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  • Direction: Current State of Missiology: Reflections on Twenty-five Years 1968-1993
    areas as well They helped to forge the course of mission through unprecedented post war changes during the 1950s and 1960s They also experienced the pain of seeing the demise of older research centers during the 1970s and 1980s some of which they themselves had helped to create and by which they themselves had been nurtured In retrospect it is not hard to see that the remarkable resurgence which we have seen in missiological research is the fruit of their hard labor perseverence and courage even through discouraging and trying times Cf Anderson 1991 166 We are the beneficiaries of that missiological legacy It behooves us to thank God for those leaders and to consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith Heb 13 7 GLOBAL MISSIOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS The most important components for current missiological studies are research centers and libraries both old and new professional organizations to inspire and create vision and academic institutions that provide the most conducive setting for modelling teaching research and writing Old and New Research Centers Some centers are set up primarily if not exclusively as special collections for mission studies while others include additional disciplines and interests with mission as only one focus Still others are combined with libraries or attached to educational institutions and publication ventures What follows is merely a reduced listing 70 First there are major centers in Europe a The Servizio di Documentazione e Studi SEDOS was founded after the Second Vatican Council to publish the SEDOS Bulletin hold annual meetings to study mission concerns and to keep an updated computerized bibliography for missiological research Anderson 1991 165 b The Dutch Interuniversity Institute for Missiological and Ecumenical Research IIMO was established in 1969 as a cooperative venture between the universities of Leiden and Utrecht While the Leiden section concentrates on the history of missions in Africa and Indonesia that of Utrecht focuses more on the relationship between Christianity and other religions particularly Muslim IIMO 1990 92 93 c The main contribution to missiological research of the Centre de Recherche Theologique Missionaire in Paris since 1979 is through its computerized data base d The Institute of Missiology Missio was formed in Aachen in 1984 Its semi annual publication Theology in Context includes an annotated bibliography and reports on theological conferences to promote communication between theologians missiologists and other leaders of the Two Thirds World cf Anderson 1991 165 e The Interact Research Centre formerly The Centre for New Religious Movements is associated with Selly Oak Colleges in Birmingham England Anderson 1991 166 points out that it has an unrivaled collection of materials on new religious movements in primal religions but is interested also in new movements in the post Christian West f Finally The Centre for the Study of Christianity in the Non Western World was established at the University of Aberdeen in 1982 and moved to the University of Edinburgh in 1987 exactly 120 years after Alexander Duff 1806 1878 had been appointed professor of evangelistic theology thereby having the distinction of being the first professor of missiology in modern history cf Myklebust 1955 Under the direction of its founder Andrew Walls the Centre not only houses an impressive collection of non Western religious periodicals old and new mission libraries as well as archival materials but also prepares the quarterly bibliography of mission studies for the International Review of Mission IRM and much more Anderson 1991 166 167 Second I will summatively state names and places of several research centers from around the world without notations about their nature and function a The Archives of the Finnish Evangelical Luthern Mission in Helsinki b The Department of Archives and Archival Study Center of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Papua New Guinea in Lae c Documentation Archives and Bibliography DAB in Paris d The Vatican Secret Archives and Their Missionary Holdings in Rome e Missiological Institute of the Americas in Puerto Rico h Asian Center for Theological Studies and Mission in South Korea g Overseas Ministries 71 Study Center in New Haven h Missions Advanced Research and Communicaton Center MARC Monrovia CA i The US Center for World Mission with various branches of specialized research in Pasadena j The Billy Graham Center Mission Archives and Library in Wheaton and k in addition to the above centers Peterson 1991 161 162 lists 31 Missionary Agency Archives in Microfilm from New York to New Guinea and from Zimbabwe to Geneva Cf Myklebust 1989 Eirola 1990 Metzler 1990 Pech 1990 Thomas 1990 Anderson 1991 Missiological Associations An impressive network of professional associations both nationally and internationally has emerged during the last 25 years for the sole purpose of studying every aspect of the worldwide mission of the Church the worldwide Christian movement and the relationship of Christianity to other religions The contributions of these associations can hardly be overestimated They provide scholars with encouragement recognition assistance fellowship organization and a forum for sharing promoting and disseminating their work Anderson 1991 166 The following are among the widely known organizations The International Association for Mission Studies IAMS was formed at its inaugural meeting in 1972 