The Gospel and Our Culture Network recently convened the 7th annual meeting. Papers were presented, responded to, and the status of a missional hermeneutic for interpreting Scripture reassessed. George Hunsberger offers summary reflections from that meeting noting: “The time is ripe for a rigorous and robust missional hermeneutic!” To that end, Hunsberger identifies four streams of hermeneutical thought:

1. The missional direction of the story.

The framework for biblical interpretation is the story it tells of the mission of God and the formation of a community sent to participate in it.

2. The missional purpose of the writings

The aim of biblical interpretation is to fulfill the equipping purpose of the biblical writings.

3. The missional locatedness of the readers

The approach required for a faithful reading of the Bible is from the missional location of the Christian community.

4. The missional engagement with cultures.

The gospel functions as the interpretive matrix within which the received biblical tradition is brought into critical conversation with a particular human context.

These papers, reflections, and hermeneutical directions will prove important in shaping an honest, faithful, and missional reading of the Bible that promotes a gospel-focused, narrative-couched, missional theology for practitioners and the church alike. No doubt these streams of thought will influence many in the books and articles to come on Missional Church and Theology. Read the whole article here.

The emerging four questions are questions that should shape our churches for decades to come:

1. What is the story of the biblical narrative and how does it implicate us? (missio Dei)

2. What is the purpose of the biblical writings in the life of its hearers? (equipping witness)

3. How shall the church read the Bible faithfully today? (located questions)

4. What guides our use of the received tradition in the context before us? (gospel matrix)

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