Trevin Wax recently asked 5 questions about Kevin DeYoung and Greg Gilbert’s What Is the Mission of the Church?

1. “Can we reduce ‘making disciples’ and ‘teaching Christ’s commands’ to the delivery of information?”

2. “If we agree that there is a zoom-lens and wide-lens view of the gospel, can we also agree that there is a zoom-lens and wide-lens view of the mission?”

3. “Isn’t there a sense in which worship is expressed through our life in the world, not just our corporate worship services?”

4. “Even if we recognize that the verbs related to the kingdom are passive (receiving, bearing witness to, etc.), does this necessarily preclude us from speaking of ‘work for the kingdom’?”

5. “Is our representation of Christ not part of the mission?”

Kevin and Greg responded here to each of the five questions.

Today they expand on their answer to the fifth question—thus far the biggest criticism of (and confusion about) their argument. The whole thing is worth reading, but I wanted to highlight this point where they reference Schnabel’s work on this:

We like the way Eckhard Schnabel puts it in his massive work Early Christian Mission. Schnabel argues that “expansive proclamation” is “the centrifugal dimension of mission” and “attractive presence” is the “centripetal dimension” (1:11). Our words ring out; our deeds draw people in. So the “elements of mission” include not only the ministry of the word but also “charity” and “ministry of grace.” But this is not same as saying missions is charity or that a missionary is anyone who serves others in good deeds. According the Schnabel, “missionaries” are “envoys sent by the risen Jesus Christ to proclaim the good news” (1:11-12). Just as important, he clarifies what mission is striving for. “The result of mission is conversion: people accept and adopt the message proclaimed by the missionaries, they are integrated into the new community of faith, and they start to practice a new way of life with new behavioral patterns” (1:12).