What Is Mission? Theological Explorations

What Is Mission? Theological Explorations

What Is Mission? Theological Explorations

What Is Mission? Theological Explorations

Synopsis

This book fills the need for a single-volume introduction to the concept of Christian mission and the complex theological and practical issues revolving around it. Part one addresses foundational and methodological questions; part two presents the seven major missiological themes (evangelism, gospel and culture, justice, religious pluralism, violence and peacemaking, ecology, ecumenism); and part three addresses the nature of the relationship between the organized church and the missio dei (mission of God). Although Christologically grounded, it works from within a Trinitarian understanding of the missio dei and recognizes the mutuality of the local/global dynamics of Christian mission. Discussions of evangelism and social justice issues, as well as questions of religious pluralism, environmental issues, war and peace issues are included. Each chapter ends with study questions, making the text useful in congregational study group settings and in the classroom.

Excerpt

Every author justifies writing another book on a subject already well-served with the comment that there is nothing else quite like it. This author is no exception. in the course of being involved over a number of years in mission education, I have become aware of the lack of a book which offers a manageable overview of the main topics under the heading, “Theology of Mission’.

I am aware of the standard books included in most lists of suggested reading for courses on the subject. At the top of the list is David Bosch’s magnum opus, Transforming Mission. This will remain the standard textbook into the foreseeable future. It is doubtful whether, even once in a generation, such a book will be written. It represents a lifetime of involvement in mission and the study of it from almost every conceivable angle. There are few people who are able to master so expertly such a wide range of material with such care, balance and sensitivity.

David Bosch’s book is a systematic theological presentation of the whole subject of Christian mission. It is like a journey of exploration in which the traveller takes sufficient time both to cover a wide territory and to do so with much attention to detail. My book is more of an introduction. It is an attempt to present the crucial material on theology of mission in a convenient form. It is intended to be a handbook helping to guide the student through some of the relevant discussion on a fairly wide range of issues. the difference between the two might be likened to the scale of a map: David Bosch’s is large scale, showing individual houses, clumps of trees, pathways and contours; mine is smaller scale, giving only the location of large villages, small towns and cities.

I believe both are required. Transforming Mission and other books which cover a large terrain are resource books to which one returns . . .

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