I know I said a while ago “no more review books.” But I did have a caveat: except if authors sent them or they just appeared. Well, my friend Alan Johnson sent my a copy of his recently published book Apostolic Function in 21st Century Missions published by the William Carey Library which is with the US Center for World Mission.
Alan spent the 2006-2007 academic year as the J. Philip Hogan Professor of World Missions at the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary, in Springfield, MO. This is a yearly professorship to be chaired by various AG missionaries from around the world, where they spend one semester teaching and lecturing on missions and then spend the second semester writing a monograph on some aspect of mission. For Alan Johnson, his subject is the issue of where mission is to occur as it relates to unreached peoples; places where the gospel has yet to be proclaimed. He knows his subject well. For the last 25 years he and his wife have been AGWM missionaries in Thailand (Christianity is less than 2% there, which qualifies it as still an unreached nation). His work has been primarily among the slum communities in Bangkok (the urban poor), where he still lives and works.
Since this is not a review just yet, I’ll leave it off with a blurb on the book (from the WCL website):
In the past we have focused on the “why” of missions in terms of motives, the “what” of missions in terms of the content of the message, and the “how” of missions in terms of methodologies and strategies, but the “where” question, in terms of where we send cross-cultural workers, has simply been assumed; it has meant crossing a geographic boundary.
In Apostolic Function in 21st Century Missions, Alan R. Johnson introduces the idea of apostolic function as the paradigm of missionary self-identity that reminds us to focus our efforts on where Christ is not named. He then examines in detail the “where” paradigm in missions, frontier mission missiology, with a sympathetic critique and a review of the major contributions of unreached people group thinking. Johnson concludes by illustrating his notion of seeking to integrate missions paradigms and discussing of issues that relate specifically to the “where” questions of missions today.
Personally I cannot think of a more important topic related to Christian mission so I look forward to reading it and getting out a review!