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

Redcliffe College launches the Centre for the Study of Bible and Mission

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.” 

Biblical wisdom and christian engagement with modern culture

This was the title of an excellent conference I attended at the weekend at the Queen’s Foundation in Birmingham. It was organised by Knut Heim, tutor in Biblical Studies at Queen’s and David Spriggs, Bible and Church consultant at Bible Society. Bible Society very generously subsidised the gathering, which attracted about twenty participants ranging from biblical scholars, church ministers, students, and others.

The purpose of the conference was to explore ways in which the UK church could reengage with biblical wisdom, particularly (but not exclusively) the Old Testament books of Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and Job.

There was a fantastic range of presentations ranging from a survey of the treatment of the Wisdom Literature in Old Testament scholarship over the last century, to creative ways of engaging contemporary culture with wisdom using web 2.0. An eclectic mix, but this was precisely the point: scholarship and church should be united in understanding and creativity to engage with biblical wisdom for the sake of the world.

I gave a paper on ‘Wisdom, Church and the Mission of God’, which used Chris Wright’s discussion on the Wisdom Literature in his book, The Mission of God as a framework to explore some practical ways in which the church might engage with God’s mission in the world.

All the papers are due to be available in a few weeks time; I’ll let you know when that happens.

I was particularly impressed by the work, creativity and energy of Matt and Juls Hollidge from Kore, who describe their vision as ‘to explore the heart and roots of our faith and to discover what the Kingdom of God looks like in our world.’ Check out the Kore website, which has some excellent resources.

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