In 1984 it began publishing its prestigeous semi annual journal Mission Studies This international interconfessional intercultural and interdisciplinary professional society is made up of over 500 individual and some 80 institutional members with more than one third from the Two Thirds World In 1973 was founded the American Society of Missiology ASM for the purpose of studying mission and world Christianity It too is an interconfessional society Missiology An International Review is its official journal which incorporated Practical Anthropology and has been published ever since the Association was established By 1991 the ASM had more than 500 members and its journal a circulation of over 2 000 Related to the ASM is the much older Association of Professors of Mission with a number of regional chapters all across Anglo America The professional pulsebeat of this academic organization was at an all time low toward the end of the critical sixties when only 16 members attended the annual meeting in 1970 Fraternally akin is the Association of Evangelical Professors of Missions which in 1990 was reorganized as the Evangelical Missiological Society There is considerable interaction if not overlap between the latter two organizations 72 The Southern African Missiological Society SAMS founded in 1968 began publishing Missionalia in 1973 David J Bosch author of the book Transforming Mission Paradigm Shifts in Theology of Mission 1991 was editor of the journal until his death in 1992 The unique feature of this journal is the section of extensive missiological abstracts of articles appearing in other journals and as book contributions in many parts of the world Between 1973 and 1991 it published 13 590 abstracts Anderson 1991 166 The South Pacific Association of Mission Studies goes back to 1980 and its South Pacific Journal of Mission Studies to 1989 It covers Australia New Zealand and other Anglophone islands of the region Exactly 80 years after the historical World Missionary Conference had been held in the Assembly Hall of the Church of Scotland in Edinburgh the British and Irish Association for Mission Studies was inaugurated in that same Hall in 1990 Seventy members attended this organizational meeting and listened to Andrew Walls s address Edinburgh 1910 and the Prospect for Mission The concern of this new Association is to promote mission studies at home and overseas among scholars teachers missionaries and mission executives cf Myklebust 1989 The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Missionswissenschaft established in 1918 is the oldest organization still active 75 years later Its international membership publishes the Zeitschrift für Mission provides scholarships and gives financial support to publications in missiology Missiological developments in Latin America have generally been less formal than practical Speaking for Evangelicals and Protestants in general the late Orlando Costas 1977 105 describes the trends in terms of a threefold quest 1 the search for a concrete or historical understanding of mission 2 a more authentic expression of Christian unity in the missionary engagement of Latin American Protestants and 3 a more serious and profound missiological reflection Arbeitsgemeinschaft für evangelikale Missiologie AfeM It is an outgrowth of the Freie Hochschule für Mission in Korntal near Stuttgart where G W Peters and other Mennonite Brethren have been teaching This association of evangelical scholars of German speaking Europe publishes Evangelikale Missiologie holds annual meetings and awards the G W Peters Prize to the author of the best book published each year in German evangelical missiology Academic Institutions It is of historical interest that the Gregorian University and the Urban University both in Rome were the pioneers of academic institutions 73 which in the 1930s created a Faculty of Missiology not only a chair or department and initiated a Doctor of Missiology degree In 1989 the Urban University had 22 professors in the Faculty of Missiology Myklebust 1989 93 Today there are literally thousands of schools offering courses in mission and missiology though certainly not all at the graduate level Myklebust estimated that there are at least 3 000 Bible schools teaching mission subjects Here I included only degree and or diploma granting institutions Africa Of the 76 theological schools in Africa 13 have created a chair or department of missiology 11 of them in South Africa alone The reason may be twofold a The concept of Missiology tends to be regarded as having imperialistic and western overtones b Many government sponsored institutions have substituted the departments of theology missiology for departments of religious studies These however may include missiology Asia Two thirds of all departments or chairs of missiology in non Western academic institutions are in Asia with India and South Korea in the lead Yet when one considers that 58 of the globe s peoples reside on this continent and that only 3 of them belong to the Christian community the missiological task for the evangelistic challenge is nothing short of immense That is why leaders in theological education maintain that missiology should become a compulsory subject for all students Myklebust 1989 91 Latin America Given the fact a that the churches in Latin America have only recently become sending churches b that the growth of evangelical Christianity has become explosive c that the increase of sending agencies currently matches that explosive growth and d that only one out of every six Bible oriented educational institutions offers missional training at the theological