Missional hermeneutics: some opportunities and questions

Author: Dr Milton Acosta is Professor of Old Testament at Seminario Bíblico de Colombia.


This is a very interesting, stimulating, and well argued presentation. The Christian church,
and perhaps especially evangelicals, need to be reminded that the mission of God in the
world is not limited to evangelism. Also, Chris has presented convincing arguments to
persuade his audience that mission is not just something the Bible talks about, but a
hermeneutical key to understand the Bible. The idea of mission itself as a grid or lens
through which we read the whole Bible is quite fascinating.
With his mission lens Wright takes us to the book of Jeremiah and shows us a few things.
The summary of the argument is that God did indeed choose Israel but God did so as a
means by which the nations would know and glorify God. Since Israel failed in that role, they
were judged by God and taken into exile. The failure is more than just “believing in God”; it
has to do with the ethical implications of that belief in society. And finally, God’s mercy and
judgment apply to any nation on earth, as other Old Testament books also clearly
demonstrate. Therefore, mission in the Bible is more than a topic, something the church
does, a strategy, or a personal calling. It is a sort of interpretive paradigm by which we can
understand the Bible as a whole.
Methodologically then, I think this approach could open new avenues not only for the study of
missions, but for the construction a more encompassing biblical theology. Perhaps it would
help evangelicals read their Bibles all over again and wean us off proof-texting practices
when trying to persuade churches to do mission during the mission week.

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