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Christian Mission in the Modern World

4.5 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0877844853
ISBN-10: 0877844852
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"John Stott has packed this book with what has to be some of the most perceptive, on-target observations available today on the intensely debated issues of world mission."

"No evangelical writer makes a more scrupulous attempt at clarity and fairness than John Stott. Notably fresh and illuminating."

"Stott is a precise analyst, driving right to the heart of Scripture; he is also a graceful writer, making memorably attractive all that he says."

About the Author

John R. W. Stott (1921-2011) has been known worldwide as a preacher, evangelist and communicator of Scripture. For many years he served as rector of All Souls Church in London, where he carried out an effective urban pastoral ministry. A leader among evangelicals in Britain, the United States and around the world, Stott was a principal framer of the landmark Lausanne Covenant (1974). His many books have sold millions of copies around the world and in dozens of languages. Stott’s best-known work, Basic Christianity, has sold two million copies and has been translated into more than 60 languages. Other titles include The Cross of Christ, Understanding the Bible, The Contemporary Christian, Evangelical Truth, Issues Facing Christians Today, The Incomparable Christ, Why I Am a Christian and Through the Bible Through the Year, a daily devotional. He has also written eight volumes in The Bible Speaks Today series of New Testament expositions. Whether in the West or in the Two-Thirds World, a hallmark of Stott's ministry has been expository preaching that addresses the hearts and minds of contemporary men and women. Stott was honored by Time magazine in 2005 as one of the "100 Most Influential People in the World" and was named in the Queen’s New Years Honours list as Commander of the Order of the British Empire. In 1969, Stott founded the Langham Trust to fund scholarships for young evangelical leaders from the Majority World. He then founded the Evangelical Literature Trust, which provided books for students, pastors and theological libraries in the Majority World. These two trusts continued as independent charities until 2001, when they were joined as a single charity: the Langham Partnership. Langham's vision continues today to see churches in the Majority World equipped for mission and growing to maturity in Christ through nurturing national movements for biblical preaching, fostering the creation and distribution of evangelical literature, and enhancing evangelical theological education. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: IVP Books (January 1, 1976)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0877844852
  • ISBN-13: 978-0877844853
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.4 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #929,981 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
It's hard to believe that Stott wrote this book in 1976, yet, I read it in 1999 for a Christian Mission class, and it seems so appropriate today. Dr. Stott was on the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelism, and has obviously thought about these and researched this deeply. He comes from an Evangelical Protestant heritage.
This is a particularly insighted book, an introduction to Christian Mission. The change from the plural, missions, to the singular, mission, is indicated by Stott as what all Christians should be doing, that is, both evangelism AND striving for social justice (that is, arguing the case of the orphan, widow, feeding the hungry, housing the homeless, fighting against oppression, etc.).
Stott defines a number of crucial terms and places them within the context of Christian theology, for instance, evangelism just means 'proclaiming the Good News,' specifically that of salvation through the Lord Jesus Christ. Yet, Stott is very practical and uses biblical theology (such as the theology of the Incarnation gives us an example of what it means to be involved with others, to share their sufferings and concerns, and to understand their culture and be able to dialogue with them at where they are at). And Stott is very good at providing negative examples, or warnings, such as that Christians are also to be 'salt and light,' maintaining their identity as Christians; that the Gospel is not liberation theology (although the influence of the Gospel may be seen in the culture in fighting against social injustices), the Gospel does not ensure health and wealth. Salvation does mean freedom from sin, to serve and obey God.
The book is divided between 5 large chapters that have a number of topics discussed. The first is Mission -- what is Christian Mission?
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Format: Paperback
In 1975, InterVarsity Press published Christian Mission in the Modern World by John Stott. It recently reissued the book as part of the IVP Classics series. Like almost everything Stott has written, the book repays careful reading.

Stott, who is British, is the type of evangelical Christian that we do not often see in America. In America, evangelicals generally work outside the structures of the so-called mainline churches. Stott is a priest of the Church of England and a participant in ecumenical dialogues. He is a pastor, theologian, activist, bridge-builder, and public intellectual. American evangelical leaders tend to specialize in one or two of those areas. Indeed, I cannot think of a precise American counterpart to Stott.

Christian Mission in the Modern World grew out of the 1975 Chavasse Lectures in World Mission that Stott delivered at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford. It investigates the meaning of five words in conversation with then-current trends in both evangelical and ecumenical missiology: mission, evangelism, dialogue, salvation, and conversion. As should be expected in a book published more than thirty years ago, some of the persons, events, and documents Stott discusses are no longer current. Even so, however, Stott's insights into the meaning of these words still provoke thought. Let us briefly take a look at them.

First, mission: What is the mission of the church? It is common to distinguish evangelical and ecumenical missiologies by saying that the former is concerned with evangelism and the latter with social action. There is an element of truth in this, although Stott points out that evangelicals are concerned with social action and ecumenicals with evangelism--at least according to the leading documents of their respective movements.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Christian Mission in the Modern World provides “an ecumenical understanding from an evangelical source” (10) for the term mission. Stott carefully defines five key terms in this pursuit: mission, evangelism, dialogue, salvation, and conversion.

Stott starts with an excellent introduction on authorial intent and Scriptural authority. He says, “We evangelicals think we have [learned to live under the authority of Scripture]—and there is no doubt we sincerely want to—but at some times we are very selective in our submission and at others the traditions of evangelical elders seem to owe more to culture than to Scripture” (14). Submission to the authority of Scripture then is paramount in even approaching the topic of mission. Great launching pad for the coming definitions.

Stott makes three important points in the first chapter when defining mission. First, mission can’t mean everything God does. He also acts in “providence and common grace” in all cultures (21). Second, God by his very nature is a sending God (24). He sends prophets, Jesus, Spirit, and the Church—to act in the world. Third, Stott notes social justice isn’t just part of all of Jesus’ command in the Great Commission. It’s the second greatest commandment—love your neighbor (25-26, 32-33). This last point is a discussion I haven’t heard a lot of chatter about in the continued discussed about the Church and mission.

In the next chapter, he emphatically states that evangelism doesn’t equal making converts. That takes the responsibility of conversion out of God’s hands and places it into ours.
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