David Dunbar, President, Biblical Seminary, writes his Missional Journal every couple of months and it is always something I make time to read.
This month he asks, “Where are the Missional Evangelicals?”
It’s a good thought provoking read where he first lays out the issue: “The positive and enthusiastic involvement of Evangelicals in the cause of global missions over the last century makes their comparative non-participation in the missional church movement intriguing. I am not saying that the movement is devoid of evangelical voices–that is clearly not the case. But given Evangelicals’ concern for gospel outreach, one might have expected that by now the word “missional” would be more clearly understood, that churches would be more engaged with the opportunities for incarnational ministries, that more Bible colleges and seminaries would be revamping programs in a missional direction, etc. So what’s up?”
Dr. Dunbar suggests that “perhaps a larger problem that has stood in the way of evangelical embrace is that the missional discussion has not seemed sufficiently ‘biblical.'” Now comes the heart of his argument. He writes that this current ambivalence of Evangelicals toward the missional church based on this assertion “is no longer justifiable (if indeed it ever was) in terms of insufficient biblical grounding. The game-changer is (or should be) the thoughtful and detailed work of Christopher Wright, an OT scholar and chair of the Theology Working Group of the Lausanne Movement. His massive study The Mission of God: Unlocking the Bible’s Grand Narrative (IVP, 2006) argued powerfully for the theme of mission as integral to a faithful reading of scripture. He has recently published a very engaging follow-up entitled The Mission of God’s People: A Biblical Theology of the Church’s Mission (Zondervan, 2010).”
He then highlights several points from the books that he found particularly helpful: Mapping the Bible around the mission of God, election, and a holistic or integral mission.
Full text here in a PDF document.
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