Bible and mission blogs

Every Tongue blogLately, we’ve been developing the Bible and Mission resources section of the microsite. Last week Wycliffe Bible Translators’ Eddie Arthur suggested that this section would “keep anyone in reading material for the next decade or two.” We are working on it Eddie!!
Here are some blogs we’ve come across that have dealt in some way with the themes of the Bible and mission, and missional hermeneutics. Let us know if there are more:
Realmeal ministries – Brian Russell; nb. missional hermeneutics page and tags here and here
Kouya Chronicle – Eddie Arthur
Cross Talk – Michael Gorman; nb. missional hermeneutic tag
Everytongue – Mark Woodward; nb. missional hermeneutics tag
Billington’s blog – Antony Billington; nb. missional hermeneutics tag

As we continue to build up the resources section, please let us know how it can best serve you in your Bible and mission thinking and practice.

Catalyst online journal

Catalyst Online Journal

Catalyst Online is a journal for United Methodist (UM) seminarians but is also available on the web for the wider public. Its aims are

  • to alert seminarians to significant resources within the classical Christian tradition;
  • to highlight evangelical perspectives on Christian faith and practice;
  • to stimulate serious consideration of classical Christianity;
  • and to encourage a seminary experience fully within the Wesleyan tradition of uniting the two so long divided, knowledge and vital piety

It is well worth a look with some excellent scholars contributing articles.

Having looked through the archive here are three particular highlights for someone with an interest in Bible and Mission (I may well have missed some so add a comment to include others):

Missional Musings on Paul By Michael J. Gorman (volume 37.2, February, 2011)

What is a Missional Hermeneutic? by By Brian D. Russell (Volume 37.4, April, 2010)

Reading The Bible As One Story by Michael W. Goheen (Volume 33.3, March, 2007)

Encounters mission journal issue on The Psalms and Mission

The latest edition of Redcliffe’s free, online journal, ‘Encounters’, is on the theme of The Psalms and Mission. It was edited by myself and features a range of articles on the relationship between the Psalter and mission.

Here’s my introduction and the contents:

12 May 2010 saw the public launch of the Centre for the Study of Bible and Mission, a new Redcliffe College initiative aiming to serve the Church by engaging in research, teaching, writing and speaking on mission in the Bible, and the Bible in mission thinking, practice and training.

In my editorial I outline the activities of the Centre in more detail, one of which is to produce an annual issue of Encounters on a Bible and mission theme. This current edition focuses on The Psalms and Mission. The launch event also included Redcliffe’s 2010 Annual Lecture in Bible and Mission, delivered by Prof. Gordon Wenham on the theme of ‘The Nations in the Psalms’. The lecture is provided in full along with responses from myself, Eddie Arthur (Wycliffe Bible Translators) and David Spriggs (Bible Society).

Brian Russell and Tony Hughes outline missional readings of particular psalms, and a Redcliffe student offers a fascinating vision for the use of psalms of lament in order to help prevent missionary attrition. Finally, with kind permission from the author and Paternoster Press, we have included Ian Stackhouse’s chapter on Praying the Psalms from his book, The Day is Yours: Slow Spirituality in a Fast-Moving World.

I trust you will enjoy this edition of Encounters. Please read, reflect and join in the conversation.

Tim

Tim Davy teaches Biblical Studies and is Director of the Centre for the Study of Bible and Mission at Redcliffe College. He writes the Bible and Mission blog and also edited issues 17 and 29 of Encounters on the themes of Mission and the Old Testament and The Bible and Mission.

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Editorial:  The Centre for the Study of Bible and Mission. (Tim Davy, 761 words)

Article 1:  The Nations in the Psalms. (Prof Gordon Wenham, 5513 words

Article 2:  The Nations in the Psalms and the Psalms in the Nations – a response. (Tim Davy, 912 words)

Article 3:  Psalms 1-2 as an Introduction to Reading the Psalms Missionally. (Dr Brian Russell, 2083 words)

Article 4:  Reflections on the Nations in the Psalms. (Eddie Arthur, 485 words)

Article 5:  The Nations in Isaiah 40-55. (Rev Dr David Spriggs, 1218 words)

Article 6:  Missionary Attrition and the Psalms of Lament. (Name withheld, 1041 words)

Article 7:  A Missional Reading of Psalm 47. (Tony Hughes, 1664 words)

Article 8:  Praying the Psalms. (Rev Dr Ian Stackhouse, 2598 words)

Book Review 1:  Transformation after Lausanne: Radical Evangelical Mission in Global-local Perspective. (by Al Tizon; Regnum Books)

Book Review 2:  Understanding and Using the Bible. (edited by Christopher J.H. Wright and Jonathan Lamb; SPCK)

The url for the issue is http://www.redcliffe.org/psalmsandmission

Calling all Bible and mission bloggers!

