Theology Disconnected From Mission is Not Christian Theology at All.
In order to build a biblical-theological framework for understanding God’s mission, the church’s mission, and the church’s mission to the nations, one must first understand the unified biblical narrative, including its four major plot movements—creation, fall, redemption, and restoration. It is with this in mind that the
contributors to Theology and Practice of Mission address some of the most compelling, practical, and crucial issues facing the global church today, issues such as justice, discipleship, community, and unreached people groups.
Faithfully addressing a comprehensive understanding of mission through the lens of those most directly involved and engaged—God, the church, and the nations—the contributors don’t just establish the need for theory and practice to cooperate. They walk the reader, whether student, scholar, or practioner, through how that can be done to the glory of God no matter the context.
It is enormously encouraging to read a book on mission that consistently puts God and God’s mission first, that applies the grand biblical framework of creation, fall, redemption and new creation thoroughly and repeatedly across almost every issue it addresses, and which tackles some very controversial areas with grace, wisdom, and biblical thoroughness. Here is a book that will richly reward all who patiently digest it, but will especially nourish teachers and practitioners of the mission that God has entrusted to His church.
–Christopher J. H. Wright, International Director, The Langham partnership International, author of The Mission of God
Bruce Riley Ashford is associate professor of Theology and Culture, dean of the College, and research fellow for the L. Russ Bush Center for Faith and Culture at southeastern Baptist Theological seminary in Wake Forest, North Carolina, where he received his M.Div. and Ph.D.
Bruce Riley Ashford is married to Lauren, with whom he has two children, Riley Noelle and Anna Katherine. He was born in Chesapeake, VA, but spent his childhood years in Roseboro, NC. He received his B.A. in Communications from Campbell University. Upon graduation from Campbell, he entered Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, where he received his Master of Divinity. After spending two years in Central Asia as a university instructor, he returned to the United States to enter the Ph.D. program at Southeastern. He defended his dissertation, “Wittgenstein’s Impact on Anglo-American Theology: Representative Models of Response to Ludwig Wittgenstein’s Later Writings,” in December 2003. Southeastern College and Seminary hired him in 2003, where he has taught courses in theology, philosophy, and missiology, and where he remains today as Associate Professor of Theology & Culture.
He is the editor of Theology & Practice of Mission (Nashville: B&H, 2011).
In January 2009, Ashford became the Dean of The College at Southeastern.
He is a member of the American Academy of Religion, the Evangelical Philosophical Society, the Evangelical Theological Society, American Philosophical Association, and the Evangelical Missiological Society.
In addition to his teaching schedule, Ashford has taught or preached for churches of various denominations, including Southern Baptist, American Baptist, Mennonite, Presbyterian Church-USA, Presbyterian Church of America, United Methodist Church, Episcopal, Assemblies of God, Church of God, United Pentecostal, Four Square, and Russian Baptist.
He has also worked and toured overseas in The Pacific Rim (Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam), North Africa & The Middle East (Bahrain, Egypt, Morocco, Jordan, Oman, United Arab Emirates), West Africa (Ivory Coast, Liberia), Sub-Saharan Africa (Botswana, Kenya, Madagascar, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda), Central Asia (Armenia, Turkey, Uzbekistan), South Asia (India), East Asia (China), Central & Eastern Europe (Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Romania, Russia), Western Europe (France, Germany, Great Britain, The Netherlands, Switzerland) and the Caribbean (The Bahamas, Jamaica).
He has lectured or spoken on college campuses, including UNC-Chapel Hill, Duke University, University of Florida, Appalachian State University, Methodist College, UNC-Wilmington, UNC-Greensboro, Gardner-Webb University, Campbell University, West Virginia University, Marshall University, Anderson College, Criswell College, and Kazan University (Russia).
Recently, he was a co-recipient of a creative teaching grant from Yale Divinity School’s Center for Faith and Culture. Together with David Nelson, associate professor of theology at Southeastern, he received one of four $5,000 awards from Yale for a course they designed to help pastors equip their congregations to live wisely in the context of contemporary American culture.