Mission History of Asian Churches

Article excerpt

Mission History of Asian Churches.

Edited by Timothy K. Park. Pasadena, Calif.: William Carey Library, 2011. Pp. xii, 244. Paperback $14.39.

Mission History of Asian Churches emphasizes how churches in seven Asian countries are being de-Westernized "in order to allow for a Christian fulfillment of Asian selfhood" (p. 3). Arising from the Second International Forum of the Asian Society of Missiology, held in 2009 in Semarang, Indonesia, the book contains brief mission histories of churches in China, India, Indochina, Indonesia, Korea, Philippines, and Singapore. Reflecting on their own historical, cultural, and ecclesiastical contexts, Asian church historians and missiologists examine their churches as a "new force in world mission" (p. xi).

The first chapter serves as an introduction to the volume, laying out broad themes of an emerging de-Westernized new Christianity and the concomitant rise of indigenized denominations and spontaneous indigenous missionary movements, as well as a call to current Asian missionaries and mission leaders to have flexible mission strategies for the future success of the church. While contributors focus primarily on churches established by evangelical faith missions, mainline Protestant and Roman Catholic churches are also considered as part of the historical investigation.

The essays present brief country overviews, then show how indigenous church movements have reached not only their own people but often moved beyond national borders through diaspora communities. …