Published on June 27, 2024 by Eugene Ho

Crossway, 2024 | 144 pages

A Brief Book Summary from Books At a Glance

by Steve West


Table of Contents

Introduction: The Mission of God
1 The God of Mission
2 Mission in the Garden
3 Father of All Nations
4 Yahweh Saves
5 Land and Exile
6 The Great Commission
7 The Church on Mission
8 Mission and Consummation




Introduction: The Mission of God

The missio Dei is now frequently discussed in Christian circles. Christians are called to live on God’s mission, and churches and organizations are focusing on being missional. For many, however, clarity is lacking on precisely what the mission of God is, and the terms mission and missional are often used ambiguously. How does mission relate to evangelism, mercy ministries, etc.? The mission of God can be defined as God’s revelatory work intended to establish a divine-human communion within creation. John 3:16 captures the heart of the mission, where because of his love God reveals himself in his Son—as Savior—to his creation so that we can have eternal life. God’s mission is revelatory: it is from him, through him, and for him. God uses agents, but the mission is his work. God sends his Son on mission, and then his people are sent out as well. The aim of this mission is to establish communion between God and humanity. This relational goal is essential; God wants his people to live in loving communion with himself. The setting for this mission is creation, the cosmos that God created. “So the missio Dei has an activity, a purpose, and a context: revelation for communion in creation.” The church is to function as the witnesses of God in our words and our deeds. We are to proclaim and herald the gospel, relying on the truth and authority of God’s Word. Scripture places the mission of God inside of a redemptive-historical narrative arc and framework. None of our work in mission will be successful unless it is blessed by God.


Chapter 1: The God of Mission

The purpose of John’s Gospel was to advance the mission of God (John 20:31), so it is a helpful place to begin when studying that mission. For John, God’s character and glory are essential for evangelism, and without revelation there can be no communion with him. The prologue of the Gospel of John shows how the revelation of the logos is necessary for divine-human communion. In his ontological nature, and in his teachings and actions, Jesus reveals God. Paradoxically, it is on the cross where Jesus gives the clearest revelation of the glory of God. Jesus’s prayer in John 17 reveals that the Father and Son have shared eternal communion in love and glory. Incredibly, the company of the redeemed will participate in the oneness of this love. The wonder of this relationship compels mission and serves as a witness in the world: our unity and love testify that Jesus has been sent from the Father. Jesus told his disciples that as the Father had sent him, he was sending them on mission into the world. It is the love and glory of God—rather than humanity’s sin and lostness, or the healing of social structures and creation—that is central in the mission of God. . . .

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Crossway, 2024 | 144 pages

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