Anachronism and Adventurism: Recent Mission Trends

Article by Raymond DeHainaut

Since the early 1960’s I have served as a missionary in four Latin American countries, and during that time I have become increasingly concerned about burgeoning missionary activity that is reminiscent of 19th century attitudes and borders on adventurism. Some of those involved in the trend among denominations to send more and more full-time missionaries …

Baptism in the Indian Context — An Event of Separation or Human Solidarity?

Article by David C. Scott

Introduction One of the ironies of virtually all religious traditions is that the power which draws and holds members together in religious community seems to be matched by an equal and opposite compulsion to exclude non-members. In the case of Christianity it is obvious that the checkered history of the universal Church has led many …

Chapter 2: Church and Mission  in  Edinburgh to Salvador: Twentieth Century Ecumenical Missiology

Book Chapter by T.V. Philip

In the beginning, there was a separation between church and mission giving a disastrous consequence to both. In the beginning, the mission was considered to be from East to West; there were problems relating to the trinity; their were problems relating to the younger churches. The growth of mission was dependent up the solution of these and other problems

Chapter 3: Towards a Theology of Mission in Asia  in  Liberative Solidarity: Contemporary Perspectives on Mission

Book Chapter by K. C. Abraham

When mission is directed towards the organization of the poor or when it has resulted in creating a new consciousness among the oppressed about their rights, then in India it is accused as being anti-national. We have two choices: to take seriously the subversive character of mission and face its consequence, or to carry on with activities — charitable, developmental, and others — which will not cause any tremor in the existing system of things.

Chapter 4: World, Mission, and Church  in  Edinburgh to Salvador: Twentieth Century Ecumenical Missiology

Book Chapter by T.V. Philip

Mission discovered the church between 1919 and 1960, but the next twenty years saw the church discovering the world as the locus of its life and mission. The missionary movement was very slow in recognizing the importance of the secular world in its thinking, but thanks to great theologians such as Bonhoffer and others it became clear that the church’s nature and function needed to be rethought in relation to God’s concern for the whole world.

Chapter 7: From Diakonia to Political Responsibility  in  Liberative Solidarity: Contemporary Perspectives on Mission

Book Chapter by K. C. Abraham

The Church is called to strengthen the secular/civil base of politics, to deepen its commitment to the poor and marginalised, ensuring justice for all, especially the weaker sections, to give a prophetic criticism against the government when it perpetuates violence and oppression, to join with others in evolving a paradigm of development that is ecologically sound.

Chapter 8: A Theological Response to the<b> </b>Ecological Crisis  in  Liberative Solidarity: Contemporary Perspectives on Mission

Book Chapter by K. C. Abraham

1. The connection between economic exploitation and environmental degradation is seen clearly in the deforestation issue. 2. Unjust treatment of the planet by humans is one of the principal causes of the ecological crisis. 3. The uneven distribution, control and use of natural resources are serious justice issues. 4. The fast depletion of the natural (non-renewable) resources today raises the question of our responsibility to future generations.

Communication and Mission

Article by Carlos A. Valle

1 The notion that we are in a ‘post’ era – post-modern, post-industrial, post-ideological, post-confessional and many more – is one way of giving a name to the profound changes that have taken place in our world. The 1960s and 1970s were permeated by optimistic expectations that were soon frustrated. One could mention, for example, …

Conversion and its Discontents

Article by J. Jayakiran Sebastian

  Introduction: Locating Conversion “Introspection about their own location in society has not been too common among Indian historians. Our historiographical essays tend to become bibliographies, surveys of trends or movements within the academic guild. They turn around debates about assumptions, methods, ideological positions. …” Although there are studies focusing on conversion as a dislocation, …

Crisis in Overseas Mission: Shall We Leave It to the Independents?

Article by Richard G. Hutcheson, Jr.

In no area of church life is the contemporary confrontation between mainline liberals and the increasingly powerful evangelicals more troublesome than in overseas mission. Missiologist David I. Bosch suggests that the international mission movement today is in "a crisis more radical and extensive than anything the church has ever faced in [its] history." He analyzes …

From ‘Liberation’ to ‘Exile’: A New Image for Church Mission

Article by Ephraim Radner

For many socially responsible seminarians in the late 1970s, liberation theology was the only show in town, the only show in a culture that seemed unwilling even to consider the social challenges of the gospel. Those of us who were uneasy with the simplistic and politically rote conclusions to which liberation theology gave rise had …

