The Theology of the Christian Mission

The Theology of the Christian Mission

The Theology of the Christian Mission

The Theology of the Christian Mission

Excerpt

In his book What Present-Day Theologians Are ThinkingDaniel Day Williams suggests that one of the major issues which "may well dominate much of theological thought as we move into the second half of the twentieth century" is the relation of Christianity to culture and other religions. The reasons for this are well known. The resurgence of non-Christian religions, the shift of cultural and political power in the world, and the rise of an indigenous ecumenical church have so transformed the setting for Christian missions as to cause confusion among Christians concerning their proper attitude and approach to men of other faiths. The underlying principles and theological presuppositions for the Christian mission have been called into question and Christians are challenged to rethink the motives, message, methods, and goals of their mission.

In face of this confusion there is surprisingly little creative theological endeavor available for guidance. As recently as 1951, in a confidential report to a group of American theological scholars, a missionary leader said, "When we turn to mission and theological libraries in search of material on the theology of missions, we almost draw a blank." This situation is not new. Wilhelm Pauck, the church historian, has pointed out that "with the possible exception . . .

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