Theology disconnected from mission is not Christian theology at all. The pastors, professors, and missionaries writing Theology and Practice of Mission provide a clear biblical-theological framework for understanding the church's mission to the nations. Toward that goal, the book holds three major sections: God's mission, the church's mission, and the church's mission to the nations.
Part one explores the canon of Christian Scripture from narrative and systematic angles, explaining how the mission of God-to redeem a people who will be a kingdom of priests to the praise of his glory, bear witness to his gospel, advance his church, and dwell with him forever on a new heaven and earth-is communicated in the Bible's four movements: Creation, Fall, Redemption, and Restoration.
Part two sees the mission of God's people in the light of God's mission, emphasizing not only preaching and church planting but also gospel witness in every dimension of human culture-glorifying God in family, church, work, community, through the arts, sciences, education, business, and the public square. The writers encourage us to live missionally, leaving all of our resources at God's disposal for the sake of his kingdom.
Finally, part three contends that the North American church must come to terms with its missional calling-just as international missionaries do-and gives a starting point and parameters for conceiving the church's mission to all people groups and cultural contexts. Chapters here include ones on unreached people groups, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, and Postmoderns.
Bruce Riley Ashford is married to Lauren, with whom he has two children, Riley Noelle and Anna Katherine. He was born in Chesapeake, VA, but spent his childhood years in Roseboro, NC. He received his B.A. in Communications from Campbell University. Upon graduation from Campbell, he entered Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, where he received his Master of Divinity. After spending two years in Central Asia as a university instructor, he returned to the United States to enter the Ph.D. program at Southeastern. He defended his dissertation, “Wittgenstein’s Impact on Anglo-American Theology: Representative Models of Response to Ludwig Wittgenstein’s Later Writings,” in December 2003. Southeastern College and Seminary hired him in 2003, where he has taught courses in theology, philosophy, and missiology, and where he remains today as Associate Professor of Theology & Culture.
He is the editor of Theology & Practice of Mission (Nashville: B&H, 2011).
In January 2009, Ashford became the Dean of The College at Southeastern.
He is a member of the American Academy of Religion, the Evangelical Philosophical Society, the Evangelical Theological Society, American Philosophical Association, and the Evangelical Missiological Society.
In addition to his teaching schedule, Ashford has taught or preached for churches of various denominations, including Southern Baptist, American Baptist, Mennonite, Presbyterian Church-USA, Presbyterian Church of America, United Methodist Church, Episcopal, Assemblies of God, Church of God, United Pentecostal, Four Square, and Russian Baptist.
He has also worked and toured overseas in The Pacific Rim (Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam), North Africa & The Middle East (Bahrain, Egypt, Morocco, Jordan, Oman, United Arab Emirates), West Africa (Ivory Coast, Liberia), Sub-Saharan Africa (Botswana, Kenya, Madagascar, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda), Central Asia (Armenia, Turkey, Uzbekistan), South Asia (India), East Asia (China), Central & Eastern Europe (Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Romania, Russia), Western Europe (France, Germany, Great Britain, The Netherlands, Switzerland) and the Caribbean (The Bahamas, Jamaica).
He has lectured or spoken on college campuses, including UNC-Chapel Hill, Duke University, University of Florida, Appalachian State University, Methodist College, UNC-Wilmington, UNC-Greensboro, Gardner-Webb University, Campbell University, West Virginia University, Marshall University, Anderson College, Criswell College, and Kazan University (Russia).
Recently, he was a co-recipient of a creative teaching grant from Yale Divinity School’s Center for Faith and Culture. Together with David Nelson, associate professor of theology at Southeastern, he received one of four $5,000 awards from Yale for a course they designed to help pastors equip their congregations to live wisely in the context of contemporary American culture.