Global Christianity and the Re-education of the West

Article by Lamin Sanneh

Church History has generally been defined by a Western perspective. What European Christians have thought and done has been considered superior to what Christians elsewhere have thought and done. Chronology has generally been subservient to biography, and biography has been subservient to dogma and theory, especially when the dogma and theory confirm the idea of …

Global Gospel: Christianity is Alive and Well in the Southern Hemisphere

Article by Sara Miller

Christians throughout history may be justly accused of many failures, but it appears neglecting evangelism is not one of them. Observers of Christian growth have been suggesting over the last few decades that the faith is experiencing a significant migratory moment, not unlike the first explosive venture outside the tribe of the Jews into the …

Indonesia: World Mission Policy

Article by Rev. Sularso Sopater

An Indonesian Contribution for Discussion     I. How to Understand Mission Generally in our Christian tradition we can observe different understanding of mission. First: traditional understanding, which is seemingly closer to the literal meaning of the word, i.e., proclamation of the Biblical good news (=euanggelion), witnessing, soul-winning, bringing people to Christ, propagation of Christian …

Interreligious Encounter and the Problem of Salvation

Article by John Moffitt

Two types of contemporary Christian lay-people and religious are, along with theologians, concerned with problems arising out of today’s encounter among religions. One type represents the average practicing Christian, largely uninformed about the content of the several world faiths; the other, a more inquiring Christian sincerely interested in seeing some sort of rapprochement among believers …

Introduction, by Benjamin F. Gutierrez  in  In the Power of the Spirit

Book Chapter by Dennis A. Smith and B.F. Gutierrez (eds.)

Benjamin Gutiérez, a pastor in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), was a mission worker in Ecuador and Mexico. For the last 22 years he has been responsible for Presbyterian Church (USA) relationships with Latin America and the Caribbean, and since 1988, he has been area coordinator for South America. This introductory chapter appeared in In the …

Liberative Solidarity: Contemporary Perspectives on Mission

Book by K. C. Abraham

(ENTIRE BOOK) Traditional patterns of mission fail to see the emerging needs and challenges of the Third World — endemic poverty, marginalisation, ecological destruction, and globalisation.. The author suggests new paradigms to do theology and to formulate response in mission in the face of these grave realities. He shows that commitment to life affirming values and structures are integral to obedience to Christ, who lived "in solidarity" with the oppressed humanity.

Listen to the Voices: Re-Examining the Creation of Mission Goals

Article by Mary Schaller Blaufuss

A. Introduction Mission theory is an important, yet neglected sphere in the Modern Missionary Movement. Intentional reflection on the “foundation, motives and aim, and the nature of mission” has not been an integral component of modern missions.1 Now, at the turn of the twenty-first century, we are aware of the need to navigate a complex …

Missiology in a Pluralistic World: The Place of Mission Study in Theological Education

Article by Lalsangkima Pachuau

  Although the study of Christian mission or missiology has begun to appear in theological academia more than a century ago,[1] this field of study did not become an established discipline for a long time. Even today, the field has not been given its due recognition in many institutions around the world. Differences in the …

Mission in Mexico

Article by Lynda K. Barrow

The woman sitting next to me on a five-hour bus ride from Puebla to Oaxaca, Mexico, opened her Bible to the "Segunda Epístola de San Pedro Apóstol" — 2 Peter. The "1" of the first chapter was circled and various verses were underlined. This was a well-used Bible. I asked, "¿Es cristiana?" She nodded and …

Missions and the Translatable Gospel

Article by John B. Carman

Book Review: Translating the Message: The Missionary Impact on Culture, by Lamin Sanneh. Orbis, 310 pp., $17.95 paperback. Whether they approve or disapprove, both Christian theologians and secular historians tend to understand missions as the exporting of Western Christianity to the Third World. Lamin Sanneh, professor of missions and world Christianity at Yale Divinity School, …

Pluralism and Consensus: Why Mainline Church Mission Budgets Are in Trouble

Article by Richard G. Hutcheson, Jr.

