GOCN forum on missional hermeneutics

If you are at the meetings of the Society of Biblical Literature or the American Academy of Religion later this month in San Francisco, check out the GOCN forum on missional hermeneutics. This forum has been critical for the development and dissemination of thinking in the whole area of reading the Bible through the lens of mission (see, for example, the 2009 issue of their enewsletter on missional hermeneutics).

Here is the info on the meetings from the GOCN website:

The annual GOCN forum on missional hermeneutics will be held in San Francisco at the annual meetings of the Society of Biblical Literature and the American Academy of Religion. We will host two sessions.

Session 1
1:00 PM to 3:30 PM
11/19/2011–Golden Gate 6

Reading the Parables of Jesus Missionally

George Hunsberger, Western Theological Seminary, Presiding

Jason S. Sexton, University of St. Andrews
Reading the Parables Theologically to Read them Missionally: A Missional Reading of the Early Galilean Parables in Luke’s Gospel

Lois Barrett, Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary
Reading Matthew 13 Missionally: Training for the Reign of God

Colin H. Yuckman, United Presbyterian Church of New Kensington
A Shadow of a Magnitude: Reading Luke’s ‘Parables of the Lost’ Missionally

Klyne Snodgrass, North Park University, Respondent
Session 2
4:00 PM to 6:30 PM
11/20/2011– Golden Gate 8

Panel Discussion of Michael J. Gorman’s Reading Revelation Responsibly: Uncivil Worship and Witness: Following the Lamb into the New Creation (Cascade Books, 2011)

Michael Barram, Saint Mary’s College of California, Presiding

Darrell Guder, Princeton Theological Seminary, Panelist
John R. Franke, First Presbyterian Church, Allentown, PA, Panelist
James Brownson, Western Theological Seminary, Panelist
Sylvia Keesmaat, Trinity College – Toronto, Panelist

Michael Gorman, Saint Mary’s Seminary and University, Respondent

Missional Bible Study

One of the questions I have with missional hermeneutics is this: ‘What difference will it make in a mid-week Bible Study group? How should this way of reading the Bible affect how we study the Scriptures on a day to day basis?’

One answer to this is provided by George Hunsberger in a Gospel and Our Culture newsletter from September 1999:

The authors of Missional Church declare that “the way to the formation of missional communities begins and ends in our confrontation with and by the Scriptures” (p. 246). If that is true, we will need to learn a new way of placing ourselves in front of the text. Bible study guides and methods that focus on each individual’s relationship to God will not be enough. We will need to learn to read the Bible together as a community that is called and sent by God.

This was part of a pilot initiative to encourage local congregations to engage in Bible study that sought to shape the ‘community of witness’.

The five questions Hunsberger suggests we ask of texts are:

Mission – How does this text send us and equip our witness?
Context – How does this text read us and our world?
Gospel – How does this text evangelize us with good news?
Change – How does this text convert us in personal and corporate life?
Future – How does this text orient us to the coming reign of God?

There is much more to be said on this. Consider this post an opening move…