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The Mission of God's People: A Biblical Theology of the Church's Mission (Biblical Theology for Life) Paperback – August 11, 2010

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Editorial Reviews


A wonderfully kaleidoscopic biblical overview of the privileged role afforded to all of God’s people in fulfilling the Missio Dei in the world. Chris Wright demonstrates that the theme of the mission of God and his people is a prominent and unmistakable thread running through the elaborate tapestry of the whole of Scripture. In so doing, he provides a ringing affirmation that it is the responsibility of the whole church to bear witness to Christ and his kingdom in every area of the world geographically, as well as in every sphere of society. -- Lindsay Brown, , Director|This is the first volume in a new series on biblical theology. It is extraordinarily readable, written by a preacher who knows how to communicate simply, clearly, and fascinatingly. It is refreshingly adventurous, as it explores the theme of mission in biblical passages where you might not have expected to find it. It is excitingly controversial in discussing such matters as the relation of care for the planet to evangelism, but always in an irenic manner. It is also remarkably practical, being concerned with the theological underpinning for the church’s action in the world. It is surprisingly relevant, concerned as it is with the central story of God’s mission to the world as the template that must shape the work of the church. It is outstandingly down-to-earth in showing how our daily lives must be outworkings of our missionary calling. It is thus eminently commendable both for its own sake and also as setting a high standard for the other volumes to follow in this series. -- Howard Marshall, , Professor|What a marvelous author Chris Wright is! Here you get the distilled insight of someone who knows mission and knows the Scriptures---and because he is an Old Testament specialist, he gives that major part of the Scriptures the prominence it deserves, even (especially?) when we are thinking about a subject such as mission that might seem to belong to the New Testament. And he doesn’t confine himself to scriptural themes but enables us to get inside lots of particular Scriptures, all in easily manageable chunks. What do theology and mission have to do with each other? This book powerfully answers the question. -- John Goldingay, , Professor|If Chris Wright’s Mission of God’s People is a harbinger of things to come in Zondervan’s new series, Biblical Theology for Life, we are in for a treat. As the first in this series, this volume not only serves as a delightful sequel and complement to his highly acclaimed The Mission of God, but it has also put his holistic interpretation of the Scriptures into the hands of laypeople. This is biblical theology at its best. For too long biblical scholars, theologians, and pastors have driven a wedge between the Hebrew Bible and the Christian New Testament by focusing on the discontinuities. Wright has shown us another way. Through his comprehensive reading of the whole Bible, he offers a robust portrayal of Israel’s mission and our own. Just as Israel was called and sent out into the world to give witness to the grace of “the LORD” (Yahweh), so we are “the people whom God has loved, chosen, redeemed, shaped and sent into the world in the name of Christ” (p. 433). Thank you, Chris, for showing us that God’s election is not about us; it is about the world. May this work inspire his church to greater faithfulness in giving verbal witness to God’s redemptive grace for the cosmos, but also to greater ethical faithfulness as we embody his grace in the microcosms in which we live. -- Daniel Block, , Professor|Following his landmark book, The Mission of God, Christopher Wright shows in The Mission of God’s People that grounding missions practice in the prior action and plan of God does not render the church static or passive. In this masterful survey, Wright demonstrates decisively what happens when the whole church starts reading the whole Bible and reflecting the full scope of God’s good news in all our life and witness in the world. This is the long-awaited road map that moves missions from the practice of a few elite professionals to the faithful witness of all of God’s children. If want to help your church become a missional church, I cannot think of a better place to begin that journey than this book. I assure you, you will discover afresh who you are in Christ and what you are here for! -- Timothy C. Tennent, , Professor

About the Author

Dr. Christopher J. H. Wright is International Director of the Langham Partnership International. He also serves as chair of the Lausanne Movement’s Theology Working Group and chair of the Theological Resource Panel of TEAR Fund, a leading Christian relief and development charity. He has written several books, including Living as the People of God (An Eye for an Eye in the US), God’s People in God’s Land, Knowing Jesus through the Old Testament, Walking in the Ways of the Lord, Deuteronomy in the New International Biblical Commentary, The Message of Ezekiel in the Bible Speaks Today series, Old Testament Ethics for the People of God, The Mission of God, and The God I Don’t Understand. Chris and his wife, Liz, have four adult children and six grandchildren.

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Product Details

  • Series: Biblical Theology for Life
  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan (August 11, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310291127
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310291121
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.8 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #12,069 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Christopher J. H. Wright (Ph.D., Cambridge) was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland. His doctorate is in Old Testament ethics. He taught Old Testament in India for five years (1983-1988) at Union Biblical Seminary, and then returned to the faculty of All Nations Christian College, a missionary training school in England, where he was principal from 1993-2001.

