Missional God, Missional Church
"As the Father has sent me, I am sending you" (John 20:21).
With the reality of broad-scale secularization in the West and the attendant cloud of insignificance hanging over the church, is there any hope for the re-evangelization of the West?
In this comprehensive theology of mission, Ross Hastings directs the fretful gaze of the church to the trinitarian commission of John 20. There we find Jesus granting peace to his disciples by breathing his Spirit on them. He formed them into his community of shalom. Leaving their locked room, these "sent ones" went out to participate in God's own ongoing mission to the world.
Hastings also tackles the dual challenges of isolation from and accommodation to the surrounding culture. Building on the works of David Bosch, Lesslie Newbigin, Christopher Wright and Darrell Guder, the author corrects numerous dichotomies that hinder the church. In the power of the Spirit the gathered church is spiritually transformed and also scattered as it proclaims God's forgiveness and freedom.
This comprehensive theology of mission opens possibilities for renewal of faithful effort as we join in Christ's mission to the world.
"This expository tour de force integrates all the main themes of half a century's missiological reflection. Its central thesis, that the heart of the missional heart of John's gospel is the Easter evening narrative, is totally convincing."
"With his characteristic commitment to the church as well as his facility with and passion for trinitarian theology, Ross Hastings offers a perspective on ecclesiology and mission that cuts through the extremes that are so prevalent in the contemporary ecclesiastical culture without being esoteric on the one hand or overly pragmatic on the other."
"Drawing on theological conversation partners throughout the history of the church, and more importantly the text of Scripture, Ross Hastings has crafted the definitive work on the missional church. Hastings brings into a dynamic synthesis years of pastoral experience and academic research and teaching. This is theology at its best: grounded in the Word of God, immensely practical and founded supremely on the beautiful reality of the missional triune God. After a careful analysis of our societal and ecclesial reality, Hastings takes us on an inspiring tour of trinitarian theology, Christian humanism, the kingdom of God and a deep ecclesiology. The end result of God's mission, he argues, is the inbreaking of the kingdom, shalom in the world and a fully human existence for people inside and outside the church. Thus the missional church would be both wide and deep. Would that this book were read and applied by every church leader."
"Ross Hastings has written a masterful work that, while taking a step back in order to look at the sad state of much of the Western church, offers hope based on deep theological truths and a renewed understanding of what we as a community of believers are called to embrace. Looking at missional concepts from a communal context, Ross sounds a clarion call for the church to become what it was intended to be, a community of shalom, healing and forgiveness in a hostile land."
"Ross Hastings--pastor, theologian, scientist, lover of people--has written what can only be called a 'game changer.' With Spirit-infused passion, insight, precision and grace, Ross has engaged all the major players in the missional conversation and has significantly moved the conversation forward. Massively forward! Working with the Easter evening story of the resurrected Jesus in John 20, Ross moves things forward by relentlessly and joyfully drawing us deeper and deeper into a thrilling vision of the inner life of the triune missional God. As a result we can face the challenges before us out of renewed intimacy and 'intoxication' with the Great Missionary. This is the book we will return to again and again!"
"This comprehensive theology of mission opens possibilities for renewal of faithful effort as we join in Christ?s mission to the world."
1. The Greatest Commission
2. Breaking free through discerning inculturation
3. Breaking free of the entrapment of indiscriminate enculturation
4. Greatest Co-mmission: The missional Trinity
Part One: Discovering Shalom
5. Communities of Christ's Risen Presence
6. Mission of incarnation and resurrection
7. Communities of Christ's Crucified Presence ... Beautiful Scars
8. Mission about the cross, mission under the cross
Part Two: Disseminating Shalom ...
9. Communities of the triune missional God: mission the mother of theology, theology the mother of mission
10. Mission in participation with the Son by the Spirit: the spirituality of mission as theosis
11. Communities of the Spirit: gathered and scattered
12. Communities of forgiveness: mission of absolution and freedom