Issue 26 of Encounters, the bi-monthly topical mission journal for which I serve as reviews editor, is now out. In celebration of reaching 25 issues Encounters canvassed a number of ‘mission people’ to ask how they would reflect on the journal so far and what issues had been missed or need addressing. It is an excellent analysis of current trends and issues in mission and includes contributors such as Jonathan Ingleby, Ida Glaser, Martine Lee, Jonathan Rowe, Rose Dowsett and Paul Thaxter.

In Jonathan’s editorial he mentions that two contributors note the importance of “Re-appropriating the Bible for mission”. In her contribution Ida Glaser suggests that,

Biblical interpretation is going to be increasingly important. My hobby horse is reading the Bible faithfully in the context of other faiths and of Islam in particular. There are also interesting questions about not only developing local interpretations but also teaching the Bible in different contexts…

And, of course, those different contexts raise the issue of how non-Christians read and respond to the Bible. So often we think of mission in terms of what Christians do – the Islamic context alerts us (or should do) to the importance of understanding what non-Christians are likely to be thinking about Christianity, about Christ and about the Bible before we ever meet them.

While Jonathan Rowe asks, “What about biblical issues from the NT as well as the OT? Or the influence of particular biblical books or theological themes (creation, resurrection) on our understanding of mission?”

Some interesting comments. Rowe’s point about the OT refers to the issue I edited in April 07 on Mission and the Old Testament. He is right, of course, that there are numerous possibilities for developing the theme. Watch this space…

Do check out Encounters Mission Ezine. It’s free and full of excellent stuff. Check out the Encounters tab above for a listing of all the issues or go direct to Encounters Mission Ezine.

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