Mission in the Spirit: Towards a Pentecostal/Charismatic Missiology

by Julie C. Ma and Wonsuk Ma.

Regnum Books International, St. Philip & St. James Church, Woodstock Road, Oxford OX2 6HR, U.K., 312 pages, 2010, £29.99.

Reviewed by Sarita D. Gallagher, assistant professor of religion, George Fox University, Newberg, Oregon.

With the dramatic expansion of Pentecostal/Charismatic Christianity worldwide, there is an urgent need for a contemporary Pentecostal missiology. Historically, Pentecostals “have been more ‘mission doers’ than mission reflectors” (p. 275). This practice has left a gap in missiological research that needs to be addressed. In Mission in the Spirit, Julie and Wonsuk Ma attempt to fill this void with a balanced and well-researched analysis of the biblical basis and practical issues surrounding Pentecostal mission. With their unique perspective as long-term Korean mission practitioners, the authors open a much-needed dialogue on Pentecostal missiology.

The text is divided into three primary sections. In the first part, the authors present a biblical and theological basis of Pentecostal/Charismatic mission. Analyzing issues pertinent to Pentecostal mission, they discuss topics such as the pneumatology of God’s creation, the charismatic Spirit of God, and the emphasis of contextualization in Pentecostal traditions.
In the second part, the authors present key issues related to Pentecostal/Charismatic mission praxis. Intertwined with contemporary case studies, the authors discuss the unique contribution of Pentecostalism in areas such as church planting, proclamation of the gospel, empowerment of the Holy Spirit, women in mission, and power encounters. In the third part, the authors present an insightful list of suggested areas for future Pentecostal mission research.

As experienced missionaries and academic scholars, Julie and Wonsuk Ma purposefully integrate biblical and theological reflection with practical mission case studies. In contrast to traditional Western scholarship, the authors provide a much-needed Majority World voice that acknowledges the complexity and holistic nature of theological issues. Compiled from a variety of articles, the only drawback of the text is the unrelated nature of some of its chapters. Despite this occasional textual disunity, the insights and theological reflection provided in Mission in the Spirit contribute greatly to articulating a Pentecostal missiology.

With the rapidly expanding Pentecostal Church in Asia, Africa, and Latin America, this book will be a useful resource for Christian leaders interested in the changing landscape of global Christianity. Written for the Regnum Studies in Mission series (Oxford Centre for Mission Studies), Mission in the Spirit is a timely contribution to the developing field of Pentecostal missiology.


EMQ, Vol. 47, No. 3, pp. 383-384. Copyright  © 2011 Evangelism and Missions Information Service (EMIS).  All rights reserved. Not to be reproduced or copied in any form without written permission from EMIS.


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