How many people out there are blogging on the Bible and mission? According to WordPress, they provide space for 290,188 bloggers and just today there has been the following activity on WordPress.com:

258,217 new posts
355,171 comments
60,395,829 words

A while ago I wrote about two of my favourite Bible and mission blogs, Brian Russell’s realmealministries and Eddie Arthur’s kouya chronicle. But how many others are there writing consistently on the dynamic interplay between the Bible and mission?

A further question: how might we define a blog as being ‘about Bible and mission’? Does it have to be exclusively looking at Bible and mission or should it just make regular contributions on the subject?

So what do you think? Drop me a line with any suggestions for Bible and mission blogs. Let’s broaden the conversation…

Biblical Interpretation for Church and World course

Brian Russell is teaching this course 26-30 July this year as part of the Doctor of Ministry programme of Asbury Theological Seminary (it will be taught at the Orlando campus).

This is how he describes the module, which also explains why I want to highlight and recommend it:

This course is part of the required core for the D.Min. degree, but more importantly it is my signature course for teaching biblical interpretation through the perspective of a missional hermeneutic of Scripture. The class focuses on reflecting critically on our reading practices and helping to shape interpreters into persons who read the Scriptures not merely for the Church but for our pre and post Christian culture.

For more details visit Brian’s blog

A missional reading of Genesis ch1 v1

Noone I have come across writes as consistently as Brian Russell on the application of a missional hermeneutic to biblical texts. He recently posted some really interesting thoughts on the missional significance of the opening verse of the Bible. Here are some snippets:

Genesis 1:1 is crucial for a couple of reasons. First, it affirms that there is an active personal deity behind all that is. The creation is not the result of an impersonal force or forces. It is not an accident or the result of some cosmic battle between gods. God (Heb elohim) will later be identified specifically as Israel’s covenant God known as the LORD (Heb Yhwh). Second, though Genesis 1:1-2:3 explicitly challenges the theology of the creation stories of Israel’s neighbors, it remains staunchly international in focus and in scope. It is vital to make the simple observation that Israel’s Scripture opens with its more generic name for God (Heb elohim)… It is not until Genesis 2:4 that the reader of the Bible encounters God’s personal and relational name—Yahweh (typically rendered LORD in our English translations). There the form is Yahweh Elohim (the LORD God). In other words, Genesis 2:4 links explicitly elohim of Genesis 1:1 with the personal name of Israel’s God that was revealed to Moses at the time of the Exodus (Exodus 3 and 6). Why is this important? I think that it points to the missional intent of the Scriptures…

Read the full post.

Encounters Mission Journal on the Bible and Mission

Encounters issue 29 - The Bible and MissionThe Encounters Mission Journal issue based on Chris Wright’s Redcliffe lecture on The Bible and Mission (and specifically, his missional reading of Jeremiah) is finally here! It’s been a lot of work to put together in a short space of time, but all concerned have done a great job. As well as the transcript of the lecture and a link to a downloadable audio file, it features eight response articles from a wide range of people with a lot of interesting things to say.

Here is part of my editorial:

This issue of Encounters revolves around Dr Wright’s excellent lecture and explores the idea of a missional reading of the Bible, in theory and practice. As well as the lecture and question and answer session transcribed in full, the edition also includes a number of responses from a variety of contexts. It has been a truly global venture with contributions from Malaysia, India, Colombia, Asia, the US and the UK.

John Risbridger and Krish Kandiah consider missional hermeneutics in the setting of the UK Church. David Spriggs writes on the relationship between the Bible and missional engagement in the ‘public square’. Eddie Arthur reflects on what a ‘missional hermeneutic has to say to those who translate and desseminate the Scriptures’. Brian Russell and Milton Acosta discuss missional hermeneutics as a method of reading the Bible. Finally, Anthony Loke and Rabbi and Chitra Jayakaran share what a missional hermeneutic might mean for their own contexts of Malaysia and India, respectively.

And these are the articles:

Lecture:  “Prophet to the Nations”: Missional Reflections on the Book of Jeremiah.
(Revd Dr Chris Wright)

Q and A:  Lecture question and answer session.

