• Our hope-filled future is bound up in sharing the story of Jesus, in discipling others, in bringing those disciples together into communities of believers, and in developing and releasing those believers to create other communities... till Jesus the King comes again!

From Here to There

I have been reading Richard Bauckham’s book, Bible and Mission: Christian Witness in a Postmodern World.  I stumbled on the title in one of the footnotes of Christopher Wright’s seminal work, The Mission of God.  In the opening chapter, Bauckham comments about the notion of the particular and universal in the Bible and its relation to mission: “Mission takes place on the way from the particularity of God’s action in the story of Jesus to the universal coming of God’s kingdom.  It happens as particular people called by God go from here to there and live for God here and there for the sake of all people.”  Sounds a lot like what we hold to be true for ourselves about mission and our involvement. 

However, Bauckham goes on to apply this thought to how we read the Bible missionally: “The Bible is a kind of project aimed at the kingdom of God, that is, towards the achievement of God’s purposes for good in the whole of God’s creation.  This is a universal direction that takes the particular with the utmost seriousness.  Christian communities or individuals are always setting off from the particular as both the Bible and our own situation defines it and following the biblical direction towards the universal that is to be found not apart from but within other particulars.  This is mission.”  It sounds like Bauckham wants us to see that the Bible talks about the individual believer and the community of believers as always “setting off” to multiply themselves through other believers and communities.  If this is God’s universal direction, then it should greatly influence our particular efforts.

2 Responses

  1. I take encouragement from Bauckham’s quotes; doing my particular part becomes a small stream that seeks other particular tributaries (past, present, future)- all contributing to the mighty flow of God’s universal agenda.

  2. I remember Mr. Hatch (bible college professor) reminding us that “every living thing grows and multiplies.” That can be a good check point for the various particular things I am involved in. This is good stuff David.

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