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.