Item description for Changing Frontiers of Mission (American Society of Missiology Series) by Wilbert R. Shenk & William R. Shenk...
Overview From the publisher: Changing Frontiers of Mission reflects on the history of missions and seeks to discern its path for the future. Ever since Jesus' time, mission must precede the church. The renewal of the church is linked to recovery of this priority of mission. Unlike in the past, where the "frontier" was a geographical location, the future "frontier" is symbolizd by outward movement, away from the status quo, and toward new challenges, growth and opportunities. Shenk organizes the book in sections dealing with: (1) theological frontiers; (2) frontiers in theory and practice; (3) contemporary Western culture as a missiological frontier; and (4) discerning changes in the historical patterns of carrying on mission. With Christians in every part of the world, the "frontier" needs to be flexible and responsive to the socio-political changes in our world. Outdated geographical boundaries of "frontier" may be the greatest obstacle to missions in our world today.
Publishers Description Changing Frontiers of Mission reflects on the history of missions and seeks to discern its path for the future. Ever since Jesus' time, mission must precede the church. The renewal of the church is linked to recovery of this priority of mission. Unlike in the past, where the "frontier" was a geographical location, the future "frontier" is symbolized by outward movement, away from the status quo, and toward new challenges, growth and opportunities.
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Studio: Orbis Books
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 9.23" Width: 6.02" Height: 0.5" Weight: 0.72 lbs.
Release Date Jun 26, 1999
Publisher Orbis Books
Series American Society Of Missiology
Series Number 28
ISBN 1570752591 ISBN13 9781570752599
Availability 0 units.
More About Wilbert R. Shenk & William R. Shenk
Shenk is Professor of Mission History and Contemporary Culture at Fuller Theological Seminary and has recently completed direction of a team of more thany fifty international scholars in a multi-year study on the missiology of Western culture.
Wilbert R. Shenk currently resides in Pasadena, in the state of California.
Wilbert R. Shenk has published or released items in the following series...
American Society of Missiology Monograph
Studies in the History of Christian Missions (Paperback)
Reviews - What do customers think about Changing Frontiers of Mission (American Society of Missiology Series)?
Interesting and Educational but not Easily Applicable May 4, 2003
This is the 28th book published in the American Society of Missiology Series. The purpose of the series is to publish, "scholarly works of high quality and wide interest on missiological themes from the entire spectrum of scholarly pursuits relevant to Christian mission."
The author was a missionary for four years in Indonesia and is a professor of missions at Fuller Theological Seminary.
The book recalls a lot of history in regard to Christian missions. There are many `real life' examples of different cross-cultural ministry situations. The author focuses much of his attention on the church in the West, and its decline in influence and godliness.
Personally, I had a hard time reading some of the book. There was a lot of stuff that was over my head. This book is obviously intended for the serious, well-educated missiologist. There was also a lot of vocabulary that I had to look up in a dictionary; such words as sacerdotal, nexus, baleful, parlance, atrophying, raiment, ignominy, and concomitant. Sometimes the large words were difficult, but the book is mostly readable.
At the end of each chapter there is a one or two paragraph summary of the entire chapter. These summaries are usually very clear, and if you missed the main gist of the chapter, these summaries are helpful.
Throughout the book (including the title) the author refers to the term frontier. He says this concerning the term,
"Frontier entails a double meaning. On the one hand, it indicates the place where the crucial engagement is taking place. It is here the battle is joined and the future is being decided. On the other hand, to pursue the frontier requires movement, the abandonment of long-held entrenched positions in order to seize the moment."
He goes on to explain how churches and Christians have institutionalized mission activity and how we need to take a fresh look at mission work.
The first three chapters are a lot of history. The author is trying to show how missions morphed into what it is today by looking at the past. These chapters interesting, but fairly dry. I found chapter three the most interesting of the three.
Chapter five is very interesting. There are two case studies of religious movements among two different people groups. The author tries to show how these huge religious movements happened and tries to apply the concepts behind the two case studies to successful mission work today.
There is a very interesting blurb in chapter seven in the second paragraph of page 95. This brief case study made me think more about what a people movement is.
And the most thought provoking chapter is chapter eight. The author shows how missionaries in the second half of the twentieth century really hammered strategy and efficiency. The author claims that this was a result of modernism. The author makes a good case for anti-strategy. It made me think a lot, but did not really change any of my already formed views on the subject. The information complimented my convictions on the subject.
Chapter nine is a rip session on the church in the West. The author shows how `Christendom' has ruined the vision of the church. He points out how the most vibrant, biblical churches are the ones who have been recently planted in soil that is hostile to the gospel. He says this is because of the healthy tension that exists between the world and the church. That tension has been lost in the West, thus making our churches inward focused and stagnant. Good chapter.
Chapter ten is an interesting chapter on reaching our Western culture. The author writes that as a church we must see the West as a mission field that needs to be reached. Very good chapter.
Chapters eleven through fourteen are a lot of history- the history of missions. I found this history very interesting, but I personally had a hard time understanding the application the author was trying to make from this history.
And the last chapter is a conclusion.
This was a fun book to read, and challenging in some areas. I would not recommend the book to anyone who wasn't already familiar with missions and missiology. But for sure it was an interesting read.