Wednesday, May 24, 2006

missional reader

What are the Scriptures that have shaped your emerging mission? What are the texts that have “read” you and formed who you are becoming in this postmodern culture?


I am working and re-working a course (Gospel in a post-Christian context, starting July). I want to invite the class to not only read texts of philosophy and theology, but to read the same Scriptures, to share the same Biblical devotional life. It’s an attempt to move beyond head knowledge, by letting our classroom learning and interaction be shaped and formed by Scripture. Sort of like a missional lectionary.

Hence my question: What are the Scriptures that have shaped your emerging mission? What are the texts that have “read” you and formed who you are becoming in this postmodern culture?

(I don’t want to “steer” the conversation, so leave your texts; and I promise I’ll put mine up in a week or so.)

Posted by steve at 04:01 PM


  1. Luke 5-10. But especially Luke 5:27-39 & Luke 10:1-37.

    Comment by Andrew — May 25, 2006 @ 12:23 pm

  2. Proverbs 14:4 – ever since hearing Derek Tidball preach on it. ‘Where there are no oxen the stable is clean; but from the strength of an ox comes an abundant harvest’ Want a clean, pure stable then don’t put an ox in it. But without an ox there’s no harvest. If you want an abundant harvest you need an ox and with an ox comes some serious mess that will ruin your clean, neat, sterile stable!

    Comment by Andrew — May 25, 2006 @ 4:25 pm

  3. Definitely Acts 17 (specifically v16ff). I’ve come across it in a couple of books and it just makes total sense. Spirituality, in many forms, is all around me. God is moving – I simply need to get on board with what He’s already doing.

    Comment by Steve — May 25, 2006 @ 4:32 pm

  4. Primary Scriptures for me have been:
    Marks Gospel (I’ve read and re-read it with mission and incarnation in mind every year for the last three years).

    Acts 17:16-34, very helpful for reimagining mission.

    Extensive study about the exile and the reimagination of the life of the nation has been helpful in reimagining the life of the church and mission. The second part of Isaiah most useful, starting at chapter 40.

    The most helpful books so far have been:
    Bosch: Transforming Mission
    Hirsh and Frost: The Shaping of things to come.
    Drane: Faith in a changing culture.
    Brewin: The Complex Christ.

    I’m sure there is more but thats all that comes to me first thing in the morning!

    Comment by Graham Doel — May 25, 2006 @ 7:57 pm

  5. The whole book of Acts and Paul’s Epistles

    Comment by Kitty — May 25, 2006 @ 9:31 pm

  6. Kitty, can you be more precise regarding Paul’s epistles. The point of a reader is to provide some narrowing, and the epistles are a fair chunk of the New Testament.


    Comment by steve — May 25, 2006 @ 9:50 pm

  7. Luke 4:1-22, Acts 2:43-47 and Acts 11:1-18 are key, forming texts for me and fuel my emerging mission.

    Comment by David — May 26, 2006 @ 12:50 am

  8. 1 Peter

    Comment by Pernell — May 26, 2006 @ 7:52 am

  9. Primary texts – The Gospels (broadly).

    More specifically:

    Genesis 1, 2, 3, and 12:1-2; Romans; Ephesians 4:1; Luke 4:1-22, Acts 2:43-47, Acts 11:1-18, and Acts 17:16-34

    Comment by Paul Fromont — May 26, 2006 @ 12:27 pm

  10. I think it has been:
    – the lords prayer
    – The woman at Well
    – THe woman caught in adultery
    – Peter and COrnelius

    In many ways these are texts that have shaped my understanding of mission and is still doing it

    Comment by Thomas Willer — May 26, 2006 @ 8:57 pm

  11. What is shaping me right now? Colossians 1:9-23. That the missio dei is to reconcile all things (not just all people) to himself – and what it might mean to live a life worthy of that in every way: e.g. missional ecology, stewardship of creation.

    Comment by Andrew Dowsett — May 26, 2006 @ 11:14 pm

  12. Galations – firstly for its no no-nonsense approach to stressing the power of the freedom we have been granted but also stressing the obligation that comes with that freedom (particulalry the advice given in chapters 5 & 6). Galations has receive a hard press at times – not surprisingly as it’s tone is aggressive, to say the least, in parts. However,it’s about getting the focus right and from there we can become effective instruments of God’s mission.

