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The Mission of God: Unlocking the Bible's Grand Narrative

4.34  ·  Rating details ·  1,048 ratings  ·  66 reviews
Winner, 2007 Christianity Today Missions/Global Affairs Book Most Christians would agree that the Bible provides a basis for mission. But Christopher Wright boldly maintains that mission is bigger than that--there is in fact a missional basis for the Bible! The entire Bible is generated by and is all about God's mission. In order to understand the Bible, we need a missiona ...more
Hardcover, 581 pages
Published October 23rd 2006 by IVP Academic
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4.34  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,048 ratings  ·  66 reviews

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Eric Chappell
Jan 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Review: Outstanding. This book is really an eye-opening piece of work. The whole Bible, all of Scripture is mission, i.e. God's mission to renew all things and he has brought us along on that mission as His people.


"...the whole Bible is itself a 'missional' phenomenon." (22)

"The Bible renders to us the story of God's mission through God's people in their engagement with God's world for the sake of the whole of God's creation. The Bible is the drama of this God of purpose engaged in
Jan 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Livre qui aborde l'Ecriture sous l'angle de la Mission de Dieu à partir de l'appel d'Abraham. Excellente réflexion qui ouvre l'horizon de la mission de Dieu parmi toutes les nations. Le sujet traite de l'éthique du peuple de Dieu comme paramètre de son témoignage dans le monde également.
Nov 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Is the Bible all about mission? Can the whole Bible be understood under the rubric of God’s intention to make himself known to the whole world and draw the whole world to himself? We might speak of the biblical basis of marriage but not the marital basis of the Bible. Can we, however, do this with mission? That is the bold claim and case that Christopher Wright makes in his magnum opus.

From Creation to the Patriarchs to Israel to Jesus—the whole sweep of the biblical drama is to make God known t
Aug 03, 2008 rated it it was amazing
A wonderfully well-nuanced and holistic book by this superb Old Testament scholar who places Jesus, the Messiah, crucified and risen as the "key to all of history"(535). Jesus is the center of history because in God's story Jesus "is the one who accomplished the mission of God for all creation" (ibid). Wright avoids commond reductionism in many evangelical circles and paints a robust theology of mission. The books greatness is not just in its great treatment of the theme of mission but in its tr ...more
Jul 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I really want to review this book. I want to because I'm so excited about it. But...I just can't even. It's out of my league. I will simply state that reading this book has significantly transformed the way I read the Bible, due to its broad and vast, yet deep and thorough look at God's great mission seen throughout all of scripture, together - as one "grand narrative". Even though it spans nearly 600 pages, I hope to read it again.
Mar 20, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: bible-general, ot, missions, nt
Wright argues convincingly that God's missionary heart is one of the big ideas (if not THE big idea) of the entire Bible. In fact, the character and nature of God are unique revealed in His heart for the nations. Wright explores this "grand narrative" in-depth in both the Old and New Testaments. The mission of God is central from Genesis to Revelation. Further, Wright demonstrates how the mission of God is intrinsically related to the people of God - our election, our redemption, our restoration ...more
Jun 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: church
A clear, compelling exposition of the biblical/theological basis of the missional church movement. A rare book that combines epic scope with focused prose.
James Korsmo
Aug 03, 2011 rated it it was amazing
What is the Bible all about? Is it a random collection of writings about people who have experienced God? Is it one story about Israel and another somehow connected story about Jesus? In this masterful work, Christopher Wright sets out to demonstrate that the Bible, from start to finish, can be read as focusing on God's mission: in both the Old and New Testaments, God is on the move.

