by Book Authors
Miraim Adeney, Harvie, Samuel Wilson and Edward R. Dayton, David Hesselgrave, Robertson McQuilken, C. Peter Wagner and Donald McGavran talk about their books.
God’s Foreign Policy: Practical Ways to Help the World’s Poor (Eerdmans)
"I’m in pain," a Filipino woman grimaced one day as we threaded our way between bamboo houses.
"What’s the trouble?"
"Masakit ang puson ko," she murmured. "Urinary tract infection."
"Can’t you get medicine”
"Yes, I’m saving money from our catch every day, So, in 24 days I’ll have enough for the pills."
My sister. Subject to an indignity of pain and waiting that I would never tolerate.
"Love your neighbor," What does that mean internationally?
In 1980, when I began a book on that subject (God’s Foreign Policy: Practical Ways to Help the World’s Poor, Eerdmans), I was doing short-term consulting work in the Philippines, where I had lived previously. Back home in Seattle, however, I faced American dilemmas: Which Lego sets and transformers should I buy for my small son? Should I get a computer? Remodel our old bathroom? Take out dental insurance?
Still another ingredient bubbled in the pot. As an anthropologist, I conducted cross-cultural orientation for American Christians heading overseas to work with relief and development programs. We wrestled with culturally different work rhythms. Our American emphasis on youth, modernity, and progress, versus some others’ emphasis on age and tradition. Our frankness, versus others’ euphemisms. Different economic resources.
Eventually this brew boiled over into a book. I sat down to my 25-year-old manual Olympia and sifted the gold in Practical Anthropology—Jacob Loewen, William Smalley, William Reyburn, Eugene Nida—for applications in economic development. Woodpeckers and robins flitted outside my office window. Joel David grew in my womb, and then Michael Wilberforce. As my middle expanded, contracted, expanded, the medics in my classes at Regent College in Canada-a four-hour commute-hovered solicitously. I peered at microfilm pages of the "New York Times." I spoke at medical conferences. I stayed, with refugee friends. I scratched my forehead over the dynamic power imbalances and Marxist challenges that force us missionary anthropologists beyond Practical Anthropology. I reset the time bombs of empty little tummies. And returned to my Olympia.
So God’s Foreign Policy emerged.
The chapters include:
"Health Care: Helping People Survive" "Agriculture: Helping People Feed Themselves" "Business: Helping People Support Themselves" "Politics: Helping People Fight Oppression" "Refugees: Helping People Take Root" "The Kingdom of God: A Treasury of Cultures" "American Alternatives: Where to Begin"
The book raises some tough questions about specific Christian development projects. Yet, whereas some books treat the reader to a torrent of woes-famines, overpopulation, urbanization, revolutions, government and corporate shenanigans-and then conclude: "Nevertheless, give!" God’s Foreign Policy provides several positive cases of development projects. The reader doesn’t need to throw his money down a hole. Instead, he learns how to identify factors that contribute to projects that work, projects that make sense. He can relate holistically and as a Christian to world news. Community development in poor countries can be obedience to a biblical command. It can also be a sound, successful investment. And the reader can be part of it without leaving home.
Of course, evangelism remains primary. It is in Christ, and uniquely in Christ, that God has most fully revealed himself. It is by relationship with God through Christ that people poor and rich find their deepest hungers met, find the surest prescription for health and wholeness. Evangelism is urgent. This hook does not minimize, but rather complements, that vital concern. It explores our response to other areas of God’s world where we have had less teaching, yet where we must act.
Who is the book for? For American Christians overseas. And for Americans who stay home-pastors, lay people, mission committee members. For all who are impelled to love God and their neighbors.
Today there is a renewed pride in being American. There is relief that our economy has bounced back. Joy like this is good. Woe be to us, however, if our own economic concerns, our own national strength, should become an idol. God would not hold us guiltless.
"Love your neighbor." What does that mean internationally? Because we have voted for a strong America, we dare not cold-shoulder that question.
This book helps us answer it.
Eternal Word and Changing Worlds (Zondervan)
Why does anybody write at all? Frustration over something not yet said. Or, over something not said in the way you would like to try to say it.
