Text and Task
260 Pages

Text and Task



Practical, scriptural, and contemporary, Text and Task is a series of essays on Scripture and mission. It aims to show the significance of reading the biblical text appropriately and with faithful engagement for our theology and missiology. A team of biblical scholars suggests ways forward in areas such as the implicit missional narrative of David and Goliath, the story of Solomon and his Temple building, the genre of lament, the explicit gracious message of the prophet Isaiah, Paul's understanding of divine call and gospel, and the place of mission as a hermeneutic for reading the Bible. Theological chapters engage the issues of the Trinity and the unevangelized, the missional dimensions of Barth's view of election, the gospel's loss of plausibility in the modern West, the place of preaching in mission, and the idea of belonging to a church community before one believes the gospel. Drawing together scholars from the fields of biblical studies, theology, sociology, and homiletics, Text and Task relates critically engaged textual reading to contemporary ongoing Christian life, thought, and mission.



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Published 12 June 2012
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EAN13 9781725231627
Language English
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‘I confess I approachFestchriftswith some trepidation. They often appear to be a ragbag of articles in which busy writers have offloaded pieces not wanted elsewhere. But this volume is scintillating. The more I read, the more I wanted to. It never loses sight of the twin focus on Bible and Mission. Though the articles are diverse there is a clear coherence about them. Here is good biblical and theological scholarship, yet wonderfully applied. Depth is not sacrificed on the altar of missionary pragmatism. But nor is application sacrificed on the altar of scholarly obscurantism. Never once did I feel that a chapter was a tired repetition of well-known debates. The volume had the touch of originality about it without being novel for the sake of it. Here are chapters to savour, that will lead us into the Bible and out into mission. It is a fitting tribute to John Olley's life work.’ Derek Tidball, Principal, London School of Theology
‘This is a rich collection of essays united by a recognition that the Bible – yes, including the Hebrew Bible – pulsates with God’s outgoing love. The unity of scripture and mission is illustrated again and again in a wide variety of contributions that are scholarly and yet passionate. This book, both biblically focused and contextually stimulating, is a fitting tribute to John Olley, who is a significant Australian biblical scholar and missiologist.  ‘These essays grapple with many of the central missiological issues of the Hebrew Bible such as the dynamic relationship between God and the world, the missional reasons for Israel’s existence and the tension between universalism versus particularism. Other essays engage – still biblically – with the twenty-first century context. I found them to be meaty and yet engaged. They illustrate the best of current broadly Evangelical scholarship. Some chapters and ground-breaking in my judgement and none are second-rate.  ‘This is a wonderful collection which shows that amongst his other qualities, John Olley keeps very good company.’ Dr Ross Langmead, Professor of Missiology and Director, School of World Mission, Whitley College, Australia
Copyright © 2005 Michael Parsons
First published 2005 by Paternoster Press
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Paternoster Press is an imprint of Authentic Media 9 Holdom Avenue, Bletchley, Milton Keynes, Bucks, MK1 1QR, UK Wipf and Stock Publishers and 129 Mobilization Drive, Waynesboro, GA 30830-4575, USA 199 W 8th Ave, Suite 3 wwEuwg.eanue,thOeRn9t7i4c0m1edia.co.uk/paternoster Text and Task The right of Michael Parsons to be identified as the editor of this Scripture and Mission work has been aBssyePrartseodns,byMihcihamelin accordance with the Copyright, Copyright©2006 by Parsons, Michael Designs and Patents Act 1988. ISBN 13: 978-1-62032-316-8 Publication date 5/15/2012 All rights rPreesveioruvselyd.puNbloishpeadrbtyoPfattehrinsostpeur,b2l0i0c6ation may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the publisher or a licence permitting restricted copying. In the UK such licences are issued by the Copyright Licensing Agency. 90 Tottenham Court Road, London, W1P 9HE
British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data A catalogue record for this book is available from the
British Library
ISBN 1-84227-411-2
Cover design by fourninezero design. Printed in Great Britain by Bell and Bain Ltd.
Dedicationvii Foreword by Walter Brueggemannix Prefacexi Contributorsxiii Abbreviationsxv
The Loss and Retrieval of Ancestral Religion – in Ancient Israel and in Australia1 MARK G. BRETT
