Tuesday, February 12, 2008

A while between drinks

It has been a while since I posted. Since my last post, I've:

  • survived CMS Summer School.
  • got married (and picked up Church Dogmatics vol 1.1 and 1.2 as wedding presents!).
  • been to Fiji and witnessed poverty, third world Christians, South Pacific Apartheid and survived a tropical cyclone.

I've also read a great book by Richard Bauckham. It is a small book entitled "Bible and Mission - Christian Witness in a Postmodern World". Bauckham's aim in the book isn't so much to provide another rational on why the church should do mission. Instead Bauckham sets out to provide a hermeneutic for the type of mission he thinks the church should be doing in a post-modern, post "911" world. I am very excited by the book. Bauckham talks about meta-narratives, the post modern suspicion of them, the dominate meta-narratives of today (which he labels as Islamism and Western Globalism) and what the Christian response should be. It has been a joy to read a book like this that is written by such a renowned New Testament scholar and theologian as Bauckham is. So I thought I'd post some quotes from the book:

"This book's proposal of a hermeneutic for the kingdom of God involves...a focus on one prominent aspect of the narrative shape of the biblical story: its movement from the particular to the universal. As I have also briefly suggested, this direction of the biblical story corresponds to the biblical God, who is the God of the one people Israel and the one human being Jesus Christ, and is also the Creator and LORD of all things. We can better appreciate this universality and particularity of God himself when we recognize that this biblical God's own identity is itself a narrative identity. It is a particular identity God gives himself in the particular story of Israel and Jesus, and it is an identity which itself drives the narrative towards the universal realization of God's kingdom in all creation. God identifies himself as the God of Abraham, Israel and Jesus in order to be the God of all people and the Lord of all things. Moreover, in the narrative world of the Bible the people of God is also given its identity in this movement from the particular to the universal, an identity whose God-given dynamic we commonly sum up in the word 'mission'. God, God's people and God's world are related to each other primarily in a narrative that mediates constantly the particular and the universal."

- Bauckham, Bible and Mission, pp. 12-13, italics original.

Bauckham then proceeds to outline three aspects in the biblical narrative of the movement from the particular to the universal. But I will outline these in the next post. But it was great for me to really understand this particular and universal (the one, the three, and many) concept that kept popping up in books I was reading last year.

It is great to think that: "God, God's people and God's world are related to each other primarily in a narrative that mediates constantly the particular and the universal" is evidenced now in the unity and diversity (to found amongst the church around the world (I first stumbled across the idea of 'unity and diversity' by reading papers written for the SUEU by Andrew Errington). Stay tuned for more.


Anonymous said...

Welcome back! Missed ya

Mike Bull

Anonymous said...

good to have you back bro. It's a ripper of a book. Enjoy
Mike Wells