The good news was headlined in an October 1976 news release: “Increased Church Giving Reported by National Council of Churches.” The average member in 42 denominations gave a record $137.09 to the church in 1975. The bad news was tucked away three paragraphs down: when adjusted to 1976 dollars (to compensate for inflation) the average …

Religious Liberty in Contemporary India

Article by Sathianathan Clarke

India is not a nation but a complex secular civilization. Its demography tells part of its impressive story. The 687.6 million Hindus of innumerable sects, 101.6 million Muslims (making India the third largest Muslim-populated country), 19.6 million Christians, 6.3 million Buddhists, 3.3 million Jams and 3.1 million people of other persuasions (according to the 1991 …

Selected Bibliography  in  Edinburgh to Salvador: Twentieth Century Ecumenical Missiology

Book Chapter by T.V. Philip

Select Bibliography Anderson, Wilhelm, Towards a Theology of Missions, London, SCM Press, 1955. Ariarajah, Wesley. S, Gospel and Culture: An On going Discussion Within the Ecumenical Movement, Geneva, WCC, 1994. Baker, Archibald. C., Christian Missions and a New World Culture, New York, Willett, Clark and Company, 1934. Bangkok Assembly 1963: Minutes and Report of the …

Short-Term Mission Trips

Article by Paul Jeffrey

After hurricane Mitch devastated Central America in 1998, hundreds of volunteer mission teams descended on Nicaragua and Honduras. Many came from churches in the United States. At times the region’s threadbare airports were filled with herds of North Americans wearing T-shirts with slogans like “Jesus for Honduras,” “Mission to Nicaragua 2000” and “Christ Loves Central …

Still Untouchable: The Politics of Religious Conversion

Article by Vatsala Vedantam

In their long struggle for equality, India’s dalits, or “untouchables,” have often exchanged their Hinduism for Islam, Christianity, Sikhism or Buddhism, believing that they will better their lives by doing so. They have been persuaded that Hinduism, with its varna ashramas (caste distinctions), has been solely responsible for all their ills. But when they switch …

Teaching Values in South India: An Experiment in Education

Article by Max L. Stackhouse

In 1986 India’s department of education issued a remarkable document that acknowledged, among other things, that “India’s political and social life is passing through a phase which poses the danger of erosion [of] long-accepted values. Not only are the young ignorant of, and often contemptuous of, ancient Hindu visions of life, but the ‘modern’ values …

Tensions Beset Church of South India

Article by Max L. Stackhouse

When the Church of South India was formed shortly after World War II out of the various mainline denominational churches established by Western missionaries in the previous century, the entire ecclesiastical world celebrated. Here, quite possibly, was the beginning of the reunification of the fragmented body of Christ. The Western Protestant experience, which included church …

The Challenge to Theological Education

Article by John B. Cobb, Jr.

            Our meeting here could be an historic event.  It could be the beginning of a different kind of self-reflection by schools of theology, and of a process of thoughtful self-transformation.  Such a development among schools of theology could encourage similar changes in churches and even in universities.               Of course, our gathering is …

The Church as a Global Society

Article by Timothy M. Njoya

The Church’s Governance–Deficiency Syndrome The first thing Christianity did in Africa was to make people surrender their sovereignty to church hierarchies and governments. African dictators did not learn any lessons in democracy from the way churches were established, like fiefdoms. Christianity brought to Africa nothing of the modernization, democracy and industrial revolution that the missionaries …

The Evangelical Groundswell in Latin America

Article by Guillermo Cook

BOOK REVIEWS: Tongues of Fire: The Explosion of Protestantism in Latin America. By David Martin. Blackwell, 352 pp., $29.95. Is Latin America Turning Protestant? The Politics of Evangelical Growth. By David Stoll. University of California Press, 399 pp., $24.95. Crisis in Latin America: An Evangelical Perspective. By Emilio A. Núñez C. and William D. Taylor. …

The Expansion of Christianity: An Interview with Andrew Walls

Article by Andrew Walls

A former missionary to Sierra Leone and Nigeria, Andrew Walls taught for many years at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland. He is founder-director of the Centre for the Study of Christianity in the Non-Western World at the University of Edinburgh, and founding editor of the Journal of Religion in Africa. He recently wrote The …

The Protestant Church in the People’s Republic of China

Article by Don Browning

The new policy of China’s Communist Party toward religion is everywhere visible to the foreign visitor. After being closed during the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976) , Buddhist and Taoist temples are being opened and restored, and tourists are allowed — indeed, strongly encouraged — to visit them, especially the more spectacular ones. Monks are coming back …

The Theological Challenge of Globalization

Article by Max L. Stackhouse

Globalization is a term frequently encountered in theological circles these days. It arises from the recognition that the world is shrinking, and that tomorrow’s clergy and communities of faith will encounter a new dimension of pluralism. Cross-cultural experiences of a radical kind are increasingly a part of our everyday experience. Globalization is in this sense …

World Mission Today

Article by Preman D. Niles

The term ‘world mission’ is of rather recent origin. It is used to refer to both local and global mission, i.e., every place where the church meets the world. There are two prevalent attitudes to world mission today. Both are inadequate. One attitude is to give up on world mission altogether, saying that the era …