‘That the World May Know.’ Narrative Poetics in 1 Samuel 16 – 1720 DAVID G. FIRTH
Solomon and the Building of the Temple33 ASHLEY CRANE
Getting to the Heart of the Matter – a Lamentable Situation50 DAVID J. COHEN
Luther on Isaiah 40: the Gospel and Mission64 MICHAEL PARSONS
Second Isaiah and the Greek Islands79 MARJO C.A. KORPEL
The Significance of the Old Testament for Paul’s Missionary Calling91 RICHARD K. MOORE
Paul’s ‘Cloak’ and the Completion of the Tanakh106 DUANE CHRISTENSEN
Paul’s Gospel to the Gentiles and its Implications for Christian Mission to Chinese121 LUNG-KWONG LO
Truth with a Mission – Reading All Scripture Missiologically140 CHRISTOPHER J.H. WRIGHT
A Trinitarian Perspective on the Destiny of the Unevangelized157 HAYDN D. NELSON
Communities of Witness. The Concept of Election in the Old Testament and in the Theology of Karl Barth172 MICHAEL O’NEIL
Repristination. The Recovery of the Gospel in Post-Secular Australia187 STUART DEVENISH
From ‘Behave, Believe, Belong’ to ‘Belong, Believe, Behave’ – A st Missional Journey for the 21 Century204 BRIAN S. HARRIS
Prophetic Preaching for a Missional Church218 MICHAEL J. QUICKE
To John Olley Scholar, missionary, colleague and friend
Something of immense importance is happening in the world church that is much to be celebrated, namely, that the church is rediscovering the Bible as a gift for faith. Now that may sound strange since we keep reading the Bible through thick and thin. We have, however, found ways of reading the Bible without hearing it in its urgency. It has been the case in recent generations that the church has strayed in important ways from the liveliness of the Bible – in scholastic dogmatism on the right and in excessive critical perspective on the left. The more it has strayed from the address of the word, the more the church has found things about which to quarrel and consequently has been deterred from its missional witness. The current recovery of the Bible is happening throughout the church. It is happening in the First World church, because we are being driven back to basics in the face of secularization. In the world beyond Euro-development the recovery is led by the fresh guidance of the Spirit. Wherever that rediscovery is under way, the church is permitted to refocus its energy, to reclaim its sense of vocation, and to appreciate in new ways its buoyancy in joy and its true reason for being, namely, glad obedient testimony to the gospel. It is clear that the church will not have energy and courage for its true life except with an imaginative embrace of Scripture. It is equally clear, moreover, that an imaginative embrace of Scripture is possible only because of hard, attentive work on the detail of Scripture that requires the most alert and sustained kind of scholarship. For that reason, I am pleased to welcome and celebrate this present volume that attests to such alert and sustained scholarship, and to celebrate the long career of faithful Scripture study of Dr. John Olley in whose name the volume is offered. Dr John Olley is well known among the contributors to this volume, and surely among many of its potential readers, as a distinctive, passionate and treasured embodiment of scholarship in the service of the church. It is of course the case that careful, meticulous scholarship is not immediately transposed into missional reality. Rather, such scholarship is a long-term enterprise that creates, maintains, and nourishes a culture of attentiveness that in turn authorizes and nourishes an evangelical imagination. It is that evangelical imagination that makes a new life imaginable and therefore liveable outside the scope of dominant culture. My own sense is that the capacity for life outside the matrix of dominant culture is not only a gift from God to the faithful, but is also an urgent need for the world culture that is now emerging that threatens to be void of the dimension of the Spirit. The long-term purpose of biblical scholarship in the church is to nurture, form, and reform a ‘holy people’, a people devoted singularly to the things of
God. There is no doubt that such nurture is now urgent in a world culture given over to greed, fear, and violence, in which many young people have lost their way. John Olley and his colleagues in this volume are to be commended for staying at the task of probing and attesting to ‘a more excellent way’, a way made by holy responsiveness to God and by generous justice toward neighbour. ‘The two great commandments’ that stand at the centre of an evangelical ethic are indeed urgent; they are, however, credible and sustainable only in a culture of faith that is sustained by faithful imagination. For this publication, John Olley is to be especially feted, the writers are to be thanked, and readers are to be welcomed to a rich offer of fresh, obedient thinking.
Walter Brueggemann Emeritus Professor of Old Testament The William Marcellus McPheeters Chair Columbia Theological Seminary Decatur, Georgia April, 2005