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Here’s Why I Keep Returning To Lesslie Newbigin

by Trevin Wax

Today, I offer up just a sampling of my favorite quotes from Newbigin that are found in Goheen’s recent volume. Ponder these quotes and consider how these truths can equip you for mission wherever God has placed you.


“If we take the Bible in its canonical wholeness, as we must, then it is best understood as history. It is universal, cosmic history. It interprets the entire story of all things from creation to consummation, and the story of the human race within creation, and within the human race the story of the people called by God to be the bearers of the meaning of the whole, and—at the very center—the story of the One in whom God’s purpose was decisively revealed by being decisively effected. It is obviously a different story from the stories that the world tells about itself.”

That’s one paragraph, but it packs quite a punch, doesn’t it? Goheen breaks it down into four interrelated themes:

  1. The Bible is universal history that narrates the true story of the whole world from creation to consummation.
  2. A central thread in the biblical narrative is that God has chosen a people to be the bearers of the end and meaning of this story.
  3. At the center of the story, Jesus reveals and accomplishes the end and therefore the purpose of universal history.
  4. The cosmic story is comprehensive and so is incompatible with all other cultural stories.


“It is there, on Calvary, that the kingdom, the kingly rule of God, won its decisive victory over all the powers that contradict it. The cross is not a defeat reversed by the resurrection; it is a victory proclaimed (to chosen witnesses) by the resurrection… The center of the revealed mystery of the reign of God is the Cross. There the power of God is revealed—but it is revealed as weakness. The glory of God is revealed—but it is revealed as humiliation. The victory of God is revealed—but it is revealed as defeat.”


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Here’s Why I Keep Returning to Lesslie Newbigin

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