I am currently preparing for a six-week ‘Biblical Basis of Mission’ module at Redcliffe, which will be available for first year, Professionals in Mission, Across the Cultures, Pick and Mix and day students. This is my course outline:
1. The Biblical Basis of Mission or The Missional Basis of the Bible?
2. Mission and the Torah.
3. Mission and the Prophets.
4. Mission and the Writings; plus the Inter-Testamental Period.
5. Jesus, Mission and the Gospels.
6. Mission and Acts, the Letters and Revelation.
I think it’s really important to look at the methodology of thinking about the Bible and Mission, hence the first session. Redcliffe is one of the UK’s two specialist centres for mission training, so most students are committed to mission in one way or another before they arrive. So this module has to be more than preaching to the choir, or furnishing them with a few affirming proof-texts. Students need to be grasp how the whole Bible relates to God’s mission. They also need to see how the Bible doesn’t just describe mission, but is itself a phenomenon and tool of mission. It also also shapes us as God’s missional people.
The Old Testament features significantly in the course. I see this as an outworking of the fact that mission is a whole-Bible phenomenon. I would love to spend more time on the Gospels especially, but this module functions as a short introduction (students have plenty of other opportunities during the year to go into more depth with both Old and New Testament material). I have followed the Hebrew division of the Old Testament – Torah, Prophets (most of the historical books plus Isaiah, Jeremiah, etc.) and Writings (Psalms, Proverbs, etc.) – out of convenience rather than theological conviction, though this would be an interesting discussion!
The Inter-Testamental Period provides important background to the Gospels. It would be nice to treat Luke-Acts together, so I may still tinker with the final couple of weeks.
If anyone knows of any good video resources, drop me a line…