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Theology and Practice of Mission: God, the Church, and the Nations Paperback – September 1, 2011

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

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.

About the Author

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.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: B&H Academic (September 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0805464123
  • ISBN-13: 978-0805464122
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #941,696 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Bruce Riley Ashford is Provost / Dean of the Faculty at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, where he also serves as Professor of Theology and Culture. He is a Fellow in Theology at the Paideia Center for Public Theology and a Research Fellow at the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission.

He defended his dissertation on "Ludwig Wittgenstein's Impact on Anglo-American Theology," is the editor of "Theology and Practice of Mission" (B&H Academic, 2011) and "Every Square Inch: In Introduction to Cultural Engagement for Christians" (Lexham, 2015). His forthcoming books are "One Nation Under God: A Christian Hope for American Politics (B&H, December 2015), "Doctrine of Creation" (IVP, 2016), and "For the King" (Baker, 2017). His research interests include theology and culture, public theology, theology of mission, theological method, and contemporary theology. He is married to Lauren, with whom he has two daughters and a son.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By JW on September 9, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This volume changes the tone of mission-related literature, which tends to be driven by anthropology or written by theologians with little cross-cultural experience. Or, people so sharply distinguish "missions" and "mission" that you lose too much. This collection of essays comes from practitioners who demonstrate not simply cross-cultural compotence but also theological savvy. There is serious interaction with Scripture yet always with an eye towards how this affects daily life and mission strategy.

Section One lays out a theological framework that should broaden the scope of what people consider "mission" related. The four-fold "creation-fall-redemption-restoration" provides a structure through which many authors engage their particular topic.

Section Two aims at reconfiguring our paradigm for linking theology and mission practice. Again, there is healthy integration here between the two, yet with priority given to develing a right perspective (from which application flows). The articles show unusual balance on issues that tend to divide people into camps---like social responsibility, evangelism, church planting, etc... For instance, they are critical of stressing CPMs to the loss of healthy churches, yet they clearly express a desire to see CPMs happen

Section Three particularly deals with cross-cultural missions. Here, authors look at how we should look at various other worldviews and practices related to the task. Here, you get less "how to" advice and more tangible ways of understanding what other books treat in too abstract or ideal ways. Personally, my favorite chapter in the book comes from this section, "The Gospel and Lifestyle".

The closing section gives some open ending challenges to missiologist-theologians and churches alike.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Philip O. Hopkins on October 13, 2011
Format: Paperback
The Theology and Practice of Mission: God, the Church, and the Nations, edited by Bruce Ashford of Southeastern Seminary, is a work that focuses on the mission of the church to the nations. The book is divided into four parts: God's Mission, The Church's Mission, The Church's Mission to the Nations, and Concluding Challenges. The work is biblical and holistic in its approach. It gives a theological framework for mission, one that involves the church's mission to people groups abroad as well as to the many cultures in America. It shows that in practice mission includes not only evangelism, but social responsibility, culture, and lifestyle - one's lifestyle cannot be divorced from one's practice. In this manner, it should come as no surprise that many of the books writers, in addition to being formally trained in theology, are practitioners - they are doing the work of the church in context. They have combined their understanding of theology and practice to create a sound, biblical, contextualized theological work that is not disengaged from its mission. Theologically conservative throughout, it is written for the evangelical Christian intellectual who desires to gain a greater understanding of God's mission to the church and the church's mission to the nations. It is a welcome addition to the field of missiology.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Some chapters are better than others, but overall this is an excellent overview of The mission of the church. I was particularly impacted by the chapter on suffering and missions.
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By Bellamy on February 22, 2014
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A must read for anyone in or thinking of entering Christian Missions and desiring to see how the Bible tells of God's overarching missional theme.
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