How to Proclaim Restoration

AL TIZON’S Missional Preaching, as one might expect, is designed for those who proclaim the gospel. The text, moreover, should prove useful to homiletics professors, local ministerial groups, and church bodies seeking to encourage more reflective approaches to the craft of sermon-making. Tizon, an ordained minister in the Evangelical Covenant Church and professor of evangelism and holistic ministry at Palmer Theological Seminary, writes with lively prose, frequently deploying humor and hyperbole to complement biblical exposition and theological reflection.

For Tizon, missional conviction is about joining “God’s mission to transform the world, as the church strives in the Spirit to be authentically relational, intellectually and theologically grounded, culturally and socio-economically diverse, and radically committed to both God and neighbor, especially the poor.” Tizon’s commitment to mission is both theological and autobiographical: The author spent nine years doing community development in the Philippines and currently serves as the director of the Word and Deed network of Evangelicals for Social Action.

Structurally, Tizon begins with three chapters on missional theology, covering liturgy, biblical perspectives on mission, and the missio Dei (the mission of God). For Tizon, missio Dei signifies God’s restorative purposes for the world, beginning with Israel and consummating in Christ. To complement the opening essays, each subsequent chapter pairs Tizon’s reflection on a missional topic with a sermon on the same subject matter. In a particularly compelling chapter, the author’s insights on whole-life stewardship are concluded by a riveting homily from Shane Claiborne.

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