level the need for missiological education is critical That is why the Missiological Institute of the Americas has been established Its purpose is to train at university and postgraduate levels specialists in the several areas of missiology for teaching the subject in theological institutions Myklebust 1989 91 Anglo America This continent is far ahead of any other in the development of missiological education At least 30 of all educational institutions that recognize missiology as a legitimate discipline are to be found in the United States and Canada In the mid eighties both the ASM and the Association of Theological Schools ATS approved the D Miss clearly outlining goals content and standards of the curriculum leading toward such a degree Among the prerequisites listed are the possession of a Master of Divinity M Div degree at least two years of crosscultural or transcultural field experience and a minimum of one field language 74 other than English The model for this professional degree was the Doctorate of Education D Ed conferred by secular universities on qualified students in pursuit of a pedagogical career Kasdorf 1988 235 236 There are some 150 schools offering graduate degrees in missiology or mission studies While the large majority are equipped to grant only a Master s Degree a few also award Doctorates in missiology at the D Miss D Min or Ph D levels Included in recent surveys are The School of World Mission of Fuller Theological Seminary Pasadena CA The E Stanley Jones School of World Mission and Evangelism Wilmore KY Trinity Evangelical Divinity School Deerfield IL Lutheran School of Theology Chicago IL Columbia Biblical Seminary and Graduate School of Missions Columbia SC Nazarene Theological Seminary Kansas City KS William Carey International University Pasadena CA and the Institute of Mission Studies at Saint Paul University Ottawa ON Myklebust 1989 92 Anderson 1991 167 Oceania The emphasis on academic studies in missiology is limited to St Columban College and Alliance College in Australia Europe Missiological studies have traditionally been tied to secular universities In more recent times however there are also church related universities and seminaries colleges where missiology is being taught There is a total of 53 professors and lecturers in missiology distributed as follows Germany 26 The Netherlands 11 Norway 3 France Italy excluding Rome Poland and Switzerland 8 each 2 Austria Belgium Denmark Eire Greece and Sweden 6 each 1 While the United Kingdom has a number of significant centers for missiological studies there is only one professorship of mission held jointly between the University of Birmingham and Selly Oak Colleges also in Birmingham It should also be noted that scores of master s theses and doctoral dissertations in mission related subjects are produced in secular universities in many parts of the world A survey shows that in the US and Canada alone during the decade of the seventies 462 dissertations in mission related areas were written and accepted cf Anderson 1971 1991 Myklebust 1989 Walls 1991 Peterson 1991 PROJECTS AND PUBLICATIONS There was a time when books on mission were rare especially those dealing with the subject in a positive manner But that has changed significantly with the recovery of missiology Today we have a veritable plethora of missiological projects and publications The realization of such projects involves vision initiative and commitment My list must again be selective 75 General Reference Works Missiologists readily acknowledge their indebtedness to other disciplines for providing basic information on mission related coursework both historical and current around the world Such reference works as The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church rev 1982 the Encyclopedia of Early Christianity 1990 the New Dictionary of Theology 1988 the Dictionary of Pentecostal and Charismatic Movements 1989 the Handbook of Today s Religions 1989 the Dictionary of Christianity in America 1990 and the Dictionary of the Ecumenical Movement 1991 are among the most helpful ones But missiologists are far from being mere consumers they are creative producers and benefactors supplying a wealth of resource materials not found in any other discipline In 1971 an international team of missiologists under the leadership of Bishop Stephen Neill edited the Concise Dictionary of the Christian World Mission Four years later this work was translated into German supplemented by original articles and maps and adapted as Lexikon zur Weltmission An equally indispensable reference work is David K Barrett s World Christian Encyclopedia Oxford University Press 1982 Because of its large size 1 p 4 pp this 1 010 page fact filled tome contains as much missional information on every country in the world as one would normally find in a 4 000 page encyclopedia Of similar importance though less comprehensive and more technical in nature is the German Lexikon missiontheologischer Grundbegriffe edited by Karl Muller and Theo Sundermeier 1987 Its 111 articles written by 90 scholars from different lands and theological orientations cover a host of missiological issues and concerns that are more current than historical H Rzepkowski edited the Lexikon der Mission Geschichte Theologie Ethnologie 1992 the same year in which Klaus Fiedler published his prize winning work on the history of faith missions entitled Ganz auf Vertrauen Major Publication Series No other period in missiological history has seen so many mission series being published as the last 25 years All of them are encompassing the globe indicating thereby that we have indeed