Theology of Mission: A Believers Church Perspective.
Theology of Mission: A Believers Church Perspective by John Howard Yoder. Edited by Gayle Gerber Koontz and Andy Alexis-Baker IVP. Downers' Grove, Ill. 429 pages
There is much talk these days about the "missional" church as distinguished from a church that does "mission" activities. The precise distinction is often lost on people on the sidelines of a conversation that has been shaping new forms of ministries for over a decade. Is there a clear theology of mission that undergirds the current 1,001 worshipping communities plan of the PC(USA)? That theology is likely to benefit from a close reading of John Howard Yoder, whose writings on the church and discipleship are as trenchant as any in the 20th century. Presbyterians engaged in the 1,001 movement--or any other form of evangelism (and who isn't?)--should read this compilation of Yoder's theology of mission for many reasons, including sharpening their own theology against that of the "believers church perspective." Yoder asks the right questions in unavoidable language. He argues that mission is the measure of fidelity and then shows the implications of this measure in the practices of the church. "Faithfulness or apostasy depends on whether the church is a community that is propagating the Jesus message." Is it possible to learn from a great theologian while ignoring the failures in his personal conduct? John Howard Yoder is a recent test case, but there are others in that company, including Paul Tillich, Reinhold Niebhur and, some would argue, Martin Luther. One can learn from them all but only with eyes wide open.
ROY W. HOWARD
Outlook book editor
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|Author:||Howard, Roy W.|
|Publication:||The Presbyterian Outlook|
|Article Type:||Book review|
|Date:||Mar 17, 2014|
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