Questions for an Old Testament Text
I've just spent a fascinating two days at Calvin Seminary at a conference on a missional reading of Scripture. I'll probably have a little more to say in later blog posts and I will certainly be linking to the talks when they go online. However, for the moment, Chris Wright summarised his talk on a missional reading of the Old Testament by saying that we need to ask these questions of any text we are studying.
What do we know of the context or origin of the text. What does it say about how God and his people engage in missional issues? Why was this text produced?
What does this text contribut to our understnding of God revealed in Scripture as a whole?
Where does this text fint in the whole Biblical story of the mission of God? What comes before and after it? How does it move the story along?
What sort of people are in the text or are envisaged by the text? Does the text link to the purposes of God in electing his people?
Does this text point in any way towards the future? What are the connections between this text and the broader eschatological vision?
What happens if you read this passage with Luke 24 (the Emmaus road discourse) in mind? What happens if you don't?
What questions to we want to address to this text in the light of our involvement in mission?
What questions does the text address to our practice of mission? What encouragements or critiques does it bring?
Chris gives a sustained example of this approach in his excellent book, The Mission of God.