The Mission of God and the Witness of the Church

By Justin A. Schell, Series edited by Dane Ortlund, Miles V. Van Pelt

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A Canonical Journey to Explore the Mission of the Eternal God

“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth” (Gen. 1:1). This declarative phrase introduces fundamental questions circling the minds of skeptics and believers of Christianity alike. What was God’s mission when he chose to create? And why, through the Savior’s death on the cross and the witness of his church, does he continue to redeem the very creation that rebels against him?

To answer these imperative questions, author Justin Schell takes readers on a canonical journey exploring the mission of the eternal God—Father, Son, and Spirit. Drawing insights from creation, the exodus of God’s people, the suffering servant, the Great Commission, and consummation, this book examines the purpose and beauty of God’s great story. It is out of an abundance of love that God brings us into union with him, calling his church to bear witness to all that has been done in Christ, until the day that he returns.  

  • Explores the Mission of God: Takes readers on a canonical journey to examine the purpose and beauty of God’s story 
  • Academic yet Accessible: Perfect for pastors, college and seminary students, missionaries, and lay leaders
  • Short Studies in Biblical Theology: Part of a series designed to give readers accessible volumes on God’s word. Other volumes include Sanctification as Set Apart and Growing in ChristThe Sabbath as Rest and Hope for the People of God; and more 


Justin A. Schell

Justin A. Schell (MAR and MAME, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary) is the US Director for Union, a ministry that seeks the reformation of Christ’s church worldwide. He is also the Director of Executive Projects for the Lausanne Movement and has served cross-culturally in the Muslim world. 

Product Details

Format: Paperback
Page Count: 144
Size: 5.25 in x 8.0 in
Weight: 7.0 ounces
ISBN-10: 1-4335-8158-2
ISBN-13: 978-1-4335-8158-8
ISBN-UPC: 9781433581588
Case Quantity: 72
Published: June 25, 2024

Table of Contents

Introduction: The Mission of God

Chapter 1: The God of Mission
Chapter 2: Mission in the Garden
Chapter 3: Father of All Nations
Chapter 4: Yahweh Saves
Chapter 5: Land and Exile
Chapter 6: The Great Commission
Chapter 7: The Church on Mission
Chapter 8: Mission and Consummation 


“The theme of missions is a key to understanding the Bible. Justin Schell enables us to see this afresh in this book. This is not just a rehashing of previous books on missions, and it is certainly more than an academic book. It is a God-centered call to the church to see the vital place that its Christ-representing witness has in the mission of God. It brings us a message we all need to hear!”
Conrad Mbewe, Pastor, Kabwata Baptist Church, Lusaka, Zambia; Founding Chancellor, African Christian University

“Justin Schell provides an excellent overview of mission through the storyline of Scripture. His work reminds us of our identity as a community of witnesses to the work of God in the gospel and gives us a better glimpse of the God whose self-revelation is oriented toward restoring a relationship with his image bearers.”
Trevin Wax, Vice President of Research and Resource Development, North American Mission Board; Visiting Professor, Cedarville University; author, The Thrill of Orthodoxy; Rethink Your Self; and This Is Our Time

“I am excited to recommend this book. Today there are roughly seven thousand people groups on the planet with little to no access to the gospel. That’s more than three billion people. Justin Schell helps the church see the glorious God of mission, his gracious purposes in the world, and our role in that larger work. The reader gets to watch God’s mission unfold from the garden of Eden to the new Jerusalem. It’s a breathtaking story, and it’s our story. We are his witnesses. This book is a wonderful addition to an excellent series.”
Michael Oh, CEO, Lausanne Movement

“From Genesis to Revelation, Justin Schell shows us God’s relentless pursuit of a bride for his Son. This book will do more than shape your view of mission or of Scripture. It will refresh and refocus your view of our great missionary God.”
Glen Scrivener, evangelist; author, The Air We Breathe and How to See Life: A Guide in 321; coauthor, Come and See: A History and Theology of Mission

“This is a thoroughly readable and well-informed account of God’s mission in the world, in which we, as disciples of Christ, are privileged to share. Justin Schell carefully follows the redemptive-historical approach of this series, from the garden to the garden city. Beginning with God’s missional activity in creation and its continuation, despite Adam’s failure, we see God’s purposes unfold through Abraham and the nation of Israel, culminating in the coming of Jesus, God’s incarnate missioner, who empowers his people to proclaim repentance and the forgiveness of sins to all people. A feast of biblical insights to enrich our understanding and equip us to glorify God and enjoy him forever.”
Glenn N. Davies, former Archbishop of Sydney

“Justin Schell carefully traces the theme of mission along the narrative arc of Scripture from Genesis to Revelation. Theologically rich and insightful, this engaging book invites the reader into the drama of Scripture as God reveals, redeems, and restores his creation. Emphasis on communion with the triune God as the aim of mission displays the coherence of the biblical narrative and rightly calls attention to the relational dimension of the missio Dei. Refreshing, like the wind of the Spirit, Schell’s book draws the contemporary church into the central theme of Scripture and the vital witness of the church.”
Carol Kaminski, Senior Professor of Old Testament, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary

“God made us for communion with himself, so we should care about his mission in the world. In The Mission of God and the Witness of the Church, Justin Schell helps us see how God’s mission emerges from the story that Scripture tells. Through God’s power in judgment and salvation, God is displaying his glory in the world he loves. Schell guides us through the panorama of Scripture as he takes us from Eden to the church’s Great Commission. We bear witness to the redemptive work of the triune God, and we long for the consummation of his mission.”
Mitchell L. Chase, Associate Professor of Biblical Studies, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary; Preaching Pastor, Kosmosdale Baptist Church, Louisville, Kentucky