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Transforming Mission: Paradigm Shifts in Theology of Mission (American Society of Missiology Series) Paperback


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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: 9.2 x 6 x 1.1 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: #438,835 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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I put this book in my "Top 5 most influential books" that I have ever read.
Jeremy Myers
The implications Bosch makes for the understanding and practice of mission will continue to greatly influence missiologist into the twenty-first century.
Joshua Lee Henry
The book is well researched and the author is able to communicate complicated theological matters in a most convincing way.
H-J.Wallin.Weihe@hil.no

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 Doulos Theou on December 9, 2009
Format: Paperback
David Bosch's masterpiece will undoubtedly remain the seminal text for missional theology over the first part of the 21st century. It is comprehensive, well-planned, well-written, and internally consistent.

It should be noted that this is a theoretical text and a heavily theological one, although some of the practical outworkings of it are evident. If you haven't read much theology before this, I would recommend reading a basic theology reader or textbook to become acclimated. You will have to read at a fairly high level to understand this book, and at a very high level to grasp the nuances and subtleties (certainly I am not at that level yet). If you are struggling with dense introductory theology books or don't know what to read, I will recommend a favorite of mine to you - Karl Barth's Evangelical Theology: An Introduction. Bosch has obviously read and has applied Barth's theology.

If one is engaging in almost any historical, biblical, or contemporary/practical study of mission, this text is the starting point. It is immensely rich and fairly dense, full of scholarly research and support, and even diverse in the sources from which Bosch draws. This text keeps on giving; it is a reference book for missional theology and history, and an example of how to carry out scholarship in the field.

Part 1 is a ~160 page exposition of "New Testament Models of Mission," focusing on the Gospel of Matthew, Luke-Acts, and Pauline epistles. I would suggest that work on the other two Gospels, the catholic epistles, and Revelation might be warranted, even though the task of the author would have been impossible and the book cumbersome were that the case.
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