Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Movement of Mission

I'm in the process of reading a book called Bible and Mission, by Richard Bauckham, for my "Mission in a Global Context" class. Bauckham talks about the mission of God, the missio Dei, being a movement from the particular to the universal, from our specific locatedness in time and space to a univeral blessing from God for all of creation. He speaks of a number of different ways that this movement takes place, but the one that has caught my attention is the missional movement "to all by way of the least." God's movement in the world seems to consistently involve a destruction of social status and a quest toward freedom and solidarity in relational unity. I loved Bauckham's words here:
"This is the God who habitually overturns status, not in order to make the non-elite a new elite, but in order to abolish status, to establish his kingdom in which none can claim privilege over others and all gladly surrender privilege for the good of others."
And also here:
"...the church's mission cannot be indifferent to the inequalities and injustices of the world into which it is sent...It [the gospel] engages with the injustices of the world on its way to the kingdom of God. This means that as well as the outward movement of the church's mission in geographical extension and numerical increase, there must also be this downward movement of solidarity with the people at the bottom of the social scale of importance and wealth."


  1. I have been jonesin' for this book, but was not sure he would be an interesting writer. You almost have me convinced

  2. The first chapter was great. This latest chapter I read (ch. 2) was a bit academically dry, but still really good. I am eagerly awaiting the reading of the 2nd half of the book. I'll let you know how it goes.