The Two Books: What Missionally-Educated Christians Must Know

The Two Books which God has ordained to reveal himself to his creatures:

  • The Word: Also referred to as special revelation, the Bible is inspired, infallible, and authoritative. This God-inspired book alone is reserved for the saturation of missional-theological education’s teaching, learning, curriculum, goals, and mission (1). The missionally-educated Christian’s resolve regarding the study of the Bible should in some degree reflect the spirit of Jonathan Edwards’ resolve, “to study the Scriptures so steadily, constantly, and frequently that I may find, and plainly perceive myself to grow in the knowledge of them” (2).
  • The World (3): Also referred to as natural revelation, the world is not inspired, infallible, or authoritative. Yet, it includes “the whole organic complex of nature and history and human culture” (4). The missionally-minded student must know, observe, and be amazed that God manifests his glory in creation (5). He also must constantly view history with a God-centered lens, seeing God’s redemptive handiwork throughout the ages. Lastly, the missional disciple should reflect the spirit of the apostle Paul who became all things to all peoples and cultures, so that he would more ably redemptively engage some.

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(1) 2 Tim 3.16-17.

(2) Nichols, Stephen J. ed. Jonathan Edwards’ Resolutions. (Phillipsburg: P&R Publishing, 2001), 20.

(3) Of course, the world as God’s second book is merely a metaphor alluding to nature or creation as a means for his own self-revelation and glorification to his creatures.

(4) Piper, John. The Earth is the Lord’s.

(5) Ps 19.1-2; Rom 1.19-20.

(6) Acts 17.16-34; 1 Cor 9.19-33.

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