… so says Chris Wright in his The Mission of God (p.358). In a recent Bible and Mission MA class we were discussing the relationship between the ethics of the people of God and their participation in God’s mission. Wright is particularly helpful here, not least because his writing on the issue combines his expertise in both biblical ethics (his PhD was on OT ethics) and mission.
In one section he very helpfully depicts the flow of logic from election to ethics to mission (p.369):
Who is Abraham?
The one whom God has chosen and come to know in personal friendship (election)
Why did God choose Abraham?
To initiate a people who would be commited to the way of the Lord and his righteousness and justice, in a world going the way of Sodom (ethics)
For what purpose should the people of Abraham live according to that high ethical standard?
So that God can fulfill his mission of bringing blessing to the nations (mission).
How often to do talk about ethics or Christian behaviour from this missional perspective? What reasons to be holy do we focus on normally? ‘Be holy because God is holy’: absolutely – this is foundational (Lev. 19:2; 1 Pet. 1:16)! But I rarely consider my holiness in relation to my participation in God’s mission.
How might grasping the missional nature of holiness transform us as individuals and as communities?