Wright is now the international director of the Langham Partnership International (known in the United States as John Stott Ministries), providing literature, scholarships and preaching training for pastors in Majority World churches and seminaries.

He has written several books including commentaries on Deuteronomy and Ezekiel, Old Testament Ethics for the People of God and Knowing Jesus Through the Old Testament. An ordained Anglican, he serves on the staff of All Souls Church, Langham Place, London, England.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

34 of 35 people found the following review helpful By PastoralMusings VINE VOICE on September 25, 2010
Format: Paperback
To say that I was surprised by "The Mission of God's People" (henceforth TMGP)would be an understatement. I had two expectations: 1. That it would not be substantial. 2. That it would be fluff that was simply geared toward social justice sorts of causes. Why? Because I had no idea of the author and his writings. This reviewer was proven to be very, very wrong on both counts. In fact, I greatly enjoyed the book, because it was substantial, and because it engaged Scripture in a very honest manner. Over and over again as I read this book I found myself nodding in agreement and wanting to scream out "YES!" This guy has nailed it.
TMGP is through and through a Biblically based book. It is saturated with Bible. It is thoroughly theological. It is not dull, however. It is theology for living. He says, "No theology without missional impact; no mission without theological foundations."
Wright explains to us why we were created, and why we have been re-created in the new birth. There is a goal in it all. That goal is to bring glory to God. From Adam to Abraham to you, and to the ages to come, the mission of God's people is to magnify the greatness of God. Though a very different sort of writer than John Piper, Wright's goal and passion is the same. In fact, I was frequently reminded both of Desiring God and Let The Nations Be Glad as I read this book.
Not only does Wright explain that God's people in all ages have been called to show the glory of God in their lives, but he explains how that is to work out. The Scriptures show us how to shine for Jesus.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Michael Thompson on October 15, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The two questions which appear to be inescapable from modern discussions of the church are, Who are we? and Why are we here? Everyone seems to have a horse in this race, and there is no shortage of answers to this self-imposed query. The fact that many people are asking, however, does not necessarily mean that they are poor questions. In fact, they are vital to the foundation and direction of the church.

And it is this set of questions which drives Christopher Wright's latest book forward. Who are we, the church? Why are we, the church, here? His answer comes in the focused discussion of missions . . . or missiology, missional, missions-minded, etc . . . that many have spoken of before. What makes this reading unique and worthwhile? My opinion would suggest that this is one of the best and most accessible biblical discussions on the nature of the church that you can pick up today. Although I am by no means an expert on missiology, I do know that the church culture is refocusing on the missional movement of the gospel and that the themes of Scripture are being reread with great vigor to that end. So, this is a relevant book . . . it is timely, thoughtful, and challenging.

One of the primary strengths of this book is Wright's constant focus on the hands-on work of the church, never allowing the theory and theology cast a shadow on the importance of the daily life of the believer. Such writing will make this a strong text for classroom and small group, and should now occupy the pastor's shelf. (Although some of the many inset-texts become distracting and bothersome, they hold good content, summary and example for the discussion.)

The overall tenor of the book is this: the church has a specific identity, which lends to its mission, which defines its ethic.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By kengster13.blogspot on November 11, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Christopher J. H. Wright's The Mission of God's People is book that uncovers the biblical theology of mission and its implication for all Christians. It is a book from Zondervan's Biblical Theology For Life series. The book has the stated purpose of uncovering the "so what?" question for all Christians and in Wright's terms, to answer the question, "What does the Bible as a whole in both testaments have to tell us about why the people of God exist and what it is they are supposed to be and do in the world?"1

Wright's main thrust is that God's mission has a broad redemptive agenda. The simplistic view of mission as just the proclamation of the gospel is tossed out and Wright offers a holistic understanding of the mission of God. This reviewer cannot help but sense Wright's favorable view of holism in the prioritism versus holism debate of approaches to evangelization of the world. Regardless of where we might stand in that debate, Wright's presentation of God's mission in this book deserves mention because it presents biblical evidence for a holistic approach to mission. Whether we are supporters or naysayers of a holistic approach to mission, we have the onus of examining the biblical data that Wright offers and give them due consideration in consolidating our own view of a biblical approach to mission.

In the first half of the book, from chapters 1-8, Wright wrestles with what the Bible has to say about who we as God's people and what is our purpose in life as God's people. In the second half of the book, chapters 9-15, the author spells out the terms of what we ought to be doing in light of the biblical understanding of God's mission.
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