Missions and Monotheism

 Christopher Wright’s discussion of monotheism, mission, and idolatry in The Mission of God is the best treatment of these subjects that I’ve read.   Chapter five (“The Living God Confronts Idolatry”) alone is worth the price of this book!  Listen to these excellent paragraphs which lead up to chapter five.

“Christ-centered monotheism is no more self-evidently beyond challenge or dissent than YHWH-centered theism was in Israel.  Nor is it any more immediately obvious to the world that Jesus alone is Lord, God, and Savior, than it was to the nations around Israel that YHWH alone is the God of heaven and earth, Creator of the world and Ruler of all its nations.  And yet these are precisely the truths to which Israel was called to bear witness, and which Christian mission declares to the world.”

“So one of the reasons why biblical monotheism is missional lies here: it is a truth to which we are constantly called to bear witness.  It is a conviction that constantly engages us in the apologetic task of articulating and defending what we mean by our confession of faith in the living God of the Bible in both Testaments.  As the New Testament records, from the very earliest days of the Christian faith, believers had to contend with challenges to the lordship of Christ from outside the church, and with denials or confusion concerning aspects of the person and achievement of Christ from within it.  Today, as much as ever, to affirm that Jesus of Nazareth is uniquely God, Lord and Savior, is to find oneself immediately engaged in missional conflict on every side (p. 130).”

Well said.  Of course this has much to do with the resurrection of Jesus Christ, whom Christians worship together corporately on the first day of every week, the Lord’s Day.  Indeed, his is the name above all names, the only name on which we can call for salvation from sin, misery, and the wrath to come.

shane lems

sunnyside wa

3 thoughts on “Missions and Monotheism”

    1. I’m 100% sure you’ll love it (judging from your reading endeavors!). Send me an email sometime when you’ve had the chance to interact with it – I’d enjoy reading your comments about it.



  1. Great notes and quotes, Shane. Chapter 5 was one of my favorites. This is a very insightful read.


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