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Book Review Terry, J. M. Missiology: An Introduction to the Foundations, History, and Strategies of World Missions

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A retired missionary and long-time professor of missions, editor John Mark Terry enlists a wide range of evangelical authors, most with significant experience in international or North American missions. Pastors will find helpful information on church planting in North America and on developing a missions-minded church.

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Another strength of this book was the number of people who contributed to it. It was delightful to read these essays with the different perspectives that multiple contributors bring to a single work. It was not the thought of one person or one organization. I appreciated the diversity of thought and the way that the different contributors wrote according to their strengths and/or fields of study so as to present the best work on the subject of missiology available in a single volume. The greatest weakness of this book was that at times the book seemed overly concerned with things related to the Bible while not displaying as much concern with developing a proper theology related to the Bible. There were most certainly writings on the need to build missiology and missiological method on theology. But they always seemed lacking as to what this means when it comes to the Bible itself. If my theology informs my methodology, then the way that I view and interpret the Scriptures will inform my theology. It seems that the initial step was neglected or assumed

Perhaps that work was best left to hermeneutics courses or for further study. But I am under the impression that a passion for missions will only be sustained by an abiding love for the Word of God in its context from which I develop my theology which then informs my understanding of missions and my missiological method.

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It is good and proper that the author begins with word studies (Greek and English) and continues with exegetical work on key texts (e.g., Matt 28:1820; Luke 4:43; John 20:21). Yet the author does not unpack the theological significance of these passages for his readers

Instead of being true to the texts that are trinitarian and despite the fact that the author does cite some key trinitarian texts (Matt 28:1820; Luke 4:43; John 20:21)the author limits the theological understanding of mission to The Sender is Jesus Christ, whose authority defines...Christian mission (Cunningham, D, 1998, p. 7). Thus the richness of the theological foundation of mission being trinitarian has been reduced to merely being Christocentric. This runs counter to the contemporary trend in missiological and theological literature that is richly trinitarian in orientation. This trend has also impacted the theology of Christian missions, stimulating it towards a new trinitarian orientation. I have provided a brief bibliography of these recent publications at the end of this chapter. Hopefully, the works I have selected are sufficient to show a trend towards trinitarian orientation in missiological and theological studies.

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Definitely, it is a valuable resource for anyone currently involved in missions, considering a life as a missionary, seminary students, or those simply interested in the foundations, history and strategy of missions. The writers offer readers a historical as well as current-day tour of international missions

In the end, the editors make a plea for continued support of missions and what readers can do to support this important cause.

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Maryknoll: Orbis, 2000. Originally published in Portuguese Santisima Trindade e a Melhor Communidade, 1988.

Chester, T. Mission and the Coming of God: Eschatology, the Trinity and Mission in the Theology of Jurgen Moltmann. Paternoster Theological Monographs Series. Paternoster, 2007.

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