entered the era of global world mission in a global village The series of the Lausanne Occasional Papers is published by the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization LCWE made up of mission leaders from Peru to Canada and from Finland to India Each of the 24 booklets and handbooks deals with a specific missiological issue discussed at one of the consultations sponsored by the LCWE The first 76 volume is a report of The Pasadena Consultation 1978 which was convened to look critically at the Homogeneous Unit Principle The last one is a handbook on church para church relationships entitled Cooperating in World Evangelization 1983 Other reports range from Christian Witness to Refugees Vol 5 to An Evangelical Commitment to Simple Life style Vol 20 The series on Unreached Peoples was begun in the late seventies with the first 350 page book entitled Unreached Peoples 79 published by David C Cook Publishing Co Elgin IL At least four additional volumes have appeared since some by MARC others by Cook Persons like C Peter Wagner and Edward R Dayton are among the chief editors Each volume records the results of extensive field research undertaken by international and interdisciplinary teams of prominent scientists These studies list every known unreached people group in the world and provide a wealth of demographic data The AD 2000 Series is another production by David Barrett the renowned author editor of the World Christian Encyclopedia mentioned earlier While Barrett has been associated with the Church Missionary Society for many years he is currently Research Consultant to the Southern Baptist Mission Board in Richmond VA His series is published by New Hope in Birmingham AL and includes such titles as World Class Cities and World Evangelization 1986 Cosmos Chaos and the Gospel A Chronology of World Evangelization from Creation to New Creation 1987 Evangelize A Historical Survey of the Concept 1987 Unreached Peoples Clarifying the Task 1987 H C Schreck coauthor Seven Hundred Plans to Evangelize the World 1988 James W Reapsome coauthor and Our Globe and How to Reach it 1990 T M Johnson coauthor When used together with the appropriate volume of the second series above the last three volumes are of special value to local churches or single mission agencies who want

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  • Direction: Internationalization: Where Are Those Ends of the Earth?
    new reality For several decades we from North America have entered into partnership agreements with the younger conferences for new outreach and the multiplying of churches in the countries where those conferences exist In so doing we shared the view of Warren Webster In the Biblical interdependence of both younger and older churches lies the future of the church s mission to the world Wagner 99 However this practice of partnership between the Mission Board of the Mennonite Brethren Church of North America and the emerging national conferences in other countries has had a mixed record Regular consultation visits by North American based mission administrators have been helpful in building bridges of understanding The visits included an opportunity to discuss joint programs and to seek a common vision for expansion But the visits have often focused on the details of budgets and financial subsidies In the crucial areas of planning and allocation of resources the initiative has often come from North America As Robert Ramseyer has stated How can we truly be partners when one side is so strong and wealthy and the other is so poor and weak Ramseyer 32 84 Indeed we must work toward more biblically responsible partnerships as we continue to work at mission in the countries where these indigenous conferences have emerged We must allow for greater national initiative in both the planning process and in the allocation of resources For the record Mennonite Brethren have moved toward partnership as indicated by the following ten year diary of events 1984 International delegates meet with the Board of Mennonite Brethren Missions Services in Reedley California 1988 The consultation in Curitiba Brazil discusses both regionalization and internationalization 1990 The Mennonite Brethren Missions Services Vision for the 90 s makes a commitment to open Mennonite Brethren Missions Services structures to appointing international teams and to the appointment of area administrators outside of North America 1990 An ad hoc international committee of Mennonite Brethren is formed in Winnipeg Manitoba 1993 Mennonite Brethren Missions Services appoints new area administrators in Austria for Europe and in Bogota for Latin America 1993 A Mennonite Brethren International Committee formally organizes in Winnipeg WHO ARE THE SENDING CHURCHES But even such growing partnerships within these countries is not enough if the mission of the Mennonite Brethren Church is to be truly global Christ told his disciples to take the gospel to the ends of the earth How are the growing Mennonite Brethren churches of the two thirds world to respond in obedience to that command Are they not also to become involved in the work of foreign missions Webster proposed The establishing of indigenous churches is no longer seen as an adequate end and goal of Biblical missions unless such churches become sending churches in and from their own milieu Wagner 104 Yes what was for us in the past the challenge of foreign mission has become for our new worldwide family of faith the challenge of global mission If once we thought of

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  • Direction: Can Mission Agencies Be Partners?
