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Toward the Twenty-First Century in Christian Mission.

James Phillips and Robert Coote have edited an excellent collection of essays in honor of Gerald H. Anderson, director of the Overseas Ministries Study Center, editor of the INTERNATIONAL BULLETIN OF MISSIONARY RESEARCH, and preeminent scholar of the world mission of the church. Toward the Twenty-First Century in Christian Mission surveys the mission of the church from the perspective of ecclesiastical groupings, geographic areas, "foundational disciplines," and current issues. The volume contains a brief biography of Gerald Anderson as well as a select bibliography of his writings from 1958 to 1993. The breadth of the volume honors the wide scope of Anderson's own involvement, which has ranged from Philippine church history to mission theology and trends, mission history, publishing and administration, and serving as president of both the American Society of Missiology and the International Association for Mission Studies.

The exceptional volume contains essays by leading mission scholars, mostly American Protestants of diverse traditions, but also including some Catholics and a good number of non-Americans. The essays are of high quality. Of particular interest is the recent bibliography that accompanies each essay. Just to have the up-to-date thinking and references provided by outstanding missiologists is worth the price of the volume. Noteworthy features of the book include its inclusive approach toward theological differences among Protestants and its refusal to draw artificial distinctions between "Western" evangelism and "non-Western" mission.

Especially helpful is the world survey of Christian mission by region, with key missiological issues highlighted from different parts of the world. The articles on Oceania by Darrell Whiteman, the Commonwealth of Independent States by J. Martin Bailey, and Latin America by Samuel Escobar are particularly insightful. Other vital contributions are those on biblical models of mission by David Bosch, contextualization by Donald Jacobs, mission and affluence by Jonathan Bonk, and Christian-Muslim relations by David Kerr. An additional essay on the missiology of so-called indigenous churches would have been helpful, but essays by Gary McGee on Pentecostal missions and Paul Hiebert on popular religions address the issue indirectly. An essay on mission as liberation written by a non-Westerner would also have been valuable. Quibbles aside, this volume will be a superb textbook for stimulating discussion in seminary mission courses.
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Author:Robert, Dana L.
Publication:International Bulletin of Missionary Research
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Oct 1, 1993
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