The depth of Wright's book is too much to summarize here, beyond surveying the ground he covers and discussing a f
Apr 10, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fantastic, paradigm setting, thought provoking, authoritative work of biblical theology. Christopher Wright says the unifying theme of the Bible is the mission of God in the world -- God making himself known. He unpacks this through 600-odd pages of reasonably dense theological/biblical argument, so not really an introductory level book. Took me 6 months to get through it. Heavily weighted towards discussion of the Old Testament, especially in drawing out themes which are usually taught from t ...more
Laurent Dv
Good biblical theology of mission. Basically it goes from Abraham to Revelation, and furnish a lot of canonical analysis (of the different corpus or the Bible : pentateuch, prophets, writings : psalms mainly, the gospels, paul, hebrews, the other NT letters). It deals virtually only with redemption (the mission of God to save the whole cosmos/world of course including humans from sin and its consequences). He defends a very equilibrate view of mission including both evangelization and social act ...more
C.J. Moore
Apr 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
It’s Wright’s magnum opus and essential reading for missiology in the 21st century. I honestly think it’s a masterpiece in the field, and I hope scholars will continue to take Wright’s missional hermeneutic of Scripture seriously. Better than anyone else, he has shown us that the Bible doesn’t just help us confirm our missional engagements but actually demands it, for our God has had a “mission” from the start and calls us to take part in it. What’s more, this mission is seen throughout the Bibl ...more
James Hansee
Mar 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Outstanding book covering the breath of scripture through a missional hermeneutic. While at examination of the concepts and texts are long, there are golden nuggets throughout this book. It's not an easy read, but a satisfying one. Reading this book has caused me to be thinking new thoughts regarding the Bible particularly the Old Testament and the mission of God found there. I would recommend this book to serious students of God's word who already have a strong foundation of biblical knowledge.
Hillary Marker
Dec 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: seminary
This book helped me understand the Bible and my role in the kingdom like no other book.
Barton Kimbro
Nov 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: christian
Has been a very formative book in my life
Ike Unger
A very in-depth look at the mission of God through out the scriptures.
Dwight Paras
A thoughtful statement on the theology of missions.
Jan 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This was my 2nd time through this book. The first time in summer 2011. I gave the book 5 stars the first time, and that assessment has not changed. If anything, the book was even better this time around.

In The Mission of God, Wright examines the topic of God’s mission as not only a core theme of the Bible, but as the very impetus for the existence of the Bible. Wright develops what he calls a “missional hermeneutic,” by which he means that we ought to read the whole Bible through the lens of Go
John Kight
Nov 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Christopher J. H. Wright (PhD, University of Cambridge) is International Ministries Director of the Langham Partnership, which provides literature, scholarships, and homiletical training for pastors in Majority World churches and seminaries. Wright is an internationally recognized Old Testament scholar, an Anglican clergyman, and the author of several important books, including Christian Mission in the Modern World, Old Testament Ethics and the People of God, Knowing the Father Through the Old T ...more
Peter Stonecipher
Feb 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
It's hard to offer a review and rating for this work. Wright is nothing if not thorough, and offers a compelling interpretation of the biblical narrative through the lens of "mission". I read this back straight through, and I wonder if my appreciation of the book suffered a bit because of it. I think "The Mission of God" would better be used as a reference work to dip into occasionally, or to read Wright's take on particular passages. Reading it straight through can lead to getting bogged down i ...more
Robert Durough, Jr.
Mar 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: must-reads
After a lecture given in 1998, Christopher J. H. Wright was approached by Anthony Billington and questioned “about the validity of using a missiological framework as a hermeneutical approach to reading the Bible. Is it possible, is it legitimate, is it helpful for Christians to read the whole Bible from the angle of mission? And what happens if they do?” (531). Thorough and dense, though still not exhaustive in its 535 pages, The Mission of God: Unlocking the Bible’s Grand Narrative is the res ...more
Chris Schutte
Aug 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing
A wonderful book. Wright acknowledges the "multiplicity of perspectives and contexts from which and within which people read the biblical texts" as a given, and seeks to honor this multiplicity yet at the same time seeks a "hermeneutic of coherence", which he locates in the mission of God. In Luke 24 Jesus opened the eyes of the disciples to understand that the Old Testament is about him, and then the story in Acts picks up with the mission of the church. Wright is an Old Testament scholar, so m ...more
This is a magisterial tome in which Wright answers the question: Can one interpret the grand narrative of the Bible using a missional hermeneutic? After setting things up he proceeds to answer this question with a resounding, "Yes!" by taking us on a journey through this metanarrative (especially the Hebrew Scriptures) using such a hermeneutic. He taught Old Testament so the amount of attention given to the Hebrew Scriptures was both expected as well as refreshing. I did feel, however, that it d ...more
Ben Peltz
Dec 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: christianity
'The Mission of God' is one of the two books that I consider most formative of my Christian faith, alongside John Piper's 'Desiring God.' This is a massive, scholarly tome with an intense focus on Old Testament exegesis, and as such should not be approached lightly. But anyone who does approach it will find themselves caught up in a grand, sweeping vision of what the Bible reveals about history and God's work within it. This book represents the best that Missional Theology has to offer, and rare ...more
Kate Davis
Read half of this for BTI503: Old Testament Genre.