    a mission project once its members have caught the vision The younger church in many cases is keen for missions direction The desire of fulfilling the Lord s command is alive in every heart The church is flexible and can adapt rapidly to a fast changing world The new wine has room to expand in the new skins But very often not only are financial resources in short supply but there is a deficiency also of well trained workers Now should these two kinds of churches start working in partnership both would benefit and the Kingdom of God would grow much faster and more vigorously INTERNATIONAL TEAMS A critical aspect in internationalization is the development of international teams There are some crucial issues which have to be discussed and agreed on for a team to function well Strategy A team that wants to reach people in a specific geographical area has to agree on a strategy This strategy has to be worked out by a group of leaders who represent the sending churches the team workers and also specialists who know the specific needs of people in that particular area Very often teams have not worked well because different strategies were employed by participants of the same team The result then is much confusion and very little reconciliation of sinners with God Salaries A well defined policy for fair wages is necessary for good relationships to exist between members of a team No matter how difficult this may be an equation has to be found by which missionaries who come from affluent sending churches will not live a lifestyle that is incompatible with that of a native worker on the same team or with that of another missionary sent by a not so prosperous church Team Leadership The issue of leadership in a team is of utmost importance The sending churches need to work through this issue very clearly before a team moves into ministry The best is probably to settle the issue already during the preparation of the team In countries where there is a national worker on the team that person should be the team leader 88 ROLE OF AGENCY AND SENDING CHURCHES The missionary agency must always be the facilitator of sending a missionary team into a new area of ministry An agency can specialize in working out matters of language training acculturation visas matching churches for partnership and other technical issues But it cannot send the missionaries The local church is the sending body in the New Testament The local church calls prepares sends supports prays and pays and follows up closely on the work and on the worker And if one local church is too small for such an enterprise it will get together with one or at the most two other churches in order to send a missionary In internationalization missionary partners can only be local churches and not agencies As said before agencies can facilitate but local churches have to put their hands

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  • Direction: Internationalization Must Replace Paternalism
    Human practice however is different from basic doctrine These pioneers of world missions from Europe and North America made great contributions to the evangelization of the world but their achievement was not perfect One of the problems was the feeling of paternalism which developed on the mission fields This paternalistic attitude was based on a subtle and sinful feeling of superiority I trust that now is the opportune time to deal with this wrong attitude of 90 that mission effort It is important to keep in mind that this problem is not so much an administrative or organizational problem as it is soteriological or sanctificational problem The term this world is labeled after first world and second world What is the first world and the second world Is it not Europe and North America This way of categorizing the world is clearly based upon the perspective of first world people I personally question whether this category is God s way of looking at the people of the world Jesus said Many who are first will be last and the last first Mark 10 31 The value system of the human world is essentially different from the way God values people If there is any sense of contempt in using a seemingly neutral academic term of third world then it is better not to use the term I am not saying that Harold Ens is doing this in his article No what I am saying is that often this kind of term conveys the feelings I have mentioned I suggest the use of geographical terms such as Europe North America and East Asia for our discussions instead of third world I wholeheartedly agree with the idea of the internationalization of mission among Mennonite Brethren conferences of the world The Japan Mennonite

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  • Direction: The Accord Factor in Mission
