Podcast Episode #28

Our Discussion

How can we use hermeneutics to understand the Bible more clearly or through new eyes? Today, we are analyzing George R. Hunsberger’s article, “Proposals for a Missional Hermeneutic”. We explore four different approaches to interpreting the Bible missionally. We explore these four approaches to a missional reading of scripture and weigh their advantages and disadvantages. We ask:

  • What is the difference between interpreting text with missional direction and missional purpose?
  • How does culture and location affect missional hermeneutics?
  • Why is it important to have conversations like these, and what do they achieve?

Our goal in this episode is to explore the vital relationship between missions and missional theology, as well as the authority of scripture. Join us for this rich conversation.

In this episode, we talk about:

  • Defining and applying missional hermeneutics to the biblical text.
  • Four approaches to reading and interpreting the scripture missionally, including advantages and limitations.
  • How to live faithfully to God and get closer to the universal aspects of scripture.


  • 00:00 What are four different approaches to interpreting the Bible missionally?
  • 02:00 How did you interpret the article?
  • 04:30 Defining missional hermeneutics to distinguish “mission” and “missions”.
  • 08:00 Can mission be considered an attribute of God? Why or why not?
  • 12:35 Are Hunsberger’s four hermeneutical approaches sequential?
  • 14:00 How can we use missional direction to interpret the Bible missionally?
  • 17:20 What are the advantages of missio Dei language?
  • 19:20 What is the power of the story?
  • 23:05 How can we read scripture with missional purpose?
  • 26:25 Does this perspective help us avoid a mere self-help approach?
  • 28:20 Analyzing the link between missional purpose and missional story.
  • 31:35 How is the Bible interpreted with cultural context?
  • 35:00 Does this give people permission to ask non-interpretive questions outside of their community?
  • 37:00 What is the effect of community, culture, and location on biblical interpretation?
  • 39:45 What is limiting about localizing interpretation?
  • 43:40 How does the Bible engage culture?
  • 46:25 What is the difference between this approach and the first approach?
  • 49:50 How does having various perspectives and interpretations bring us closer to the universal demands of scripture?
  • 51:45 Why do conversations like these help us in missions?
  • 53:35 How does this conversation reinforce the authority of scripture relative to the mission of the church?
  • 55:15 What books do we recommend for more about missional hermeneutics?

Resources & Links

Proposals for a Missional Hermeneutic  by George R. Hunsberger

Reading the Bible Missionally  by Michael W. Goheen

Follow Mission ONE on Instagram | @partnerwithmissionone

Learn more at mission1.org

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