Monday, January 24, 2011

Re:flection and Our Point of Reference

I quoted this a week ago Sunday from the book, Total Church: A Radical Reshaping around Gospel and Community by Tim Chester and Steve Timmis (p35):
In his book The Mission of God, Chris Wright shows that the Bible story is “all about mission” – God’s mission to save a people for himself through Jesus Christ. Jesus is the focus of the story, but his identity has missionary implications (Luke 24:45-48). This radical, God-centered perspective, Wright suggests, “turns inside out and upside down some of the common ways in which we are accustomed to think about the Christian life….It constantly forces us to open our eyes to the big picture, rather than shelter in the cozy narcissism of our own small worlds.”
  • We ask, “Where does God fit into the story of my life?,” when the real question is “Where does my little life fit into this great story of God’s mission?”
  • We want to be driven by a purpose that has been tailored just right for our own individual lives, when we should be seeing the purpose of all life, including our own, wrapped up in the great mission of God for the whole of creation.
  • We talk about “applying the Bible to our lives.” What would it mean to apply our lives to the Bible instead, assuming the Bible to be the reality—the real story—to which we are called to conform ourselves?
  • We wrestle with “making the gospel relevant to the world.” But in this story, God is about the business of transforming the world to fit the shape of the gospel.
  • We argue about what can legitimately be included in the mission that God expects from the church, when we should ask what kind of church God wants for the whole range of his mission.
  • I may wonder what kind of mission God has for me, when I should be asking what kind of me God wants for his mission.

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