My frustrations began midway through 12 years of ministry as an evangelist and teacher in Korea. I had been involved in intensive work among that country’s 56,000 prostitutes-running Bible classes in the brothels, using standard methods of evangelism used in my pastorate in southern New Jersey. The gospel was the gospel everywhere. My student years in a solid, Bible-believing seminary had assured me of that.
But no one responded to the pictures of the "gospel bridge," or to the verses constructed around the A-B-C acronym. Two things had to change before we saw over 300 girls come to Christ in a seven-year period. I changed the message and God changed me.
I began to use the book of Hosea for my long-standing four-week sessions with the girls. I discovered practically what a study of Eugene Nida would later put labels on: "Receptors" are crucial in the process of creating "meaning" bridges between Hosea’s day and our own.
Another component of the communication process changed about the same time. Nida calls it the gospel "sender." In this case the "sender" was really a middle-class foreign missionary of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church in Korea who saw prostitutes only as sinners (not only in the biblical sense but also in the middle-class sense of someone who needed a moral overhaul).
I walked into a brothel one day where the oldest girl was 16 years of age and the youngest about 13-the age of our oldest girl. I was overwhelmed and all I could do was ask in pain, "How did you get here?" When the girls finished teaching me, I had learned that sinners were at the same time also the sinned against. My middle-class values had been struck a hard blow. Now I began to minister with compassion as well as boldness. My experiences in working with beggar boys and lepers completed this part of the educational process.
I returned to a teaching career in missions at the school I had left 14 years before. Graduate studies in the anthropology of religion reinforced my street experiences and gave them technical vocabulary-changing cultural systems, self-awareness, contextualization. I found theology to be less and less the abstract library activity of the specialist.
Cornelius Van Til had taught me how much theology had been shaped by philosophy gone wrong. Now I began to add to his list of influences those of sociology and cultural anthropology. The theological world was getting more complicated than I had ever thought.
There were other frustrations and stimulations-students who went to the mission field without background in communications theory and anthropology; monocultural theology instructors; participation in the Willow-bank Consultation in 1978; and preparation to give the church growth lectures at Fuller Seminary in 1980 (about half the book represents the material of those lectures).
The growing size of the non-Christian world and the shift of the church from the northern to the southern hemisphere were reminders that theology had to recover its multi-cultural evangelistic intentions, Charles Kraft’s 1979 magnum opus, Christianity in Culture, was a stimulus. As I wrote, I constantly found myself stopping to ask, "How can I encourage my brothers and sisters to take risks in hope and, at the same time, keep their theological scalps?" The result was Eternal Word and Changing Worlds (Zondervan).
How can the book be used in a classroom? The first five chapters might provide a good outline for a history of applied missionary anthropology, supplemented by readings in the primary sources referred to throughout the volume. Chapters 4-6 could be integrated with a course on contextual theology-perhaps as an introduction to it. Chapter 7 on theological education wrestles with the ways in which our models for training sometimes go wrong. It would fit well in a course in leadership training.
Will the book change anything? I wish it would. But I think of Edward Carnell’s comments in the preface to the fourth edition of An Introduction to Christian Apologetics. He writes, "The book has not disturbed as much as one acre of real estate, let alone moving the world. . . No longer anticipating fame and renown from his work, the author is content just to come out even."
That’s me. In the language of Annie Dillard, I have already separated myself from this work: "A book you made isn’t you any more than is a chair you made, or a soup. It’s just something you made once. If you ever want to make another one, it, too, will be just another hat in the ring, another widow’s mite, another broken offering which God has long understood is the best we humans can do-we’re forgiven in advance."
Brothers and sisters, enjoy your reading. As for me, I’m anxious to go on, I have miles to go before I sleep. And promises to keep. And sunrises to see while I still can.
The Future of World Evangelization: Unreached Peoples ’84 (MARC)
Samuel Wilson and Edward R. Dayton
Ten years have passed since the International Congress on World Evangelization. It is time for a review and assessment. (The Future of World Evangelization: Unreached Peoples ’84, MARC).