My biggest issue (ok, annoyance) with Wright that he's incredibly redundant. Fortunately, redundancy makes for a thick book that pads the fall when it puts me to sleep and head slams against it. Seriously, though -- I resorted to skimming; always a bad sign.

A concern for me is how hard he's working to describe God with numbered lists, as though these certain traits or characteristics are more important than others. Maybe they are, but I don't tru
Edem Morny
Aug 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Christopher Wright in this heavy tome, traces God's purposes for creation from the Old Testament into the New, culminating in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, and setting out clearly the mission of the church. On this epic journey of exploration he slays more than a few cherished dogmas of modern Christianity, including contemporary evangelical perceptions about salvation, redemption, the Gospel and mission.

Be ready to have your world rocked, and to be challenged to see the world throu
Nathan Schneider
A definitive study of missions from a biblical perspective, Wright argues that God's redemptive mission is a major emphasis of Scripture. He prefers the language "the missional basis of the Bible" instead of "biblical basis for missions." In this large volume, he moves from an explanation of the Bible's emphasis on mission, to the God of mission (and a comparison with the idea of idols), to the people God has called for mission, and finally, the practical application of all of teaching on missio ...more
Dec 11, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was heavy but very good. It took me over 2 years to finally read the whole book, but there as much to chew on while reading. I especially appreciate his biblical hermeneutic that spent considerable time focusing on Old Testament passages as a way of better understanding the New. Far to many think of mission as only being something we do for God. However his understanding of Mission centers not so much on what we do, but what God is doing and has been doing ever since Eden. I am reminde ...more
Feb 06, 2009 rated it really liked it
While I deeply agree with all that Dr. Wright has to say in his book, I found his style very difficult to follow. His chapters were organized around a central question, but then did not seem to proceed in any logical pattern which made it difficult for me to follow.
That said, the book does a great job of articulating the idea that the Bible is a story about how God works in the life of the community of His people. I recommend it to those who are interested in this view of Scripture or biblical
Dec 28, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Amazing. Wright uses all his gifts as a Old Testament scholar to show that the mission of God to the nations did not begin with the Great Commission in Matthew 28 but instead runs right through the heart of the entire Bible story. A broad range of topics are covered: God and the nations, God and idolatry, election of Israel, redemption (focusing on the Exodus), restoration (focusing on Jubilee), covenants, mission in the world. Highly recommended for Christians desiring to work alongside God in ...more
Jan 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
I found this book rather difficult to read. In fact, if I had not been reading it for a book discussion group, I probably would not have made it past the first chapter. However, the more I read, the more rewarding I found it and his ideas a worth the struggle through very long prose. Occasionally he would say something in a beautiful, compact, quotable way. Most of the time, he took a long time to say what he was saying. I wish this book were easier to read so I could recommend it more people.
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InterVarsity Pres...: Ebook avilability 3 30 Dec 20, 2011 08:56AM  
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Christopher J.H. Wright, (born 1947) is a Anglican clergyman and an Old Testament scholar. He is currently the director of Langham Partnership International. He was the principal of All Nations Christian College. He is an honorary member of the All Souls Church, Langham Place in London, UK.
“The jubilee then is about restoring to people the capacity to participate in the economic life of the community for their own viability and society's benefit.” 1 likes
“Mission is not ours; mission is God's. Certainly, the mission of God is the prior reality out of which flows any mission that we get involved in. Or, as has been nicely put, it is not so much the case that God has a mission for his church in the world but that God has a church for his mission in the world. Mission was not made for the church; the church was made for mission-God's mission.14” 0 likes
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