    for the helpless our practice of loving kindness that brands us in the eyes of many of our opponents Only look they say look how they love one another they themselves being given over to mutual hatred Look how they are prepared to die for one another they themselves being readier to kill each other Thus had this saying become a fact hereby shall all men know that ye are my disciples if you have love one to another Green 1987 308 fn 55 THE STATE OF THE ART OF CHRISTIAN ACCORD The question that now must be asked is this How would a pagan of today perceive unity in the Christian church Would it seem to her that those who are proclaiming a gospel of love and unity sometimes seem to hate each other Are most American Christians concerned only about the Accord that may be parked in the driveway In the World Christian Encyclopedia published in 1982 David Barrett records that Christian denominations increased from a global total of 1 900 in the year 1900 to over 18 000 in 1970 By 1980 there were close to 21 000 which amounts to a net increase of 270 new denominations a year or five every week Barrett comments that in many countries this proliferation of denominations has produced serious overlapping competition rivalries clashes violence and even lawsuits Barrett 1980 17 Robert Schreiter describes the problem as a culturally and cognitively diverse Christianity that yet professes one Lord one faith one baptism Schreiter 1991 284 But David Bosch is more specific He ascribes the proliferation of new churches to a Protestant virus which causes divisions on the basis of extremely questionable distinctions 1991 466 Instead of being in one accord Christians too often promote their own brands of Christianity like used car salespersons who inflate the value of their own product and smear the competition Questionable advertising often accompanies these campaigns An example of this would be the health and wealth gospel promoted by some televangelists The denominational issue of course is only part of the problem There are other schisms that wrack the body of Christ in the last part of the twentieth century Different ethnic and socio economic groups even those of the same denomination may refuse to worship together rationalizing this division on the basis of the Homogeneous Unit Principle of Church Growth theory 2 Men and women still are unreconciled to each other Instead of relating on the basis of Gal 3 28 many still act out of the universal hostility between women and men that results from pagan ideological premises 96 3 One of the main justifications for schisms throughout church history has been the need to preserve a pure church This concern has real validity But how shall we deal with the fact that the unity of the church is part of its purity An important mission statement formulated by the faculty of Fuller Seminary Pasadena CA makes this point A readiness to be open to the Spirit s work among God s people must characterize our relations with Catholics or all confessions Orthodox Roman and Anglican as with all other Christians The unity of the church is part of its purity We cannot compromise our Biblical convictions that is part of our commitment to purity And one of those biblical convictions is that Christ has but one church Fuller Theological Seminary Faculty 1983 emphasis mine Charles Van Engen professor of Mission Theology at Fuller sharpens the point when he writes We do not confess holy catholic churches or families of God or peoples of God or bodies of Christ or New Israels In the biblical view of the church the plural only refers to geographical location of churches not existential being of the Church In its essence there is only one church Van Engen 1991 49 Van Engen writes that Karl Barth was convinced that a plurality of churches that mutually excluded one another could only mean a plurality of Lords of spirits and of gods Van Engen 1991 49 Truth or purity must not be played out against unity A hallmark of Pauline theology was his refusal to entertain the possibility of a disjunction between the truth of the gospel and the divinely willed unity of the church The supreme value was unity and this truth and while unity is already a fact for those who are in Christ it is also a command Be one Bosch 1991 464 467 LIMITS TO CHRISTIAN UNITY But is it possible for Catholics Mennonites Charismatics African Independent Churches Evangelicals and main line Protestants to be in one accord Here it is important to recognize the parameters of unity A physical unity of one large organization is a sheer impossibility Perhaps because of the way unity has sometimes been defined to mean structural organization the term accord better carries the meaning intended here Accord seems to have more to do with spirit and attitude Not the size place or institutional authorization but the mission purpose and what C Norman Kraus calls Spirit spirit of the group define true churchly character Kraus 1991 185 97 If Christians get that right if they can relate to other Christians in the spirit of the Holy Spirit there could even be a positive side to denominations There was after all never a dull uniformity about the Christian movement From the beginning there was variety in doctrinal emphasis forms of church government and cultural observances Green 1987 181 Even within the membership of local churches there was not an introverted club of like minded enthusiasts but a group of people with various complementary gifts that were needed to exercise mission and ministry in the world Van Engen 1991 51 Russell Spittler of Fuller Theological Seminary believes that the positive side to denominations is that what one overemphasizes may be exactly what others are lacking He suggests that the spiritual gift model may be applied to denominations as well as to individuals

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  • Direction: A Personal Journey of Missiological Formation