After Lausanne, almost reluctantly, a committee had been formed. It had agreed to meet and review its work to decide whether the results merited continuing. The meeting had been held, and the answer was a resounding Yes! The most disparate opinions and a whole range of questions were common among observers and participants alike. Not surprisingly, in an almost unorganized volunteer movement working out of homes scattered around the globe, few knew the full scope of the developing movement. Whole regions were unfamiliar with the name Lausanne, or LCWE. It was time to tell the story through the people involved.
Those of us who were close enough to accomplishments and activities knew that there was a story worth telling. It would best be told in the words of those whom the Lord had used.
Far and away the grandest contribution of the congress and its continuation was the Lausanne Covenant itself. Inherently, it is a well-balanced, clear, and substantive theological statement that has proven its relevance to what the sovereign Spirit is doing in world evangelization. In an age soured on the idea of organizational unity, and fractioned by exported Western -corporate divisions masquerading as theological conviction, the covenant provides a basis of understanding and cooperation without institutional bonds.
Thus we chose to make the pertinent paragraphs from the covenant itself the organizing feature of the book. The day this became clear was a real breakthrough in the development of the book.
We intend for the reader to follow the history of the Lausanne movement and to evaluate it in terms of how well it has or has not lived up to the covenant’s grand vision. Whoever reads would do well to evaluate his or her own ministry in the same light.
The challenge of the past is also the challenge of the future. As we wrote, we knew that the possibility of a second International Congress on World Evangelization was very much on the horizon. It was with the hope of exciting people about possible futures that we strove to interpret the past. Now that a second ICOWE is being planned, the book becomes all the more significant in interpreting what God might do in the future, Classes in contemporary history of world evangelization or missiology should find it an unmatched and essential resource.
Counseling Cross-Culturally (Baker)
There were just enough years between our three children to minimize sibling rivalry and reduce the number of quarrels. But I remember one instance when our second son hit our young daughter. I confronted him with the obvious question: "Why did you do that?" He was speechless-perhaps because he was frightened, or perhaps because he couldn’t sort out all the reasons on a moment’s notice.
What motivated me to write Counseling Cross-Culturally (Baker)? An accumulation of experiences and impressions over many years-some of them gathered during almost 20 years of pastoral and missionary ministry; some coming from an equal number of years in seminary teaching.
My educational background equipped me fairly well for three years each in rural and inner city pastoral ministries, since neither situation called for working with more than a few representatives of ethnic communities. Pioneer church planting in Japan presented quite a different challenge. There I found myself counseling constantly, often in critical situations and always with cultural overtones which I could discern only superficially, if at all. Even now, 20 or 30 years later, I sometimes awaken at night with the vivid recollection of being called on to help administer electric shock therapy; to minister to a grief-stricken family just bereft of husband and father; to advise a new Christian family concerning spirit worship; to counsel partners in the disintegration of an inter-racial marriage. What sometimes disturbs my sleep is a realization that, even though I counseled in good faith, I sometimes erred and with disastrous results.
When the Lord directed me into teaching missions, I began evaluating missionary preparation in a new light. Among other things I realized that though pastoral psychology and counseling were emphasized, missionary psychology and counseling had not even been conceived. It -was not in our catalogue, nor was it in the catalogue of any other seminary I investigated. Finally, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School introduced a seminar, which I had the privilege of team-teaching with Gary Collins (and later with other psychologists on our staff). Very gradually integration came by dint of great effort.
Upon the publication of Communicating Christ Cross-Culturally and the completion of the Planting Churches Cross-Culturally manuscript, I experienced the final prods to producing a text on cross-cultural counseling. Some were negative: a growing secular bibliography with no Christian books on the subject; the encounter with translations of Western texts on counseling in Latin America and Asia; the frustrations of students called upon to minister to Vietnamese and other ethnics. Some were positive: a resident psychologist and counselor who would work with me; the encouragement of doctoral students with great interest in the area; the challenge to pioneer and help fill a lacuna in the literature and in ministry education.
Thus, the third book of a trilogy in cross-cultural studies was conceived and brought to birth: Counseling Cross-Culturally. In it I attempt to provide a background to the subject. The central portion is given to the development of a theoretical approach based on Kluckhohn and Murray’s famous dictum that every person is in some respects like all others (human universals), like some others (cultural similarities), and like no other (individual uniqueness). The last section is devoted to case study-vignettes from a variety of cultures.
