“Missional” is one of the most common buzz words when it comes to contemporary ministry. Most Christians would agree that the church needs to be missional. But what does that even mean? Ross Hastings, in Missional God, Missional Church, seeks to provide a theological foundation for what it means to be missional.
Hastings uses John 20:19-23 as the thread that holds his book together. Hastings provides an ongoing interpretation of this passage to demonstrate the biblical basis for the church to be missional. In this endeavour, Hastings interacts heavily with Karl Barth (and to a lesser extent, Leslie Newbigin and Jonathan Edwards). Although I like Barth, I’m not convinced with his view that Jesus provided atonement for all, something that Hastings holds to as well. The line between this and universalism is too blurry.
The major theological themes that Hastings works with are the Trinity and the incarnation. He demonstrates that God is a missional God and that it is from his nature that the church emerges as a missional church. This book is by no means theologically fluffy. Hastings pulls in some major theological conversation partners and provides some good material for the theologically-minded to wrestle with. This is a good book for those interested in the missional church.