After many years on the periphery of theological studies, the study of mission has increased in prominence and is now recognized as an important element in understanding the Scriptures, the church’s role in the world, and the world in light of the gospel.

The most intriguing element of this missiological renaissance is the disparate nature of its origins and influence. One can find various theological streams and various theologians in agreement that missiology has been an underrepresented aspect in theological discussion surrounding Scriptural interpretation.

For example, several recent commentaries on the writings of Paul put forth “mission” as the key to understanding his purpose for writing. Romans, once lauded as the epicenter of systematic theology in the New Testament, is routinely considered as a missiological treatise, with Paul’s missionary hopes at the forefront of the letter’s interpretation. (Consider William B. Barclay’s address to the Evangelical Theological Society in 1999, “Reading Romans Missiologically.)

Mission Mondays

I’ve decided to devote the next few Mondays to the subject of mission. In upcoming weeks, I will summarize three recent theologies of mission and consider the strengths and weaknesses of each approach. Here’s what we’ll be looking at:

Because these books have different purposes, they cannot be evaluated simply in terms of their overall helpfulness. Instead, working from a common theme of mission, I will note the benefits and drawbacks of each book in light of their goals.

Looking forward to talking mission on Mondays!