The book is first and foremost a textbook. My hope is that it will be used in the curricula of both psychology and counseling and mission departments of our Christian schools, so that all who will be engaged in Christian counseling at home and abroad will become sensitive to the all-important role that culture plays in effective counseling. At the same time, I trust that many who are currently involved in counseling the culturally different will read it and profit by it.
Taking the long view, it may be that Counseling Cross-Culturally will serve as a prod to more integration of counseling theory with mission theory and practice, and to the initiation of new courses team-taught by experts in psychology and counseling and cross-cultural studies.
A new and important discipline has already been introduced into secular colleges and universities: cross-cultural counseling. In view of the fact that in our Christian schools we are training young people for the most important cross-cultural task in the world, it is my prayer that Christian institutions will not long lag behind in providing this important training.
The Great Omission: A Biblical Basis for World Evangelism (Baker)
How come?" the voice rang out from the very back of the auditorium. I had just described the world evangelism situation for a group of Urbana students, I had relayed the fact that more than half the world’s people not only have never heard the good news of life in Christ; they cannot hear ‘because there is no witnessing church among them. At the same time, I had briefly outlined the data on the pitifully few who had even attempted to reach those unreached.
"How come what?" I asked.
The voice from the back of the auditorium rang out again. "With, so many unreached people, how come so few are going?"
"That is a very good question," I said. "In fact, I know someone who asks that question every day."
"Who’s that?" queried the student at the back of the auditorium.
As I lifted my eyes and gestured heavenward, a hush settled over the audience of several hundred collegians. Indeed, how come? The question has haunted me ever since. And that gave me the theme for this little book, a tract for the interested but uncommitted (The Great Omission: A Biblical Basis for World Evangelism, Baker).
The Great Omission is not a lament over the church’s failure for 2000 years to obey Christ’s last command. Rather, it is an effort to move young adults beyond interest and concern to involvement. And not half-hearted or temporary involvement. Rather, my aim is to enlist for total-life involvement.
The book comes from 16 years of interaction with young adults, seeking to participate in "thrusting out laborers into the harvest field." I have been thrilled with the way God’s Spirit seems to be moving among young adults to become world-oriented in their outlook. At the same time, I have been dismayed to see how few actually get to the field and stay there.
As I spoke to young adults in churches and schools and interacted with them, it became increasingly apparent that many were indeed "willing to go but planning to stay." Gradually I focused in on five major hindrances to total-life involvement as Great Commission disciples. These constitute the five chapters of the book. I also discovered 17 common hang-ups and have noted these briefly in the appendix.
The enemy’s great blockades in the lives of those whom God would call to join in completing the task of world evangelization are, in my judgment, ignorance of Bible teaching on the subject, self-orientation in the frightening new "duty-to-self ethic," disbelief that people who have not heard of Christ are actually lost, weakness through prayerlessness, and confusion about guidance and "call."
When Dick VanHalsema asked me to give the 12th annual Baker Mission Lectures at Reformed Bible College in 1983, I felt this would prove a good opportunity to pull together a challenge for young adults in these crucial areas.
How can the book best be used? Perhaps it would serve a useful function as collateral reading in introductory missions courses to help enlist the uncommitted and half-committed, as well as to reinforce the motivation of those who are already committed. I trust that mission recruiters will find it a valuable asset on campuses, and pastors and youth leaders will discover a valuable asset for recruiting young adults in the local church.
On the Crest of the Wave: Becoming a World Christian (Regal)
C. Peter Wagner
We live at a time when Christian mission activity far surpasses anything previously known. There have been other times during which the spirit of missions was high in the Western churches, Bui-today three elements have been added that make our days unique: (1) a sharp rise in the foreign missions activity of churches in the Third World; (2) an unprecedented harvest in many places resulting in dramatic church growth; and (3) an explosion of missiological knowledge that is measurably increasing the effectiveness of our worldwide missionary force.