    academic level that has been subjected to so much criticism in the polemical arena of theology since World War II as that of mission At the popular level just the opposite 105 is true the average church member gives little thought to the academic meaning of mission and is content whether it is neglected rejected or misinterpreted Personal Decisions and Concerns First of all I have sometimes felt that discussions at conferences and consultations both national and international conciliar and nonconciliar were more destructive than helpful That has led me to a deliberate decision to join the many men and women around the world who take a critical yet positive and balanced approach to the theory and practice of mission Theirs is an ongoing commitment to learn and to teach what global mission means in the contexts of changing times in a changing world That has been freeing and challenging in my missiological formation Furthermore I also carry deep concerns with regard to world mission as an abiding biblical mandate Today s generation of church and school has the tendency to be ahistorical That is dangerous Today s mission has a long history It is imperative to understand yesterday s mission in order to be missionarily fruitful in tomorrow s world This demands serious theological and historical reflection as much as spiritual commitment biblical studies and practical experience Then too I am concerned about the relationship between mission and theology Unless we keep constant vigil at our theological institutions and work at integration we run the risk of neglecting one at the expense of the other Yet we need both to missionize the world Martin Kähler once said that mission is the mother of theology and theology the daughter of mission It is only as the church is missionally involved with the world that its theologizing task becomes essential When the church is not intentionally missionizing it has little need for theology From Many Books to One Book Throughout my sporadic academic journey from Bible school to graduate studies many years later mission and related courses were always at the top of my interest list Such texts as Scarborough s With Christ After the Lost Glover s Progress of World Wide Missions Edman s Light in Dark Ages and Brown s The Foreign Missionary Yesterday and Today shaped my early mission philosophy I was profoundly moved when I read Scarborough s observation that God had only to speak the word to create the world but to save it he had to sacrifice his only Son Glover s definition of mission as the proclamation of the gospel to the unconverted everywhere according to the command of Christ impacted me in a similar way Such understanding of mission was entirely spiritual 106 in nature It called for life long commitment not short term experiment it demanded obedience regardless of convenience My early theological thinking was molded by Evans Great Doctrines of the Bible and Strong s Systematic Theology supplemented by Thiessen s Lectures in Systematic Theology What impressed me in the last two books apart from arguments about divine election and personal choice was their stress on making known the gospel to all peoples During years of teaching studying and the reading of many great and not so great books I have found one book that overshadows all others I discovered the Bible as a missionary book In reading it as such I have learned to refrain from prooftexting and instead to read larger portions often entire books historically contextually and even metatheologically as Paul Hiebert has taught me to do Another valuable lesson in this regard is Albrecht Bengel s golden rule for Bible readers found in the foreword to his Gnomon Te totum applica ad textum rem totam applica ad te Apply yourself wholly to the text and the text apply wholly to yourself Reading the Bible this way has been one of the most rewarding and liberating experiences in my entire missiological development Living missiologically with the Bible is as challenging as living academically by the Bible Trinitarian Anchor of World Mission The trinitarian idea is woven into the biblical warp and woof from beginning to end Christian belief in the classical trinitrian formulation in terms of Father Son and Holy Spirit is a faith position anchored in the Scriptures Documentation for the position lies in Isaiah s vision of the LORD Almighty Isa 6 1ff or the common baptismal formula Matt 28 20 21 or again the trinitarian scenes described by John the Seer cf Rev 1 4 6 22 6 17 But other passages should also be noted The writer of the drama of creation for example talks about God as Creator of the heavens and the earth he names the Spirit of God as the Mover in the firmament and the Giver of life he also speaks of the Word as the causative Force in the creative process The best commentaries on the Spirit as Life Giver and the Word as creative Force are supplied by Job s friend Elihu Job 32 8 33 4 the writer of Psalm 33 vv 6 9 the Evangelist John 1 1 3 and the Apostle Paul Col 1 15f The so called gift passage of 1 Cor 12 4 6 is in the larger context chaps 12 14 another trinitarian structure The various types of the gifts of grace charismaton come from the one same pneuma Spirit 107 The many kinds of services diakonion emanate from the one same kyrios Lord The varieties of tangible manifestations energematon proceed from the one same theos God It is the Triune God who is gifting his people for ministry among themselves and a comprehensive mission in the world The late Arno Lehmann of Halle once wrote From the missio Dei alone emanates the missio ecclesiae He is right The entire missionary enterprize must first and foremost be recognized as God s not ours Mission is theocentric not ecclesiocentric as leading misiologists like

