Holistic Reach

There’s more to mission than church planting, author argues.

"Whole Christian mission is built on the whole Christian Bible," says Christopher J. H. Wright in The Mission of God (IVP Academic). For Wright, the call to reach the nations does not begin and end with the Great Commission of Matthew 28. This perspective, advanced relentlessly in this substantial, thoroughly documented work of scholarship, provides a healthy antidote to the recent propensity of some churches and mission agencies to focus solely on the unreached. It certainly could calm the mad rush to multiply short-term mission experiences.

Wright, director of international ministries for Langham Partnership International (known in the United States as John Stott Ministries), sees no dichotomy between what have been known as "missions" and "social work." His exhaustive Old Testament exegesis suggests that there's hardly anything that does not fall under the rubric of God's mission, including ecology and AIDS.

God "pins a mission statement" to every sign in the Bible, Wright says. While ...

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