Our six months of cross-cultural preparation with CMS Australia starts in February! The design is based on the UK poster of the original Rocky movie.
Posts tagged ‘mission’
A few weeks ago I read John Stott: a portrait by his friends. I was particularly encouraged to read this quote, from David Turner, a member at All Souls and a friend of John Stott’s since 1972.
I recall early in my legal career going to see [John Stott] to discuss the possibility of leaving the bar, at which I was just beginning to practise, to explore possibilities of ordination. He was gracious but firm in discouraging me from that route. “We need Christian lawyers” he said. The seriousness with which he took so-called ‘secular’ work was wonderfully affirming. There was no message that such work would be ‘second best’, there was no arena in which God’s people were not needed, where they could not serve effectively. Read more
We saw a link between God’s preference for Israel and the nations’ praise in Psalm 96 and 67 but what about God’s punishment of the nations and their defeat? Psalms 47 and 87 help us to address this. Read more
If we assume that the Psalter has been put together with purpose rather than just randomly, we can expect that its shape will help us to understand its theology, including what God’s attitude to the nations is. One way to do that is by looking at how the Psalter starts and ends. Read more
Depending on whether you think the book of Psalms is words to God or words from God will affect how you read it. For example, if you think the sole purpose of the Psalms is to praise God, you probably won’t expect to find much about what God thinks. In the case of the nations, there are only 2 passages in which God explicitly speaks about the nations (Psalm 2 and 46). That would make for a very short essay!
However, if we understand the Psalms as scripture – God breathed, inspired and given – then there’s room to see them as more than just a ‘hymn book’. They can also have a teaching function – as an ‘instruction book’ as well. So when we look for ’God’s attitude’, we can expect to find that not only in direct quotes from God but also in his shaping of Israel’s actions and attitude.
Some people think that ‘the nations’ in the Psalms are just another category of things that are on the earth. They are called to praise God in the same way that the trees and rivers are called to praise him – just because he created them. Of course, God did make them, so they should praise him! But ‘the nations’ is also a theological term. In Psalm 79:6, the nations are those who do not know God, in contrast to Israel who does know God. That means the question of God’s attitude to the nations is a missiological question: it’s about God’s attitude to those who do not know him.