted us principally in terms of our own personal salvation rather than pushing us to see the larger implication of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection, i.e., an announcement of the Kingdom of God and an invitation to live and serve within the realm of God’s reign.

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