Many Witnesses, One Gospel

This is the subtitle of I. Howard Marshall’s New Testament Theology. He let’s each of the Gospel writers and theology of the Pauline letters speak for themselves. What I have read so far it is rather good.

In his introductory chapter, called “How do we do New Testament Theology?” he make this statement:

New Testament Theology is essentially missionary theology. By this I mean that the documents came into being as the result of a two-part mission, first the mission of Jesus sent by God to inaugurate his kingdom with the blessings that it brings to people and to call people to respond to it, and then the mission of his followers called to continue his work by proclaiming him as Lord and Saviour, and calling people to faith and ongoing commitment to him, as a result of which his Church grows. The theology springs out of this movement and is shaped by it, and in turn the theology shapes the continuing mission of the church.

Sitting next to Marshall’s book I have David Bosch’s Transforming Mission: Paradigm Shifts in Theology of Mission.

In the foreword Bosch says:

The title of this book…is ambiguous. “Transforming” can be an adjective describing “mission”. In this case, mission is understood as an enterprise that transforms reality. “Transforming” can, however, also be a present participle, the activity of transforming, of which “mission” is the object. Here, mission is not the enterprise which transforms reality, but is something that is itself being transformed.

Theology and mission are not static parts of the Christian Church’s life but the most dynamic.