By Tennent, Timothy C.
International Bulletin of Missionary Research , Vol. 31, No. 1
Evangelical, Ecumenical, and Anabaptist Missiologies in Conversation: Essays in Honor of Wilbert R. Shenk. Edited by James R. Krabill, Walter Sawatsky, and Charles E. Van Engen. Maryknoll, N.Y.: Orbis Books, 2006. Pp. 336. Paperback $25.
Evangelical, Ecumenical, and Anabaptist Missiologies in Conversation is a Festschrift in honor of Wilbert R. Shenk, former missionary to Indonesia, mission administrator, prolific author, missiologist, and recently retired professor at Fuller Theological Seminary. This book is a rare treasure, bringing together missiological essays from an impressive array of authors. The collection is divided into five parts, with five essays under each heading, all with excellent bibliographies.
The first part is dedicated to historical perspectives on global mission. Dana Robert's and Walter Sawatsky's essays offer brilliant historical analyses that demand a total "reconceptualization of mission history for a multicultural, worldwide church" (p. 24). Andrew Walls traces the historical collapse of the biculturalism of the apostolic era and demonstrates how global Christianity is poised to recapture a New Testament ecclesiology that hailed one church with multiple cultural patterns of following Jesus. Jehu Handles helps the reader to appreciate the profound implications of the "reverse migration" that is bringing millions from the South and East to the West.
The second part is dedicated to exploring perspectives on the theology of missions. From Willard Swartley's excellent exegetical work on the "evangel" to Bonk's insightful article on the implications of a global Christianity that is emerging from the poor and powerless, one leaves these articles abundantly enriched. Chuck Van Engen's exploration of critical contextualization reminds us afresh that the global South is reading the Bible and understanding the Gospel in profound new ways, creating a "polycentric" (p. …