Item description for To Give or Not to Give?: Rethinking Dependency, Restoring Generosity, and Redefining Sustainability by John Rowell...
Overview Modern mission theory is guided largely by the "three self paradigm" that suggests indigenous churches can only be healthy if they are "self-governing, self-propagating, and self-supporting." Consequently, Western missionaries, their churches, and their agencies have been increasingly indisposed to giving generously. We must rethink the interplay of dollars dependency and what it means to "do the right thing" with our money as we pursue twenty-first century missions. This book answers the questions whether Westerners ought "to give or not to give" in support of global evangelism and encourages maximum generosity as the path most reflective of God's heart on the matter.
Publishers Description Modern mission theory is guided largely by the "three self paradigm" that suggests indigenous churches can only be healthy if they are "self-governing, self-propagating, and self-supporting." Consequently, Western missionaries, their churches, and their agencies have been increasingly indisposed to giving generously. We must rethink the interplay of dollars dependency and what it means to "do the right thing" with our money as we pursue twenty-first century missions. This book answers the questions whether Westerners ought "to give or not to give" in support of global evangelism and encourages maximum generosity as the path most reflective of God's heart on the matter.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.1" Width: 5.44" Height: 0.67" Weight: 0.88 lbs.
Release Date Feb 1, 2007
Publisher AUTHENTIC BOOKS
ISBN 1932805869 ISBN13 9781932805864
Reviews - What do customers think about To Give or Not to Give: Rethinking Dependency, Restoring Generosity, and Redefining Sustainability?
Rethinking Mission Strategy May 14, 2008
This is an excellent book for any missionary who has struggled with the issue of when to give, how much and to whom. The author has a good grasp of previous missiological theory as well as current and is able to give well thought through arguments as to why giving generously is so important. Whether you agree with him or not, he develops well his ideas of indigenous dependancy, sustainability and partnership - covenant relationship. Anyone struggling with the current role of the expatriate white missionary over seas needs to read this book.
I bought it because it was recommended at a conference Jan 14, 2008
This book was being passed around at a recent conference in Costa Rica. Representatives of North American churches which have partnered with Latin American churches were meeting with (some) of the partners' reps to discuss dependencey and sustanability. All the participants were in the process of re-thinking our relationships on at least some level. I haven't read the book yet, but I expect it to change my giving paradigm, both personally and corporately.
Provocative and Inspirational Oct 5, 2007
John Rowell did his homework and created an extremely helpful resource for those of us who are thoughtfully investing our God-given resources in biblically responsible and strategic ways. I wish this book would be widely read throughout the Christian community.
A Marshall Plan for Giving Sep 18, 2007
Modern missions have some disturbing features, such as the wide disparity between the rich (in traditionally sending nations) and the poor (in traditionally receiving nations), and the lack of enthusiasm in mission giving by wealthy Christians. John Rowell believes he knows why these things exist and what can be done about them. He says that by stressing the three-self formula and trying to avoid creating dependency, missiologists have provided an excuse to wealthy American Christians that persuades them not to give. In addition, Americans are heavily influenced by the history of the welfare system as it has evolved and are now opposed to handouts. Rowell believes that generosity in mission giving must not only be restored, but should be on the order of the Marshall Plan that helped rebuild Europe after World War II. This will necessitate the removal of the obstacle of the three-self formula and worries about creating dependency, since the biblical mandate to help the poor must override those outdated concerns. Rowell generally sees the poor as both Christians in developing countries who need assistance in church work and in their everyday lives, and as non-Christians who need better health care, food, education, jobs, and so on. He emphasizes that most unreached people are poor. Rowell's mission experience is through long-term assistance to some churches in Bosnia. After his arrival during the devastation of the 1990s war in Bosnia, Rowell became the leader of a consortium of American churches that funded Bosnian evangelical churches. He cites the generous giving of these Americans as a model of what he proposes. Some principles that they used in giving included forming covenant relationships with the Bosnians and supplying funds with "no-strings-attached." In support of his proposals, Rowell relies heavily on the works of Ron Sider and Jonathan Bonk. He also tries to use Henry Venn, John Nevius, and Roland Allen to support his position, but this is not convincing. For example, he says that Venn used the three-self formula only to prevent western domination of indigenous people but was not so worried about creating dependency. In fact, western domination and indigenous dependency are just two sides of the same coin. Modern missionaries have twisted Venn's meaning, Rowell asserts, to include a concern about dependency that precludes generosity from the wealthy. This particular accusation, however, is never really proved. Although Rowell clearly understands the pitfalls that could accompany his proposals, and cites all the relevant authorities, in the end he decides that overcoming poverty overrides all other concerns. He redefines sustainability to mean that as long as poor or sick people are being helped, funds should continue to pour in from wealthy American Christians. This method of missions would position the United States as the "War Chest for World Missions" (p. 252). While the issues Rowell addresses of global poverty and lack of generosity are worthy topics that need good answers, his final proposals would likely exacerbate the very problems he hopes to solve.