Archives For Missiology

 

Both Inspiring and Terrifying

A Review of

To All Nations From All Nations: A History of the Christian Missionary Movement
Carlos F. Cardoza-Orlandi and Justo L. González

Paperback: Abingdon Press, 2013
Buy now:  [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]

Reviewed by Douglas Connelly

 

I haven’t read widely in the story of Christian missions, but what I have read has focused on the modern missionary movement – 19th and 20th century evangelical Protestants, prompted by a compelling desire to preach the gospel to every person, going to Africa and Asia and Latin America with the message of Jesus’s saving grace.  Even as a boy, my parents put biographies of Adoniram Judson and William Carey and Hudson Taylor in my hands to bolster my vision of a world waiting to hear the good news.  (And if those names don’t ring any bells, you really need to read this book!)  So I picked up this new history of Christian missions expecting pretty much the same focus.  I was in for a surprise – and an education.

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Reexamining Paul’s Missiology in the 21st Century

 

A Feature Review of

Paul’s Missionary Methods: In His Time and Ours
Robert L. Plummer & John Mark Terry, editors

IVP Academic, 2012
Buy now:  [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]

 

Reviewed by Chris Schoon

 

There are two temptations when engaging works from a previous generation. The first is a persnickety tendency to elevate the perspectives of those with whom we resonate in a way that prevents us from seeing where their contributions leave room for further development. At the same time, we also face the temptation of a naïve ahistorical hubris that blindly critiques our predecessors for failing to fully conform to our common sensibilities. Such are the dual challenges faced by Plummer and Terry in Paul’s Missionary Methods, which celebrates, extends, and deepens conversations initiated by Roland Allen’s Missionary Methods 100 years ago.

 

For the past century, Allen’s Missionary Methods has served as one of the central introductory textbooks for exploring a biblical model of mission, catalyzing a wide range of New Testament studies and contextualized mission conversations in the process. Allen’s reflections have empowered several generations of New Testament scholars, missiologists, and practicing missionaries to take not only the words of the gospel seriously but also to carefully consider the manner in which the Apostle Paul carried out his calling. Drawing together a strong cohort of evangelical scholars and practitioners, Plummer and Terry’s editorial work reasserts Allen’s argument for seeing Paul as the “exemplary model not for us to blindly follow, but to appropriate and replicate intelligently.”(28)

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“How the church can, should and does practice
her mission in a post/late modern world

A review of
Walk Humbly with the Lord:
Church and Mission Engaging Plurality

Viggo Mortensen and Andreas Osterund Nielsen, eds.

Review by Stephen Lawson.


WALK HUMBLY WITH THE LORDWalk Humbly with the Lord:
Church and Mission Engaging Plurality

Viggo Mortensen and Andreas Osterund Nielsen, eds.
Paperback: Eerdmans, 2010.
Buy now: [ Amazon ]


Recently, Roman Catholics, Mainline Protestants and Evangelical Protestants jointly released the document “Christian Witness in a Multi Religious World” (go here to read about it and download), a kind of global code of conduct for mission and evangelism. This remarkable collaboration testifies to the increasing importance of mission. In ecumenical discussions, mission has gradually supplanted ecclesiology, providing more fruitful soil to till for dialogue. Moreover, mission has become increasingly important as the long and painful process of the disestablishment of the church from Christendom in the West continues, resulting in the rise of ‘missional’ churches. Even as the church dwindles in the West, mission expands in both practice and reflection in the two-thirds world (for example, in Liberation Theology).

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“Toward Radical Neighborliness

A review of

Missional: Joining God in the Neighborhood.
By Alan Roxburgh.

Review by Chris Smith.


