On Wednesday evening, Redcliffe College hosted the 2010 Annual Lecture in Bible and Mission, which incorporated the official launch of the Centre for the Study of Bible and Mission. The event was put on in partnership with Wycliffe Bible Translators, Bible Society and Keswick Ministries. We also streamed it live on ustreamtv, which seemed to work well.

The lecture hall at Redcliffe was full, which was great to see. After a brief welcome I gave a presentation about the ethos and activities of the Centre. David Spriggs from Bible Society then came to the front and prayed a wonderful prayer, dedicating the Centre to God.

I then introduced Gordon Wenham who gave a lecture on the theme of ‘The Nations in the Psalms’. It was an excellent case study in tracing a theme canonically through the whole Psalter. I then gave a ten-minute ‘missional response’ in which I reflected particularly on ‘the Psalms in the Nations’; i.e., the Psalms as a tool of mission. We then had some time left over for an involved Q&A session.

When organising this event we have half an eye on how it might be used as a resource afterwards. Here’s what we are planning:

  • Encounters Issue 33 (June 2010 – due out in the first week of June) is on The Psalms and Mission and will feature the full text of Gordon’s paper along with my intro to the Centre and missional response. There will also be a number of other papers on issues relating to the Psalms and mission from a variety of perspectives.
  • We will be editing a video of the lecture and posting it on the web in the near future.
  • We will also make an audio version of the lecture available.

More on these in due course.

To finish this post, here’s an excerpt from a news item on Redcliffe’s website

The official launch of Redcliffe College’s new Centre for the Study of Bible and Mission took place on Wednesday 12 May at the College. This exciting initiative aims to serve the Church by engaging in research, teaching, writing and speaking on mission in the Bible and the Bible in mission.Web and digital media will be used extensively to make the news and activities of the centre widely accessible. There will be an annual public lecture and bi-annual consultation on an aspect of Bible and Mission, and the Centre will have visiting scholars from the two-thirds world who will input into the teaching programme and community life at Redcliffe.  The College is also working together with key agencies such as Wycliffe Bible Translators and Bible Society to develop the activities of the Centre, and is looking forward to being involved in events and initiatives such as the Keswick Convention and Biblefresh. 

Rob Hay, Principal of Redcliffe College commented: “At Redcliffe we are committed to ensuring our preparation of men and women for Christian service around the world is rooted in the Scriptures. Mission is the central theme of the Bible – and people involved in mission need to be equipped to demonstrate and proclaim the stories, images and truths of the Bible in their specific context. Redcliffe’s Centre for the Study of Bible and Mission makes a unique contribution to this area.”  

Speaking after the launch, Tim Davy, Director of the Centre, and Lecturer in Biblical Studies at Redcliffe said: “The evening summed up what is so exciting about the Centre. The lecture hall was packed with church members and leaders, biblical scholars and missiologists, mission agency personnel and students preparing for cross-cultural service. This reflects both the felt need and enthusiasm for what we are doing, and the importance of partnership, which lies at the heart of the whole initiative.” 

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