One of my friends once pointed out that any time -al is added to describe a theological perspective the emphasis is on the adjective more than on talk about God. Practically time is given to explain the adjective and what often gets obscured is the god/God under consideration. Enter John R. Franke.
In his new book, released last year, John R., Franke proposes that the nature of God is missional, or put another way, Mission is God’s nature. While John would not argue that it is all that we can say about God, he would suggest that when we look at God’s activity we discover that God has always been on mission. Thus for John, -al, in missional does not detract from talk about God but instead is central to assessing the activity of God from beginning to end – from the Garden to the Eschaton.
Today on the podcast I take up a conversation with John. We met in the early 2000s while he was at Biblical Seminary. One of the last times we were together was during a special installation service held for him at Biblical. There were two keynote speakers – Darrel Guder and Scot McKnight. Franke leans heavily on Guder who may be the instigator of the missional turn with his book, The Missional Church. My introduction to Guder was in his book, The Continual Conversion of the Church. McKnight was encouraging. When John’s book dropped, Scot remarked in his blog post, “Finally!” That is exactly how I felt.
We never know whose path we will cross along the way. I am glad that our paths crossed those years ago. I found this interview the best way to shake off the cobwebs of the podcast with a view to getting back on track, or on mission if you will.
Here are some titles from John that you may want to check out AFTER you order his newest book, Missional Theology: An Introduction.
Beyond Foundationalism (with the last Stan Grenz)
Barth for Armchair Theologians
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