Friday 6 May 2011

Tim Chester on Eating and Drinking with Others

Tim Chester, A Meal with Jesus: Discovering Grace, Community, and Mission around the Table (Wheaton: Crossway, 2011), 144pp., ISBN 9781433521362.

IVP are publishing this in the UK. Meanwhile – to whet the appetite – Crossway make available an excerpt as well as an interview with Tim Chester around the topic of the book. It’s about the significance of eating with others – in the ministry of Jesus (particularly as portrayed in Luke’s gospel) and as part of the shared life and mission of Christian communities today.

Here are some paragraphs from the Introduction:

‘This is a book about meals. But the meals of Jesus are a window into his message of grace and the way it defines his community and its mission. So this book is about grace, church, and mission. But meals are more than metaphor. They embody God’s grace and so give form to community and mission. We can’t get away from meals.

‘If I pull down books on mission and church planting from my shelves, I can read about contextualization, evangelism matrices, postmodern apologetics, and cultural hermeneutics. I can look at diagrams that tell me how people can be converted or discover the steps required to plant a church. It all sounds impressive, cutting edge, and sophisticated. But this is how Luke describes Jesus’s mission strategy: “The Son of Man came eating and drinking.”’

After the Introduction, the book is divided into six chapters, looking at meal scenes in Luke:

1. Meals as Enacted Grace: Luke 5

2. Meals as Enacted Community: Luke 7

3. Meals as Enacted Hope: Luke 9

4. Meals as Enacted Mission: Luke 14

5. Meals as Enacted Salvation: Luke 22

6. Meals as Enacted Promise: Luke 24

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