The Mission of God
by Christopher J H Wright
This magnificent book not only displays a wonderful overview of the Bible’s grand narrative, it also provides profound motivation for faith, worship and expectation of inevitable blessing on a grand scale.
Christopher Wright underlines the need for us not simply to snatch a few ‘proof texts’ that show that God is interested in our endeavour to do world mission. It is not for us to try to get God on our side in all our endeavours. Rather we can be phenomenally strengthened by letting God’s great plan captivate and motivate us. God has His own mission concerning His creation and all the nations, and we have the privilege of being involved in it.
In infinite mercy, following man’s arrogance displayed at the Tower of Babel with its immediate judgment of scattering and multiplied languages, comes God’s swift merciful call of Abraham in Genesis 12, resulting in the promised blessing of every nation, tribe and tongue. God has never stopped working towards the outworking of that plan.
The choice of Israel, their redemption, the Covenant, the God-given ethical values which marked them out among the nations and their mission to the world are made clear throughout Christopher Wright’s book. God, as revealed in the Scriptures, is personal, purposeful and goal-orientated. Israel’s election was not a rejection of the other nations but was explicitly for the sake of all nations.
Great exploits such as the Exodus, the crossing of the Jordan and David’s victory over Goliath were ‘that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel’ (1 Sam. 17:46). God’s eye was always on the whole earth. His purpose is not simply to take us all to heaven but to recover His creation and win all the nations for His Son, Israel’s Messiah.
Now that He sits on David’s throne and is head of His body, as Christopher Wright points out, it is not so much the case that God has a mission for His church in the world but that God has a church for His mission in the world.
God runs the world for the sake of the church; God calls the church for the sake of the world so that ultimately all the nations will worship Israel’s God.
Wright’s superb book set my heart racing. He informed my mind and gripped my imagination, and stirred my motivations afresh. I urge you to get your own copy and fill it with your own personal underlinings as I have mine.