What a pleasure to read this book! Glasser's view of Scripture is a delight to read, and encouraged this missionary in some great ways. Here are a few.
Glasser perceives the common thread of the Kingdom of God to hold the totality of Scripture together. Without needing to stretch or create seams, Glasser assists the readers in understanding God's sovereignty over Heaven and Earth and that "[t]he whole Bible is a missionary book."
The description of the calling of Abraham, and the missiological implications of the covenant are brought out in ch. 4. One of the frequent implications throughout the book is prayer, and it finds its first expression in this chapter: Abraham follows the discovery of God's graciousness (Gen. 18) with intercession. Glasser often reminds the reader that contact with the Kingdom of God is through prayer, and through communication with God, the mission is advanced. One omission in the advance of the mission, the section on "Mission and Passivity" notwithstanding (!), is the anticipatory response of Abraham to the Egyptians (Gen 12:10 ff); many missiologists and missionaries have observed the failure of Abraham to "bless" the Egyptians, and Glasser would have done well to elaborate on this forgetful act on Abraham's behalf.
The long elaboration of God's Mission through Jesus Christ (ch. 12) is a real treat. The chapter on "Demonstration" is welcome; Glasser does us all a favor by examining the deeds of Jesus, throwing light not only on Christology, but also in the process, delivering missiological distinctiveness to the familiar offices of Christ by adding the role of "servant." The section on "Teacher-Trainer," based upon John 1-4, was an unexpected appearance. The discussion on "The Consolidation of Faith" was challenging; later in the book, though, I wondered about some possible backtracking from some of the biblical description of God's "dramatic answers" that deepens the faith of new disciples. Apart from that curiosity arriving admittedly retrospectively, the chapter concludes strong with the emphasis that Jesus intentionally mentored and prepared "the Twelve for leadership in the missionary community of the Kingdom- the church." I came away with fresh and renewed convictions regarding leadership development.
One location that I had great hope for disappointed me, and that regret was the description of "God's Kingdom Extends over the Powers" (ch. 21). Glasser presumably addresses some nameless Christian leaders regarding the notion of "power evangelism." (Peter Wagner? The late John Wimber?) My critique here is that 1) Glasser seems to have dodged any response to John 14:1-14, especially v. 14 (although Glasser has employed the same passage elsewhere to serve some other interesting ends!), and I remain wondering why, and 2) the same Paul Hiebert who wrote the Foreword to this book also authored the now famous paper "The Flaw of the Excluded Middle:" why, then, would Glasser explicitly articulate a rationale for keeping the "excluded middle" in evangelism? Granted, Hiebert was no fan of the "Signs and Wonders" crowd at Fuller, but he compassionately and intelligently argued for the biblical presence of the Holy Spirit and power in anyone's ministry! My reading of this section prompted the rereading of chapter 12, and I wondered why any "mature Christian" would now consider supernatural phenomenon for the "consolidating" of the faith of a new Christian, but exclude from their ministry of evangelism any participation or expectation of signs and wonders. Glasser is not a cessationist! But, the splitting of the availability of God's power by the author creates confusion.
This book is good, and I am sure that I will read it again. I would have liked to read Glasser's engagement with some later exegetes like Joel Green, N.T. Wright and Raymond Brown; my hunch is that Glasser's work would become bullet-proof. Those desires notwithstanding, this book will now jump up alongside the works of Ladd and Cullmann: it is that strong. There are some real gems in here, but I would assert that Glasser has served the Kingdom and us in a larger fashion by developing the theme of the Kingdom of God that runs throughout Scripture, and, hopefully, empower the People of God for participation in the missio Dei.