Until I've done much more study on the subject, I reserve judgment on the issue of just how much and to what extent, if any, the incarnation may be a model of missional ministry for the Church. However I agree with Billings' assessment that most of what has been written on it just points to the incarnation as a pattern for us to follow rather than showing from Scripture that it is meant to be one. And certainly the majority of the New Testament's references to believers imitating Christ or following him refer to his love manifested in self-giving sacrifice for others and obedience to the Father rather than some other aspect of his life or ministry.
All in all, I very much enjoyed Billings' book on an oft neglected but recently renewed area of study for Christian theology. My review was originally posted here.
But if you bump over to Baker, be sure to check out this new book on hermeneutics by Craig Bartholomew. There is a long list of scholars who have praised this new work. Here is just one such blurb from Christopher J.H. Wright:
"A magisterial textbook, but much more than a textbook. Every aspect of biblical hermeneutics is thoroughly explored in a readable, engaging, and stimulating manner. The real joy of the book, however, lies in the subtitle: 'for hearing God in Scripture.' This transforms the hermeneutical task from an exercise between a reader and an object (the Bible) to an encounter between a listener and a person (God). The former requires good and proper methods, tools, and wisdom, all of which matter greatly. The latter calls for response, faith, repentance, and obedience, all of which matter even more. Bartholomew not only explains both dimensions but also models them again and again. From the subtitle on the opening page, we move in a fitting way to the closing chapter on preaching the Bible. For if the ecclesial context of authentic biblical hermeneutics is crucial, then the church needs to know again the story we are in, which requires renewed commitment to preaching the whole counsel of God from the whole canon of Scripture. This book provides ample resources for just such a challenge."Sounds good. I can't wait for it to arrive, sometime around April 25, if Amazon is to be believed!