The Whole Bible and Mission

This quote is from a chapter by Chris Wright in an excellent new book Reading the Bible Missionally which is edited by Mike Goheen. Talking about Jesus’ encounters with his disciples in Luke 24, Wright writes:

He adjusts their whole understanding of “the Scriptures” by focussing their thrust and point on himself as Messiah and on the consequent mission of their bringing the good news of repentance and forgiveness, in his name, to all nations. “This is what is written,” he said. By which he was not indicating a single quotation (or even several) from particular texts, but rather affirming that the whole canon of what we now call the Old Testament should be read with a messianic and missional thrust. It all leads up to Christ, his death, and resurrection. And it all leads on beyond that to the ends of the earth. Messianic and missional reading of the Old Testament – that’s what Jesus instructed his disciples to do. We have been fairly good at the first, but pretty lamentable at the second. Which is deeply puzzling since it could be said that the very essence of the apostle Paul’s theology and practice (as apostle to the gentiles) consisted of a missional reading of the Old Testament Scriptures in the light of his encounter with Jesus as messiah. For Paul, the one followed inevitably from the other.

I will probably drop in a few more quotes from this book in the next day or so and there will be a review in the not too distant future.