by Ralph D. Winter
I am very relieved and very delighted at the upbeat new purpose that is surfacing in the AEPM.
There was a time when only the missions professors, in some of the older, more snobbish seminaries were linked together in the still existing Association of Professors of Mission. They apparently felt it best not to allow as members professors from college-level institutions, not even from secular universities, but only from graduate-level seminaries.
By 1970 it had become clear that an enlarged view of potential membership was desirable, and the decision was made to welcome other kinds of professors. But that did not change much, and so a virtual vacuum existed requiring a new organization.
I can recall in 1971 at the Green Lake Conference (IFMA/EFMA), along with George Peters, pulling together an informal meeting of about 65 executives and missions professors, asking point blank if they felt that a purely secular, scholarly society should be formed and if so, whether or not they would patronize it sufficiently to keep the evangelical presence significant.
The large majority turned in slips of paper indicating their willingness to be involved, I still have a folder with those slips in it. Armed with this backing I took the initative, along with Gerald Anderson, to propose the formation of a new society at the time of the next meeting of the APM, The American Society of Missiology was the result.
Soon, then, it became possible to negotiate the transfer of the 19-year-old Practical Anthropology magazine to the society, the new name for the continuing journal being Missiology, an International Review. Early in the formation of the new American Society of Missiology, a fundamental agreement was reached regarding the tripartite representation of evangelical, conciliar, and Roman Catholic personnel on all committees and in the leadership. During the past 10 years a number of evangelicals have held one or another of the offices.
However, at no time was it my own thought-despite what some others said-that the ASM would take the place of the Association of Professors of Mission, nor indeed of the Association of Evangelical Professors of Missions. At any time either or both of those other societies could meet concurrently with the new ASM. The APM has usually done so.
In any case, never was there any thought that the AEPM would no longer be needed. Thus, I am very relieved and very delighted at the upbeat new purpose that is surfacing in the AEPM. I will surely be eager to support it in every way possible. I believe the piggyback idea with the Evangelical Missions Quarterly (EMQ) is simply terrific. I look forward to the new element in the future. I have already secured more than 100 new subscriptions and everywhere I go I give increasing emphasis to the EMQ as the house organ of the evangelical missions establishment.
My most urgent personal hope Is that in these special pages allotted to the AEPM we will be able to share "thinking in progress." Only that way can first publication build on previous sharing of thoughts. For instance, I would like to know if anyone else is thinking about the missiological implications of the translation in Revelation 21:3 of "God’s people" versus "God’s peoples," Which is the better supported text, but not the usual translation? Or, is anyone else thinking about the possibility that Matthew 28:20 is an intended paraphrase of Genesis 28:15? I don’t want to write an article about these things without input from others in the AEPM.
Copyright © 1984 Evangelism and Missions Information Service (EMIS). All rights reserved. Not to be reproduced or copied in any form without written permission from EMIS.