Response 1:  A UK pastor’s perspective.
(John Risbridger)

Response 2:  A missional hermeneutic and Scripture engagement.
(Eddie Arthur)

Response 3:  Jeremiah and mission in the public square.
(Revd Dr David Spriggs)

Response 4:  What does mission in exile really look like?
(Dr Krish Kandiah)

Response 5:  Breaking open the text.
(Dr Brian Russell)

Response 6:  Missional hermeneutics: some opportunities and questions.
(Dr Milton Acosta)

Response 7:  Missional hermeneutics in a Malaysian context.
(Revd Anthony Loke)

Response 8:  Missional hermeneutics in an Indian context.
(Rabbi and Chitra Jayakaran)

Over the coming weeks I’ll be reflecting on some of the points made in the issue. To read the articles or listen to the lecture, follow this link:

Go to The Bible and Mission – Issue 29 of Encounters Mission Journal

Forthcoming book on reading the Bible missionally

Brian Russell (Asbury Seminary, Kentucky) has blogged about his forthcoming book on the missional interpretation of the Bible. It is due out next year from Wipf and Stock.

The title is, The Scripture Way of Mission: Reading the Bible Missionally for the Church and the World and it promises to be a great resource for thinking through, and putting into practice this way of reading Scripture.

Brian gives us a tentative outline and asks for feedback. I’m particularly intrigued by the second part of the book, which he outlines here:

Part Two: Reading the Bible for the Mission of God
Part Two of Unleashing the Scriptures focuses on specific practices for unleashing the missional message of the Scriptures into our lives and the lives of our communities of faith. If God’s mission is the core theme of the Scriptures, then it must become the focus of our reading and teaching of Scripture.

Understanding the centrality of mission in the Scriptures demands action. It is not enough to understand that mission stands at the center of the biblical witness. Our use of Scripture must (re)align with the Bible’s overarching aim of creating and shaping a missional community to reflect and embody God’s character to and for the World. This message needs to permeate throughout existing communities of faith and be experienced anew by those outside of these communities. In short, we must be reconverted to God’s mission and allow God to deploy us as agents of change in our communities and as ambassadors for God to those on the peripheries of our communities.

Chapter Eight, “Scripture Unleashed: Learning to Speak Human,” provides a method for engaging in the missional reading of Scripture. It will offer a step-by-step guide for reading the Bible through the lens of mission. It includes practical advice for transforming one’s current reading practices and for learning to read the Bible for humanity—for both insiders and outsiders to the Gospel message.

Chapter Nine, “The Practice and Possibilities of a Missional Reading,” offers concrete examples of missional interpretation that will enhance your own ability to read the Scriptures and translate their message for humanity.

Chapter Ten, “Transforming Our Communities—Engaging the World: A Conversion to Mission,” offers a framework for transforming Churches into missional communities. This chapter explores the role that missional interpretation plays in shaping a missional ethos in contemporary communities of faith and how this impacts the Church’s engagement with contemporary cultures. We will explore strategies for integrating a missional reading into all aspects of our communities.

Chapter Eleven, “Deployment,” brings Unleashing the Scriptures to a conclusion. It will summarize key findings and end with a challenge to those who teach and preach the Scriptures in local churches to unleash the Scriptures as a catalyst to mission.

Please do visit Brian’s blog and share your thoughts with him. It looks like an extremely valuable development in the area of Bible and Mission, and I commend him for being so open to others shaping his work.

A missional hermeneutics blog

Through Eddie Arthur’s excellent kouya chronicles blog I came across another exciting resource for Bible and Mission. Brian Russell’s realmealministries blog has a wealth of material on reading the Bible missionally.

Here’s Brian’s bio from the blog:

Brian Russell is a thinker, teacher, and writer.

He serves a Professor of Biblical Studies at Asbury Theological Seminary on the Orlando campus.

He is an expert on biblical interpretation focusing his research issues broadly on developing a missional hermeneutic and specifically on the books of Exodus and Psalms.

At heart, Brian is a passionate practitioner committed to unleashing men and women to live as the people whom God created them to be. Mission is the reason for the existence of God’s people. Brian and his family seek to serve as voices of hope in and for the world.

There really is a broad range of interesting looking stuff on there, so check it out. The other day our Jesus, the Kingdom of God, and Christian Mission class spent a double lecture discussing the first two chapters of Chris Wright’s The Mission of God. I’ll be recommending Brian’s site to them next week.

PS. I’ll do a post on Eddie’s blog soon…