Revisiting Old Themes

It is not too much to say that worship has a missional dimension, pushing back the powers of darkness and revealing the victory of the Lamb to the entire earthly and heavenly realms.

Here are a couple of excellent quotes from Understanding Christian Mission: Participation in Suffering and Glory by Scott Sundquist, which touch on themes that we’ve covered on numerous occasions on Kouyanet.

I don’t know how many times we’ve posted something on Bible translation and the Incarnation, but this sums up the whole thing neatly and succinctly.

Jesus, however, is known almost exclusively through the writings of the New Testament, writings that are already a step away from Jesus, since they are in a foreign language (translated from Aramaic to Greek). Translation of the divine presence took place in the incarnation, and translation of Jesus’s life occurs in the New Testament record. This reveals something of the missionary nature of the New Testament: it is meant to be translated—to fully embody—into every language and culture.

I’m not sure that there is anything that could be added to this.

I have from time to time, argued with John Piper’s famous quote about mission existing because worship doesn’t (see here and here and probably a few links that turn up on those pages). In this quote, Sunquist turns things round a little; I think it’s excellent.

It is not too much to say that worship has a missional dimension, pushing back the powers of darkness and revealing the victory of the Lamb to the entire earthly and heavenly realms. In worship, we remember the martyrs who have given a faithful witness (Revelation, 20:4); Babylon and all her oppression and sins are conquered (chaps. 17 and 18); we celebrate the gospel for every language and nation (14:6–7); we celebrate that the sacrifice of Jesus and our testimony conquers the great deceiver, Satan (12:10–12); and we live into the future hope of the victory of Christ revealed, the same hope that we proclaim and live in mission (21:22–27 and chap. 22). Worship is a missional act, and mission has as its goal worship of the Lamb by all the nations of the world (7:9–10).

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