BIB4300EN - General Epistles & the Mission of God

Course description

Examines the outworking of the mission of God via key themes: the people of God are described as pilgrims and sojourners facing suffering and persecution for the name of Jesus Christ and the shame/dishonour of ancient society associated with such affliction. Nevertheless, they are called to respond appropriately by living holy lives in the midst of false teaching and antagonism to the Gospel, persevering in hope and acknowledging God’s sovereignty over all rulers. Particular attention is given to understanding mission in an eschatological perspective, with the church as a body of pilgrims and res-ident aliens walking a fine line between submission to the authorities and courageous witness to the Lord.

How this course benefits students

In this course, the learner is exposed to some of the more challenging realities of mission, including adversity, persecution, and dishonor. In light of this, what ought believers to do and how should they react/act in ways which are biblically and missionally responsible as they await the certain return of Christ?

Why this course is important

These short letters may not include the Great Commission or have glowing accounts of the churches success that we read of in other New Testament texts. Instead, the reader is confronted with the realities of mission and living in a fallen world, where Christians have much to learn from Jesus’s response to adversity, insult and persecution. In light of this, the church is called to imitate Christ’s example and persevere by continuing in its mission of preaching and living out the Gospel message in a sometimes hostile environment which is anti-Christ and anti-Christian.

Credit hours
3 hours
Subject area
Biblical Studies
Educational level
Learning type
Upcoming terms*
  • 2022-03 (Jan. 2, 2023 - Feb. 26, 2023)
* Schedule subject to change. Please contact the Registrar's office with schedule questions.
Dr. Fergus J. King, Professor of New Testament Mission

How this course relates to missional core values

Biblically based

This course considers New Testament texts of 1 and 2 Peter, 1, 2, 3, John, James and in order to provide a biblical response to the darker side and difficult realities of mission, e.g., persec-ution and shame.

Missionally driven

These texts provide us with an ‘in-between-the-times’ look at mission and what it means to live as God’s people in the ‘now’ as they look forward to the ‘not-yet’.

Contextually informed

Knowing how early believers responded to shame and dishonor in the first century cultural context can provide impetus for twenty-first century Christians to negotiate tricky and sensitive situations in their ministry in different cultural contexts of the world today.

Interculturally focused

This course enables learners to appreciate the need to live missionally in different cultural interfaces where there antagonism to the Christian Gospel.

Practically minded

How are Christians to respond to insult and name-calling? Christ’s example, recorded in these letters, shines with luster and provides the antidote and the impetus to act in a godly and Christ-honouring way.

Experientially transformed

Consideration will be given to persecuted missionary leaders from these letters (i.e., Peter) and from the learners’ own cultural context, and will be reflected on in order to inspire and encourage students to faithful, sacrificial service.