by A. Scott Moreau, Gary R. Corwin and Gary B. McGee
Finding a contemporary, comprehensive, general introductory text on world missions that speaks directly to today’s generation of potential Christian workers is difficult. Moreau, Corwin and McGee, three missions scholars representing the academic, editorial and mission agency worlds, have collaborated to make that task much easier.
Baker Book House, P.O. Box 6287, Grand Rapids, MI 49516-6287, 2004, 349 pages, $20.99.
—Reviewed by Tom Steffen, professor of intercultural studies and director of the D.Miss. program at the School of Intercultural Studies, Biola University, La Mirada, California.
Finding a contemporary, comprehensive, general introductory text on world missions that speaks directly to today’s generation of potential Christian workers is difficult. Moreau, Corwin and McGee, three missions scholars representing the academic, editorial and mission agency worlds, have collaborated to make that task much easier. Introducing World Missions, a general introduction to contemporary missions written for prospective missionaries and those that serve missions in other capacities, adds significantly to missions literature.
The book, first of a projected series of eight evangelical missions texts, divides into five parts. Part One, Encountering Mission in the Scriptures, identifies the evangelistic mandate to win the lost to Christ as the core of any theology of mission. Encountering Missions in History, Part Two, argues that current missions practice is best understood through the historical context. Part Three, Encountering Missions as a Candidate, charts the path from initial call to ministry location. Part Four, Encountering Missions as a Sent One and as a Sender, addresses personal, family, ministry, national relationships and shareholder issues. Missions Encountering the Contemporary World, Part Five, concludes with a look at cross-cultural communication, mission trends, world religions and possible future implications.
Sprinkled liberally throughout the book are creative case studies, stimulating sidebars, maps, tables, figures, concluding with a hefty reference list, subject and Scripture indexes. The bonus inclusion of the CD-ROM of the complete Evangelical Dictionary of World Missions (some 1,400 references) is worth the price of the text alone. An instructor’s manual full of supporting resources, including PowerPoint presentations, is available free on CD-ROM for teachers who make this a required textbook.
Introducing World Missions represents scholarly depth that is communicated simply, not simplistically. The book is well organized, easy to read, addresses pertinent areas of concern for the present generation entering the mission force, and argues for a wide variety of needed ministries. Introducing World Missions should help move readers from fear to faith as they enter and participate in the spiritual fray of global missions, whether short- or long-term. If this text is any indication of what is to follow in the Baker series, those interested in the perpetuation of God’s mission are in for a great ride. Get your tickets while you can.
Check these titles:
Kane, J. Herbert. 1978. Understanding Christian Missions, rev. ed. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Book House.
Van Rheenen, Gailyn. 1996. Missions: Biblical Foundations and Contemporary Strategies. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Zondervan Publishing House.
Winter, Ralph D. and Steven C. Hawthorne, eds. 1999. Perspectives on the World Christian Movement: A Reader, 3d ed. Pasadena, Calif.: William Carey Library.
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