The Gospel of Our King
Bible, Worldview, and the Mission of Every Christian
This accessible overview shows how the Bible--with its 66 books, dozens of authors, and multiple genres--comes together to provide an overarching story about God the King and explains how the Christian gospel and mission address the totality of human life.
Written by a biblical scholar and a theologian, The Gospel of Our King shows how any account of gospel and mission can only be understood in light of the whole biblical testimony. The authors help us understand the Bible's overarching narrative as the story that encompasses everything. This story, revealed by God and centered on Jesus the King, enables us to know and love God and to fulfill his purpose for our lives. It is the framework within which we come to understand the Christian worldview, the Christian gospel, and the Christian mission. When we understand how the whole Bible fits together to shape the totality of a Christian's life, we will be prepared to show the goodness of Christ and the gospel to others in our personal, social, cultural, and global contexts.
1. Creation: God the King and His Good Creation
2. Fall: Human Sin and Its Aftermath
3. Redemption: Covenant and Kingdom
4. Redemption: New Covenant and Consummated Kingdom
5. Interlude: Worldview, Gospel, and Mission
6. A Theological Mission: Radical Monotheism for a Secular Age
7. A Social Mission: Relational Monotheism for an Individualistic Age
8. A Cultural Mission: Restorational Monotheism for a Decadent Age
9. A Global Mission: Realized Monotheism for an International Age
"What do you get when a top-notch biblical scholar and a public theologian join forces to write on the gospel and the church's mission? A book that not only is sensitive to the finer elements of the biblical story line but also guides you through its theological implications for our present cultural moment. The Gospel of Our King is highly accessible and academically informed as well as biblically grounded and culturally insightful. Highly recommended."
Joshua Chatraw, director, New City Fellows; theologian-in-residence, Holy Trinity Church, Raleigh, North Carolina
"This book is a glorious reminder of the fact that, as believers--no matter where, when, or under what conditions we live--we serve the King of all. Bruce Ashford and Heath Thomas remind us that God is King over creation, culture, politics, education, and our individual lives. Their robust theology seasoned with wise understanding makes me want to bow down before this King again and again and serve him better in all ways, in all my days."
Karen Swallow Prior, author of On Reading Well: Finding the Good Life through Great Books and Fierce Convictions: The Extraordinary Life of Hannah More--Poet, Reformer, Abolitionist
"Some expositions of the biblical narrative as the foundation for our Christian worldview lack contemporary application. And some cultural analyses of the idolatries of Western culture lack solid biblical foundations. This book lacks neither. Ashford and Thomas have combined their respective areas of expertise most effectively, giving us a book that is biblically rich, theologically thorough, spiritually insightful, holistically missional, and practically relevant. Western Christians today need to become much more rooted in the whole Bible story as active participants in its great drama. And we need to open our eyes to recognize and renounce the false gods and idols that masquerade within our culture--even in Christianized costumes. This book helps us do both."
Christopher J. H. Wright, Langham Partnership; author of The Mission of God
"In The Gospel of Our King, Ashford and Thomas introduce the Christian worldview while also attending to Christian action. In the first half of the book they take a story approach to review the grand narrative of Scripture in order to define and describe the Christian worldview. They highlight the Bible's pervasive sequence of one--albeit multifaceted--unfolding covenant as a way to appreciate God's robust story of redemption, not merely for how it benefits humanity but for how it glorifies God as King. The second half of the book explicates the real-life difference that the good news of the gospel and a Christian worldview make in the day-to-day life of a believer. The authors explore the theological, social, cultural, and global aspects of Christian mission in regular life. Fitting for those unfamiliar with the jargon of biblical and theological studies, this book will enjoy a wide readership. If you are looking for an effective survey of the whole biblical narrative that connects directly to the gospel message and spills forth naturally into Christian living in the twenty-first century, this book is for you."
Douglas S. Huffman, professor and associate dean of biblical and theological studies, Talbot School of Theology, Biola University
"The Gospel of Our King is a sheer delight. This is what happens when you bring together close attention to the Bible as a whole, worldview, and mission, just as they should be, with the overarching focus on the glory of God. Ashford and Thomas wear their considerable academic abilities in Bible, theology, and mission lightly in this creative, accessible, and eminently practical work. This is a book that we urgently need today, and my hope is that it will enjoy the wide reception it deserves. Take and read . . . and buy extra copies for friends!"
Craig G. Bartholomew, director of the Kirby Laing Institute for Christian Ethics, Cambridge
"This is a wonderful book. Ashford and Thomas take us to the heart of the Christian faith: the biblical story centered in Jesus and the kingdom as the true story of the whole world, the mission of God's people to embody that good news in all of life, and a missionary encounter with the idolatrous story of our Western culture. Their writing is engaging and the idols they challenge are timely, making this a book full of insight for faithful Christian living today. May this book find a wide readership for the sake of God's kingdom."
Michael W. Goheen, director of theological education, Missional Training Center; scholar-in-residence, Surge Network of Churches-Phoenix; professor of missional theology, Covenant Theological Seminary