I came across this wonderful quote recently and was struck by how much it mirrors contemporary writing on missional hermeneutics. It can be found in V.F. Storr’s brilliantly titled, The Missionary Genius of the Bible (London: Hodder & Stoughton). Writing in the aftermath of the Great War and in the midst of significant changes across the globe and within biblical scholarship, Storr sensed that a new and more profound examination of mission in the light of the Bible was required.
He penned these words in 1924 but they would be right at home within the growing body of literature on a missional reading of Scripture.
A great cause needs a great backing; and to match the growing sense of the largeness of missionary enterprise must be an enlargement of the appeal which we make to the Bible. It is, for instance, not enough to quote from Scripture a series of proof-texts in support of missions. The proof-text suspended in mid-air is useless. It must be related to its context. It must be shown to stand out from a background which is essentially missionary in colour. We must, in a word, see the revelation in the Bible in its large, bold outlines, in the big sweep of its movement, in its progressive character and unfolding purpose. We have to learn a new method of using the Bible as a missionary book.
Rob Bradshaw at Missiology.org has just announced he has put up Storr’s book as part of his project to digitise out-of-copyright mission books. It was provided by Cambridge Centre of Christianity Worldwide.
Here’s a link to the page where you can download Storr’s book
Want to take this further? Come and study more about Bible and Mission with me on Redcliffe’s Summer school mode Contemporary Missiology MA, including the module ‘Reading the Bible Missionally’ running this July.