The recently published Cape Town Commitment is a document to come out of Lausanne, following the working groups and convention in South Africa in the Autumn 2010. It is subtitled ‘A Confession of Faith and a Call to Action’. You can read the whole thing here: The Cape Town Commitment.
There’s a tremendous amount to reflect upon within this large document. So I’ll just look at one section today.
This section of the commitment highlights four aspects of the Bible: The Person the Bible reveals; The story the Bible tells; The truth the Bible teaches; The life the Bible requires. The second is put this way:
The story the Bible tells. The Bible tells the universal story of creation, fall, redemption in history, and new creation. This overarching narrative provides our coherent biblical worldview and shapes our theology. At the centre of this story are the climactic saving events of the cross and resurrection of Christ which constitute the heart of the gospel. It is this story (in the Old and New Testaments) that tells us who we are, what we are here for, and where we are going. This story of God’s mission defines our identity, drives our mission, and assures us the ending is in God’s hands. This story must shape the memory and hope of God’s people and govern the content of their evangelistic witness, as it is passed on from generation to generation. We must make the Bible known by all means possible, for its message is for all people on earth. We recommit ourselves, therefore, to the ongoing task of translating, disseminating and teaching the scriptures in every culture and language, including those that are predominantly oral or non-literary.
This is a very helpful overview of the missional nature of the big story of the Bible, as well as the worldview-shaping nature of the Scriptures. It also touches on the Bible as a tool of mission in the final paragraph. Could it have talked about mission in a broader sense (cf. the ‘integral mission’ or ‘mission as transformation’ discussion the document addresses elsewhere)? Nevertheless, it is excellent to see such an overarching view of the Bible as thoroughly missional.