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Transforming Mission: Paradigm Shifts in Theology of Mission (American Society of Missiology Series) Paperback – March 20, 1991


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Product Details

  • Series: American Society of Missiology Series (Book 16)
  • Paperback: 587 pages
  • Publisher: Orbis Books (March 20, 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0883447193
  • ISBN-13: 978-0883447192
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.1 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #420,460 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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For anyone who takes mission seriously in the church, this is a must-read book.
Jeff DeSurra
I judge a book by how much scribbling I do in the margins and by whether I want to read it again once I am done.
Jeremy Myers
Still yet, David Bosch significantly added to the study of missiology in his classic work, Transforming Mission.
Joshua Lee Henry

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

64 of 65 people found the following review helpful By Foster Stanback on December 6, 2002
Format: Paperback
Transforming Mission is a scholarly, in-depth study of major missionary paradigms from the first century until the present. Bosch's point of departure is that the Christian faith is "intrinsically missionary." He distinguishes between the missio Dei - God's own involvement in the world, and Missions - the church's missionary activity. He believes that to carry out God's mission the church can neither focus its activity exclusively on saving souls nor on this-worldly human progress -it must do both.
He first surveys the New Testament model of mission, claiming that the advent of Jesus of Nazareth marked a significant change in the concept of mission as understood in the Old Testament. Jesus' ministry was characterized by inclusiveness and breaking down barriers between people. His goal was directed toward all Israel rather than only the remnant of the faithful. Bosch makes the point that one of the most well-known missionary texts, the Great Commission, cannot be divorced from the rest of Matthew's gospel. He believes that Matthew envisions a mission to both Jews and Gentiles and that this mission is characterized by discipleship and a call to challenge social injustice. Luke's understanding of mission highlights repentance and forgiveness of sins as well as economic justice and peace-making. Paul's understanding of mission focuses on the church as an eschatalogical community which is works for the improvement of society while awaiting the ultimate renewal of all things with the parousia.
In the second part of his analysis Bosch draws upon the work of Hans Kung and Thomas Kuhn.
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22 of 27 people found the following review helpful By H-J.Wallin.Weihe@hil.no on April 3, 1999
Format: Paperback
Transforming missions is a scholarly work of importance for all scientists occupied with cross cultural encounters and matters of religion. The author, David Bosch, is one of several missologists who willingly share his rich and well documented work with other disciplines.
The book is well researched and the author is able to communicate complicated theological matters in a most convincing way. The book is readable and accessible to a long range of intrested persons and not merely to experts or specialists.
From a scholarly point of view Bosch provides the researcher with an analysis that gives a good framework for further research on the matter of missiology and historical cross cultural encounters. However, I miss references and analysis that can be more easily related to central social science authors like Giddens and Habermas and modern philosophers of care and interpersonal relationships.
I also miss a more penetrating discussion of the Eastern Orthodox churches and the paradigm shift in their missiological thinking.
Bosch has provided as with a bridge of understanding that is most helpful. His book will hopefully be read by many and will most certainly provide inspiration for many scholars.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 3, 1999
Format: Paperback
Transforming missions is a scholarly work of importance for all scientists occupied with cross cultural encounters and matters of religion. The author, David Bosch, is one of several missologists who willingly share his rich and well documented work with other disciplines.
The book is well researched and the author is able to communicate complicated theological matters in a most convincing way. The book is readable and accessible to a long range of intrested persons and not merely to experts or specialists.
From a scholarly point of view Bosch provides the researcher with an analysis that gives a good framework for further research on the matter of missiology and historical cross cultural encounters. However, I miss references and analysis that can be more easily related to central social science authors like Giddens and Habermas and modern philosophers of care and interpersonal relationships.
I also miss a more penetrating discussion of the Eastern Orthodox churches and the paradigm shift in their missiological thinking.
Bosch has provided as with a bridge of understanding that is most helpful. His book will hopefully be read by many and will most certainly provide inspiration for many scholars.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jeff DeSurra on April 28, 2008
Format: Paperback
This is a cornerstone for studies in missional theology. David Bosch gives a thorough analysis of Christian mission movement throughout history, starting from the biblical foundations for missions and moving through six paradigms he identifies throughout history. It is very dense, slow reading, but Bosch is also a writer who can be skimmed well. His writing is very structured, allowing a more casual reader to skim through some of the more dense sections without losing important content while still being able to converse with a more academic reader who has read the details as well. For anyone who takes mission seriously in the church, this is a must-read book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Benjamin Morrison on April 6, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is encyclopedic in more ways that one. First it is incredibly long. It is nearly 600 pages and the font is small and tightly spaced. Second, the tone is rather academic. Its poetic and aesthetic value may be low, but it's informational value is colossal. The author essentially traces the history of the theology of mission over the last 2,000 years of Christianity. Yes, it is as comprehensive as it sounds. But for anyone interested in a serious study of mission and more specifically the theology and thought of mission (rather than biographies), this is your book. While some sections were certainly dry, tracing the church's approach to mission throughout the centuries was fascinating (or at least it was for me). His approach to the NT holds a number of rich insights. His premise is that the NT was written in the whole context of mission and is first and foremost a book of missionary theology. The final part of the book (which probably could've been its own book) tackles the approach to mission at the threshold of the 21st century. He looks at mission as seen in a number of different ways and what each implies for mission today. If you aren't interested in an in-depth history of the theology of mission and just want the application for today, skipping to this last section will give you that (it's still over 100 pages) and is itself worth the price of the book, though I suggest reading the whole thing. This book holds some great nuggets for the patient reader.
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