Re-Thinking Missions: A Laymen's Inquiry after One Hundred Years

By William Ernest Hocking; Laymen's Foreign Missions Inquiry. Commission of Appraisal | Go to book overview
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If, as we believe, the Church is to be thought of as a means for the fulfillment of life rather than as an end in itself, then the enlargement of this group of men and women who have caught the vision of international fellowship and cooperation, who are kindled with love and admiration for Christ, and who are eager to make their lives count for a world-wide kingdom of peace and brotherhood, will in the long run promote in genuine fashion the ends for which the Church is established.
Conclusions and Recommendations
1. The most important single conclusion of this sub-committee is that a profound transformation of the Church in the mission field of the Orient is needed. The lines of the transformation are indicated in this chapter. The main direction indicated is away from sectarianism toward unity and cooperation, and away from a religion focussed upon doctrine toward a religion focussed upon the vital issues of life for the individual and for the social environment in which the individual lives.
2. We are convinced that the time has come for a thoroughgoing coordination of activities on the mission field and for putting an end to sectarianism and denominational rivalry. We believe that the Church should eliminate the complexities and irrelevancies which have crept into it through the controversies of the past, and that it should move steadily toward complete cooperation in the interpretation of its message and in all moral and spiritual tasks. In view of the urgency of united action particularly in the newly inaugurated fields of endeavor, where the mistakes of the past may be avoided, we recommend that the work of betterment to be undertaken in rural communities, since it concerns all branches of the Church, be carried on in each of the countries under a single committee, either as a Department of the National Christian Council, or, where that is not feasible, under a committee appointed jointly by the churches and the missions of cooperating denominations.

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