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  • Direction: Hans Kasdorf: Missiologist Par Excellence
    than one occasion students have presented him with a giant eraser so he may correct the term missions A MISSION THEOLOGY ROOTED IN BIBLICAL HISTORICAL SCHOLARSHIP Kasdorf s academic achievement scholarship and writing is a modern day miracle His formal education includes two earned doctorates one in theology and one in missiology and three masters degrees in historical theology in German language literature and in religious education He speaks English German Portuguese and Spanish fluently His studies have also given him reading proficiences in Greek Danish Dutch French and Italian What makes Kasdorf s achievements so remarkable is that his formal education was cut short during his second grade in Brazil by World War II Even though he didn t own his first book until he was eighteen and only returned to formal studies when he was twenty one he has been a lifelong learner and student Perhaps Kasdorf s greatest contribution to missiology is yet to be realized in the untapped treasures of his extensive research and publications His dissertation A Century of Mennonite Brethren Mission Thinking 1885 1985 706 pp is a careful and helpful analysis of shifts in a denomination s mission philosophy and thinking His writings have influenced missiology world wide Kasdorf s seven books cover such subjects as conversion historical and theological perspectives on missions More than a hundred published journal articles book reviews and book chapters represent a strong contribution to the field of missiology He is currently working on two new books one a history of missiology and the other a biblical theology of mission Kasdorf s students describe him as a walking database of information on the history and theology of missions In class without any notes he gives you the dates and events of history recalls one student While Kasdorf s research and information have always impressed students what makes his teaching and writing so powerful is his commitment to scripture and to both the God of mission and the mission of God 113 A MISSIONARY STATESMAN AND CHURCHMAN Kasdorf s twelve years of service on the Mennonite Brethren Board of Mission Services plus his thirteen years as Director of the Church Mission Training Institute have made him a major shaper of global mission theology vision training strategy and policy for the denomination and beyond At the Mennonite Brethren Biblical Seminary the decade of the 80 s became the decade of mission in large part through Kasdorf s vision focused in the slogan from maintenance to mission Mission director Harold Ens describes Hans as a missionary statesman who has helped our churches to understand the global mission task in a time of major change In constant demand as a speaker for mission and Bible conferences his ministry has touched many churches on all continents His preaching teaching and writing have consistently reflected a passion for a biblically based mission theology and for the missionary nature of the church In his involvement with international students he modeled what he preached by having

    Original URL path: http://www.directionjournal.org/23/1/hans-kasdorf-missiologist-par-excellence.html (2016-02-16)
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  • Direction: On Religious Pluralism
    Lord and Savior but remains positive and very open to other religions The book is important to understand the positions of those advocating a pluralist position in religion Fernando Ajith The Christian s Attitude toward World Religions Wheaton IL Tyndale House 1987 An excellent evangelical response to religious pluralism written by one of the leaders in the Asian churches The author writes for the broader world Christian audience Goldsmith Martin What About Other Faiths London Hodder and Stoughton 1989 A concise introduction to some of the theological issues written by an evangelical in an understandable and non technical manner The author s concern is to present Biblical perspectives on some of the controversial questions arising from pluralism Knitter Paul No Other Name A Critical Survey of Christian Attitudes 115 Toward the World Religions Maryknoll Orbis 1985 This book is significant mainly because it provides a good survey of the current debate and the main theological positions Knitter s own perspective is thoroughly pluralistic but he introduces readers to the main issues and personalities involved Neill Stephen Christian Faith and Other Faiths The Christian Dialogue with other Religions Downers Grove IL InterVarsity Press 1984 First published in England under the title Crises of Belief An excellent classic on the Christian encounter with other religions by an highly respected Christian missionary and scholar The author deals with the issues particularly in the setting of Christian missions Netland Harold A Dissonant Voices Religious Pluralism and the Question of Truth Grand Rapids W B Eerdmans 1991 An excellent analysis of the major issues involved in the debate over religious pluralism and the uniqueness of Christ and a thoroughly biblical response This is a major work written by an evangelical for those wanting to examine the subject in greater theological and philosophical depth Pinnock Clark

    Original URL path: http://www.directionjournal.org/23/1/on-religious-pluralism.html (2016-02-16)
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