Friday, 16 March 2007


After being told by Michael Wardlow of the Belfast Bible College that Chris Wright had a new book on mission coming out I immediately put in my order to Amazon. It arrived the other day and to say the least it looks most impressive (I've only read the first two chapters!)and without doubt is sure to become his 'Magnum Opus.' This weighty tome entitled ‘The Mission of God: Unlocking the Bible’s Grand Narrative’ contains 581 closely argued pages and maintains that equally, the ‘proper way for disciples of the crucified and risen Jesus to read their Scriptures , is (both) messianically and missionally. ( p.30)

Most books on Mission fail to provide an adequate O.T. basis for mission. David Bosch for example in his excellent book ‘Transforming Mission’ gives us little if any. In this book however, Wright ( also a noted OT scholar as well as Missiologist ) goes a long way to rectify this imbalance.

'The Mission of God' is not a light read but should be of great interest to Theologians, missionaries and pastors as well as Theology and Bible students. Chris Wright has also designated that the royalties from this book will go to the worthy charity Langham Literature ( see link).

John Goldingay, the author of 'Old Testament Theology', and professor of Old Testament at Fuller Theological Seminary writes of it:
"This marvelous book is all I hoped and expected, and more. . . .We are so fortunate to have the mature fruit of a lifetime's reflection on the missional nature of the Bible by this outstanding teacher, scholar and missionary theologian."

I also picked up a few good books at the second hand section of the Evangelical bookshop. The first one entitled 'Conversions' by Kerr and Mulder contains conversion stories of fifty well known Christians including The Apostle Paul, Augustine, Calvin, Pascal, Booth, C.S.Lewis, Merton, Muggeridge and Colson. One particular passage that caught my eye was story of the missionary E. Stanley Jones which was originally taken from his autobiography 'A Song of Ascents.' He writes:

I am an ordinary man doing extraordinary things because I 'm linked with the extraordinary. But apart from this I am very ordinary. And worse. A woman put it this way: 'Apart from the Holy Spirit, Brother Stanley would be a mess.' She was right. But with the Holy Spirit I am not a mess, but a message, for I have a message. This is not boasting. It is witnessing, witnessing to Another. To say anything else would be a false humility which is concealed pride.'

The other book was 'Witness to the world ' edited by David Peterson with contributors from the Oak Hill School of Theology. As the title suggests it deals with how the Church can be an effective witness in the world particularly amidst the rising tide of postmodernity which threatens to engulf the Christian worldview.

Another little book I picked up in a Charity shop was 'Body Facts' published by Dorling Kindersly. It has been a while since I read a book about human biology. In fact the last time was when I was studying A- Level Biology and had to read 'Biology:a Functional Approach' by M.B.V. Roberts.This little book has had the same effect on me as 'Roberts.'
To read again about the wonders of the body was to again fill me with worship for our most amazing Creator. These are some of the facts:

1. The adult human body contains 50 trillion cells.
2.Three billion of the body's cells die every minute: most are renewed.
3.About 10 billion white blood cells are made every day and help fight infection.
4.The average adult has 206 bones.
5. More than half the body's bones are in the hands and feet.
6. Bone is five times stronger than a steel bar of the same weight.
7.The skull contains 22 bones.
8.The body has over 600 skeletal muscles.
9. All the body's nerves laid end to end would measure about 75 km ( 47 miles).
10. Nerve signals can travel at over 400 km/h ( 248 mph).
11.One brain cell can connect with over 25,000 other brain cells.
12.The human eye can detect a lighted candle 1.6km (1 mile away).
13. A person can see up to 10,000 colours.
14. Blood and circulation:The cirulation system contains around 150,000 km ( 93,000 miles) of blood vessels.
15. The heart pumps about 13,640 litres (3,000 gallons) of blood per day.
16.Respiratory Facts:THe lungs contain about 2,400 km (1490 miles) of airways.
17. Each lung has a total surface area of 180 metres squared ( 646 feet squared).
18. Sex and Reproduction: Men's semen contain 300 million sperm.
19.Only 50-150 will reach the egg as it travels down the fallopian tube. Of these only one will fertilise the egg.
20.Do you think you are a loser? WITH ODDS OF 300,000,000 TO 1 AGAINST YOU BEING BORN, YOUR SPERM WON -TO PRODUCE YOU! YOU ARE A WINNER. Winning the lotto would have been far easier!

Be amazed and filled with praise, for we are indeed both fearfully and wonderfully made.

Do you feel down or discouraged or unimportant? You are a living miracle!


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