MISSIONAL - Joining God in the Neighborhood - Alan RoxburghMissional: Joining God in the Neighborhood.
Alan Roxburgh.
Paperback: Baker Books, 2011.
Buy now: [ Amazon – Paperback ]
[ Amazon – Kindle ]

Alan Roxburgh, in his new book Missional: Joining God in the Neighborhood, sure knew how to stir up the fire of my inner critic.  Longtime readers of The Englewood Review will know that ecclesiology is pretty important to me, and that I regularly challenge a lack thereof in books I review here.  So, when Roxburgh launches into the first part of this new book, which he titles, “Why we have to stop thinking about the church,” you can bet that I was ready for a vehement reaction.  Even as I started reading this part of the book, I was still pretty skeptical of the way in which he wanted to de-emphasize the church and “church questions” in our following after God.  However, I continued to hear him build his case and began to see that he shared a deep love for the church, and actually in de-emphasizing the church, was naming a particular problem that is a pointed challenge for us at Englewood Christian Church, as I imagine it is at many other churches – viz., the pursuit of church as an end in itself and way of life together centered around attractional techniques.  This problem is epitomized in a conversation that Roxburgh recounts in the book:

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“The tension between our own
cultural narratives and those of the gospels

A review of
Culture, Inculturation, & Theologians:
A Postmodern Critique

By Gerald A. Arbuckle
.

Reviewed by Kevin Book-Satterlee.

Culture, Inculturation, & Theologians:
A Postmodern Critique

Gerald A. Arbuckle
.
Paperback: Liturgical Press, 2010.

Buy now: [ ChristianBook.com ]

Culture,  Inculturation, and Theologians: A Postmodern Critique Culture,  Inculturation, and Theologians- Gerald A. Arbuckle I happened to be walking down the dusty, pot-holed streets of Lusaka, Zambia.  The entourage of children surrounding me – a white, male North American – complete with the baby wrapped to my back like the local women was a spectacle.  I entered another culture, passionate for the Kingdom and gave hope to the disregarded.  Some would call this inculturation – living out the conviction of the Gospel within culture – but there for a short time, I did not inculturate the Gospel into those Lusaka streets.  I knew nothing of cultural sensitivity and despite making orphans smile, teenagers laugh and adults stare in disbelief, I did not truly present the Gospel to this culture.  Inculturation does not happen in this way.

Instead, my example of inculturation was a Zambian man who joined us in the parade of orphans.  He did not wear an orphan strapped to his back like I did, but he did demonstrate God’s love for children and God’s preferential option for the poor.  This man, against cultural norms, paid attention to the orphans and cared for them.  His is an example of legitimate inculturation.

Gerald Arbuckle, in his book, Culture, Inculturation and Theologians:  A Postmodern Critique, writes, “In the drama of inculturation people are telling their stories of what it means for them to wrestle with the tension between their own cultural narratives and those of the gospels.” (183)  Inculturation is the truth of the Gospel interacting in culture.  Furthermore, culture is not static; therefore inculturation does not happen in a predetermined, lifeless environment.  The premise of Arbuckle’s book is to debunk the legend of the modernist fixed culture, and to create space for dynamic inculturation of the Gospel.

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The bread-n-butter of our bookstore business is the sale of used books, and we do a fair amount of scouting around for used books each week. In this section we feature some of the interesting books that we have found in the past week. Generally, we will only have a single copy of these books, so if you want one (or more) of them, you’ll need to respond quickly.

 

The Great Starvation Experiment: 
The Heroic Men Who Starved So That Millions Could Live.
Todd Tucker.  Hardcover.  Free Press. 2007.
Very Good Condition. Clean pages, minimal wear.
Buy now from: [ Doulos Christou Books $8]

 

Highlights of Christian Mission:
A History and Survey.
Harold Cook.

Hardcover. Moody Press. 1971 Printing.
Very Good Condition. Clean pages, minimal wear.

Buy now from: [ Doulos Christou Books $7 ]

 

Religious Ethics and Pastoral Care.
Don Browning.
Paperback. Fortress Press. 1983.
Good Condition. Mostly clean pages, minimal/moderate wear.

Buy now from: [ Doulos Christou Books $3 ]