Following on from last week’s introduction to a missional reading of the whole of Scripture, session two of this Biblical Basis of Mission module looked at mission and the Torah.

After a brief overview of Gen. 1-11 we focused on a few key passages:

  • Gen. 12:1-3 – The call/creation of God’s missional people
  • Exod. 19:4-6 – The role of God’s missional people
  • Deut. 10:12-22 – The shape of God’s missional people

I like to mix up-front teaching with small group work so we used some quotations from J. Okoye’s Israel and the Nations: A Mission Theology of the Old Testament (Maryknoll: Orbis Books, 2006) to stimulate discussion. Here are a couple of examples:

“Mission must be experienced by the peoples as blessing” (p.54)

“Exodus 19:5-6 helps us perceive that the life of a people is a vehicle for mission. The effort to be true to the character of God as the Holy One of Israel also manifests God to the world.” (p.66)

We also watched this MTV/Radiohead video on child labour to remind us why these ancient texts still breathe life into the integral missionary task we are called to as the people of God (see my previous post Human trafficking and mission for more on this).

For next week students have two tasks. The first is to read the Encounters journal article, A Kiss of Heaven: Abraham, Global Blessing, and Civil Society, which considers Abraham’s life as a model for mission. The second is to reflect on the story of Naaman in 2 Kings 5:1-19a and think about any mission connections.

If you want to join in the conversation, I’ll be tweeting as redcliffeuk at certain points during the lecture using the tag #biblicalbasis.  It will be from 11.10 to 13.00 GMT on Monday. Maybe see you then!

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