The Gospel of John would seem to be both the "spiritual Gospel" and a Gospel that promotes Christian mission. Some interpreters, however, have found John to be the product of a sectarian community that promotes a very narrow view of Christian mission and advocates neither love of neighbor nor love of enemy. In this book for both the academy and the church, Michael Gorman argues that John has a profound spirituality that is robustly missional, and that it can be summarized in the paradoxical phrase "Abide and go," from John 15. Disciples participate in the divine love and life, and therefore in the life-giving mission of God manifested in the ministry, death, and resurrection of Jesus. As God's children, disciples become more and more like this missional God as they become like his Son by the work of the Spirit. This spirituality, argues Gorman, can be called missional theosis.
"Michael Gorman's book is a major step forward in contemporary Johannine scholarship. Its strength lies in Professor Gorman's focus upon the all-important 'other' in the Gospel: God. Once the dynamism of the relationship between Jesus and the Father is established, the central role of what he calls a 'missional spirituality' emerges with great clarity . . . This is a much needed book, appearing on the scene at a critical time in the history of Johannine scholarship."
--Francis J. Moloney, Catholic Theological College, University of Divinity, Melbourne
"In this stimulating volume, Michael Gorman unpacks what the Fourth Gospel says about mission and missional spirituality. Through a careful exposition of missional hermeneutics, judicious exegesis, and an impressive handling of theological literature--both ancient and modern--Gorman makes a compelling case for what the lens of 'missional theosis' can contribute to our understanding of John's spirituality. This book will prove useful to conversations in both the academy and the church."
--Christopher W. Skinner, Loyola University Chicago
"This book from the prolific Gorman is a pioneering study of spirituality and mission in the Gospel of John under the single heading 'missional theosis.' It is refreshing, illuminating, and creative. With meticulous research, a broad theological scope, and practical implications for the Church, this book is challenging, accessible, and practical."
--C. Bennema, Union School of Theology
"Having successfully demonstrated the value of exploring the relationship among theology, spiritual formation, and mission in Paul's letters, Michael Gorman now fittingly turns to John. With his usual flair, Gorman provides a fresh and illuminating reading of how, in its own distinctive fashion, this Gospel too presents a spirituality of participation in both the divine life and the divine mission in the world. What is more, integral to this work is its reflection on how such a spirituality might be embodied in contemporary local communities."
--Andrew T. Lincoln, University of Gloucestershire