    Comment by Nigel — May 27, 2006 @ 12:46 am

  13. the story of simon/peter.
    [can i have stanley spencer’s paintings of christ too…?]

    Comment by si smith — May 27, 2006 @ 5:44 am

  14. Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 (wisdom and life-cycles and its resonance with neo-Buddhists).

    Isaiah 65:17-25 (new heaven/new earth; links to kingdom teaching of Jesus; eschatology links to Age of Aquarius aspirations of neo-spiritual milieu; eco-spirituality and animal theology in missions)

    Genesis 9:8-17 (Missio Dei covenant with all creation; eco-spirituality and guardianship of creation now)

    Ezekiel 37:1-14 (Post-exilic theology for today’s church exiles)

    Daniel 2:19-48 (Daniel and Magi; opportunity to minister with pagans with tension-points “do not compromise”)

    Matthew 2:1-12 (Magi astrologers come to Christ)

    John 4:1-24 (Jesus in cross-cultural ministry and feminine spiritual yearnings)

    Acts 8:26-40 (Philip and the African eunuch; early African missions)

    Acts 10:9-16 and 34-43 (Missio Dei and Gentiles)

    Acts 14:8-18 (Paul and missions to Pagans)

    Acts 17:16-34 (Areopagus as classic contextual model)

    Just a few selections (others could be added)

    Comment by philjohnson — May 27, 2006 @ 9:07 pm

  15. Hm, don’t know what you mean by ’emerging mission’ but the following texts have certainly formed who I am becoming in this postmodern culture:

    Taking ‘texts’ to mean non-scriptural ones as well, I’d have to put in a word for Wittgenstein’s notes on the subject of the language games that form our reality, David Hume’s Treatise of Human Nature on the subject of epistemological skepticism (and, by extension, why philosophy is ultimately a dead-end), and Plato’s Gorgias on the subject of morality-till-it-kills-us.

    From scripture: not hot on scripture at the moment – about the only thing I can cope with just now is the book of Psalms, all those wonderful ones in which the psalmist bemoans his situation but ends up finding peace not through having his questions answered, but rather through turning his heart back towards God and His worthiness. Also the book of Job, in the same respect, and Ecclesiastes. Also Isaiah 58 on true fasting. And Luke 4:14-30.

    Also Brother Lawrence, Practising the Presence of God, which keeps the world in perspective for me. And Donald Miller’s Blue Like Jazz and Searching for God Knows What, which make a bland logical worldview look embarassingly lacking, and put life back into the world.

    Comment by Katherine — May 28, 2006 @ 8:10 pm

  16. Colossians 3:17
    Matthew 16:24-26
    Matthew 22:37-40
    Acts 2

    Comment by Will — May 29, 2006 @ 12:54 am

  17. Steve, regarding Paul’s epistles, I feel I am particularly shaped by the book of Philippians in terms of the Pauline model of Missions in Philippians (my favourite verses there are Phil 3:4-11). I’ve written a poem on it too.

    I can so identify with you in regards to the importance of moving beyond head knowledge and letting the Scripture shape and form us. I’ve found recently that my theological studies have gone that way (more head knowledge than heart transformation). That ought to change.

    Can you tell me more about missional lectionary? Sounds like an interesting concept.

    Comment by Kitty — June 1, 2006 @ 12:41 am

  18. Other specific verses that have shaped my ideas of emerging mission includes:v

    Matthew 28:18-20 (Great Commission)
    Acts 9:1-19 (Paul’s conversion)
    Acts 10:34-35 (God doesn’t show favouritism)
    Acts 13-14 (Paul’s 1st Missionary Journey)
    Acts 16-18 (Paul’s 2nd Missionary Journey)
    Acts 19-21 (Paul’s 3rd Missionary Journey)
    Romans 1:16 (Gospel – the power of God)
    Galatians 2:20 (Crucified with Christ)
    Ephesians 6:14-18 (The Armor of God)
    Philippians 3:10 (Knowing Christ)
    Colossians 1:15-20 (The Supremacy of Christ)

    Comment by Kitty — June 1, 2006 @ 1:00 am

  19. Matthew 10

    Comment by fyfe — June 2, 2006 @ 1:16 pm

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