I’m pretty sure these are the best books I read this year!
The purpose of incarnation was so we could see the glory of God. As we look at Jesus, we see the love of God, the mercy of God, the joy of God, and the goodness of God. But don’t forget, as you watch Jesus, that we also get to see the zeal and the consuming anger of a God who hates injustice and abuse. Our God is a consuming fire, and the kingdom of God doesn’t always just blow through the window like a soft spring breeze. Often, it comes only with a vigorous fight!
God works out his redemptive purposes in this story by choosing a people to make known to all where history is leading. Jesus does not write a book to transmit the good news to succeeding generations. Instead, he chooses, prepares, and commissions a community to make the goal of universal history known. This gathering work is central to his kingdom mission, and it begins in the early days of his ministry.
The gospel calls for faithful living in all of life. Yet each culture shapes all of human life by a different set of beliefs. The church is part of the cultural community and the people of God. As such, it indwells two irreconcilable stories… There is a missionary encounter between the two ways of life that meet in the very life of the Christian community. The struggle is to find a faithful way embodied and expressed, as it always is, within the culture.
the reason why I’ve mentioned this book is not for the quality of the theological argument (which is excellent) but because of the gracious way in which the various authors interact. It is obvious that the four scholars disagree very strongly at some points. However, they go out of their way to be curteous in their disagreement and to highlight the areas where there is common ground between them. To my mind, this book provides an excellent example of the way in which Christians should debate and disagree over issues. If people can discuss the nature of God (surely the most vital issue to Christians), it is sad to see the way that issues of far less importance cause such dissension and hostility on Twitter and other fora.
Invitation to World Missions (Invitation to Theological Studies) is not cheap and even the Kindle edition will set you back a couple of limbs. However, anyone who considers themselves a missiologist or student of mission will need to interact with it at some point. If you can’t afford your own copy, start badgering your librarian today!
If you enjoy good fiction, you will enjoy The Sea Walker: A Bible Mystery Story by Cedric Longville. This is an enjoyable story set at the point where Constantine had ordered the first mass production of Christian Scriptures. The plot is obviously speculative, but it is none the worse for that and some of the insights into people and theological issues are fascinating. Unfortunately, it is only available on Kindle, but I wouldn’t be surprised if a print publisher picked up on it soon.
If I were to ask which is the most important book on mission today, I suspect that most people would answer either Transforming Mission by David Bosch or The mission of God: Unlocking the Bible’s Grand Narrative by Chris Wright. Don’t get me wrong, these books are both excellent. If you want an overview of how mission thinking has […]
“For most of its history (but particularly for the last fifty years), American evangelicalism has more accurately reflected the values, culture and ethos of Western, white American culture than the views of Scripture…”
I really wanted to like this book; I even quoted a couple of passages from it in blog posts a few days back. However, I found it really difficult to maintain my initial enthusiasm. From Times Square to Timbuktu, starts well but, like so much of the ecumenical conversation that it promotes, it descends into multiple […]