by Arto Hämäläinen
Pathway Press, 1080 Montgomery Avenue, Cleveland, TN 37311, 337 pages,2012, $19.95.
—Reviewed by Robert L. Gallagher, director of the MA in Intercultural Studies program, and associate professor of intercultural studies at Wheaton College Graduate School.
Pentecostal global mission has truly come of age. In Together in One Mission: Pentecostal Cooperation in World Evangelization, Arto Hämäläinen, chair of the World Missions Commission of the Pentecostal World Fellowship, and Grant McClung, president of Missions Resource Group, have provided a rich panorama of theological and missiological reflections from Pentecostal leaders of the largest and fastest-growing global Christian movement in human history.
After one hundred years, Pentecostal communities around the world are not only demonstrating their faith by expressive worship, involvement of lay ministry, and aggressive proclamation, but also have an integrated gospel of evangelism and social action that is transforming communities socially and politically. All this is occurring not in isolation from one another or the wider Christian movement, but via crossing national borders and transcending denominational boundaries.
Part One of the volume covers a variety of issues such as the relationship between evangelicals and Pentecostals, unreached people groups, partnership in mission, and the unfinished task of world evangelization. Part Two supports this with studies of different perspectives of Pentecostal cooperation in world evangelization, church planting, education, training, and evangelism. These provide practical strategies of mission from Africa, Asia, and Australasia to Europe and Latin America. Part Three of the book includes personal reflections and projections of key leaders such as Tim Stafford and Ingolf Ellssel.
The aim of the editors is to encourage a genuine growing cooperative partnership and unity of missional purpose between the Pentecostal, Charismatic, evangelical, and fundamental Christian communities. They also dispel one of the strongest criticisms against Pentecostalism—that of being divided and combative. Together in One Mission replaces shallow stereotypes of global Pentecostals with an informed awareness of a grand worldwide army of Spirit-empowered believers moving forward to the drumbeat of the redemptive mission of Christ.
Philip Jenkins anticipates that by 2050 there will be one billion Pentecostals/Charismatics in the world. American Church historian Mark Noll asserts that simply by sheer numbers, the twenty-first century will belong to the Pentecostals, not only in religious dimensions, but also in economics, politics, social endeavors, and the sciences. As Tetsunao Yamamori, former international director of the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization, affirmed in his foreword: “It is vital for the evangelical Great Commission community and broader Christian movement to widen their embrace of global Pentecostalism—the new face of global Christian mission” (p. 21).
The book is a testimony to the vision and passion for missions among a broad spectrum of Pentecostal scholars and reflective practitioners, as well as a description of a yearning for collaboration and unity among a variety of Pentecostal denominations around the world. It is both inspiring and challenging to the followers of Jesus to work together in embracing new paths of the Spirit in reaching the nations for Christ and his kingdom.
EMQ, Vol. 49, No. 4, pp. 509-510. Copyright © 2013 Billy Graham Center. All rights reserved. Not to be reproduced or copied in any form without written permission from EMIS.