Recognizing this positive climate for missions, I felt that I could write a book which might make a helpful contribution to the cause (On the Crest of the Wave: Becoming a World Christian, Regal), In it I would try to increase the motivation for world evangelization among Christian people by providing them concise, practical information about what God is doing in the world today, I determined to make the book positive, because I have come to feel that reporting God’s work is more effective for Christian ministry than reporting Satan’s work. Furthermore, I believe that God spoke to me about four years ago and told me to avoid polemics.
My approach to accomplish that objective was first of all to let the reader know what is happening in the world out there. It encourages people because it lets them know that missionaries have been effective, that their money has been well spent, and that their prayers have been answered.
Following an upbeat introductory chapter, I felt there were several things that needed to be included. One was a chapter on the theology of missions, discussing not only biblical reasons for motivating world Christians to become involved in missions, but also the touchy issue of the relationship of evangelism to social responsibility. My argument follows the Lausanne Covenant by prioritizing the evangelistic mandate while not neglecting the social dimension. Because I hold a high view of the body of Christ, the role of spiritual gifts in missionary work needed to be developed in another chapter. I feel that while all believers ought to be world Christians, not all are called to be missionaries.
Then I sense that world Christians want to know just how the missionary enterprise is actually run. What makes it tick? Thus, I included a chapter on structures and organizations, another on the role of the home churches, and another on how strategy is planned once missionaries get to the field. I then discuss some of the more lively missiological topics of the day, such as contextualization, theological education by extension, research methodology, short-term service, and Third World missions.
For the first time in any of my books, I have included a chapter on the relationship of supernatural signs and wonders to the worldwide spread of the gospel. My attempt here is to deal with phenomena such as healing the sick and casting out demons in a straightline evangelical context that is non-Pentecostal and non-charismatic, although my research data comes almost entirely from Pentecostal and charismatic sources. I believe we have now entered into what I like to call the "Third Wave" of the extraordinary power of the Holy Spirit in the 20th century, and that this power may turn out to be the most important ingredient for fulfilling the Great Commission in our generation.
Momentous Decisions in Missions Today (Baker)
Today, and increasingly tomorrow, world evangelization faces tremendous changes in the world. To meet them one must make tremendous decisions. The old world in which universal education, scientific advance, military power, and international significance largely rested in Europe and North America has disappeared. Today the United Nations bears eloquent testimony to the fact that the political order now consists of more than 160 nations, each of which believes itself to be the equal of other nations. It may be poorer, famine may stalk its roads and fields. It may be largely illiterate, but it is equal. In the old world missionaries obtained visas to most countries without too much difficulty. In the new world visas are increasingly denied to missionries from any land.
In the old world there were relatively few, if any, nationals who were college or even high school graduates. Few had traveled abroad. Few had any scientific expertise. Today, and tomorrow, all nations will have large numbers of highly educated men and women the equal of any in Europe and North America.
Missions today-whether from East or West makes little difference-must obey the Great Commission in the new world facing these new conditions. Therefore, the time-honored and workable ways of living, witnessing, and winning must be amended to make them more effective. New ways of working which do disciple individuals and groups in this new world must be devised. These will require momentous decisions. They will shake any missionary society to its core.
The new ways of working may not multiply congregations of the redeemed. They may suit the new conditions, but win no disciples. Therefore, it needs to be said as convincingly as possible that the momentous decisions must not only fit the new conditions, but must find and fold many of God’s lost children. The new methods must not merely reach the unreached peoples, but must multiply among them sound, Spirit-filled congregations and denominations. We must be faithful to God our heavenly Father who wants his lost children found.
Bearing these things in mind, my new book Momentous Decisions in Missions Today (Baker) presents in 26 chapters various aspects of these momentous decisions. Nine chapters discuss theological decisions. Five chapters discuss sociological conditions. Three chapters discuss church-mission decisions, and nine chapters discuss strategic decisions.
The following chapter titles indicate the spread of subjects covered:
"God’s Total Purpose and World Evangelization" "The Hottest Race Issue in the World" "Unchain Missionary Societies" "The Entrepreneur in Modern Missions"
All the momentous decisions required today have not, to be sure, been recounted. Nevertheless, enough have been so that all those interested in effective mission in the last 15 years of the twentieth century will be eager to read this book and let their minds soar.
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