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Images of Mission

Art and ministry in Picturing Christian Witness.
2007This article is part of CT's digital archives. Subscribers have access to all current and past issues, dating back to 1956.

If you are looking for new ways to picture missions, this is the book to read. This novel approach to mission study exegetically examines the four Gospels and Acts to find five roles for contemporary missionaries. So far, nothing new. But Skreslet, a mission professor at Lewis and Clark College, calls these roles "images," and by doing so, he forces readers to take a different approach to the biblical text. He also reproduces works of classic and modern art to illustrate his points.

"Images of mission are taken to be visual expressions of one or another understanding of Christian outreach," writes Skreslet. Once readers explore all of this, they get into the real meat: a fresh look at New Testament people who proclaimed the Good News, sharing Christ with their friends, communicating the gospel across cultures, and acting as shepherds, builders, and planters.

Among the great works of art the author provides are "Healing of the Paralytic" by Jan Sanders van Hemessen and "Christ's Charge to Peter" by Raphael. Skreslet's careful analysis reveals how these images are thoroughly scriptural. Skreslet concludes: "Regardless of the particular role to which each witnessing disciple was called, all were participants in a great movement of outreach they did not initiate. In this, they were truly followers of Jesus, their guide and master."



Related Elsewhere:

Picturing Christian Witness is available from ChristianBook.com and other retailers.

Eerdmans' section on Picturing Christian Witness has more reviews and the book's table of contents.

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