Thursday 20 May 2010

Brian D. Russell on a Missional Hermeneutic

Brian D. Russell, ‘What is a Missional Hermeneutic?’, Catalyst 36, 4 (2010).

Brian D. Russell is currently writing a book on missional hermeneutics to be published later this year by Wipf and Stock. This short article is likely to give a flavour of what to expect.

In short, ‘a missional hermeneutic is an interpretive approach that privileges mission as the key to reading the Scriptures’. It has several facets to it, as Russell notes, borrowing the following categories from a 2008 proposal by George R. Hunsberger:

1. The missional direction of the story
‘A missional hermeneutic recognizes that the biblical canon tells the story of God’s mission… in and for creation. ’

2. The missional locatedness of the readers
‘An interpreter’s social location serves a crucial role in the reading process.’

3. The missional engagement with cultures
Exploring how ‘the biblical materials themselves model engagement with culture’.

4. The missional purpose of the writings
‘A missional hermeneutic recognizes that the Scriptures exist to convert and shape their hearers.’

All of which is significant for preachers and teachers of Scripture, in that…

• ‘A missional hermeneutic provides a context and direction for preaching and teaching.’
• ‘A missional hermeneutic connects worship explicitly with life in the world by establishing a missional ethos for the community of faith.’
• ‘A missional hermeneutic establishes a new framework for learning.’


Brian Russell said...

It's Brian D. Russell. You can check out more of my essays on missional hermeneutics on my blog: . Navigation Page: Missional Hermeneutics. Thanks for mentioning my essay in Catalyst.

Antony said...

Apologies, and thanks for letting me know – duly corrected. I’m looking forward to that book later in the year! All the best – Antony