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Contextualization in World Missions: Mapping and Assessing Evangelical Models Paperback – November 19, 2012
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"A contemporary, nuanced account of evangelical contextualization models fills a great need not only for missiologists and missionaries, but also among theologians and biblical scholars. Scott Moreau is a trustworthy guide, and his research will raise awareness of authentically global theology while further informing current hermeneutical discussions." (Daniel J. Treier, Professor of Theology Wheaton College 2012-12-01)
"One shouldn't study contextualization without access to Moreau's work." (Paul W. Shea, Associate Professor of Missions Houghton College 2012-12-01)
"A way forward--a map--for evangelical intercultural workers to navigate the often uncertain terrain of contextualization." (Edward Smither, Professor of Intercultural Studies Columbia International University 2012-12-01)
"A very thoughtful treatment of one of the most important and controversial issues of the day--contextualization." (Geoff Tunnicliffe, CEO/Secretary General World Evangelical Alliance 2012-12-01)
About the Author
A. Scott Moreau spent fourteen years on staff with Campus Crusade for Christ (CCC), ten years in Africa. He directed a regional team of CCC staff in Swaziland and taught general science in a Swazi public high school for two years. After graduate work at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School he taught at Nairobi International School of Theology for over seven years. Dr. Moreau returned to the United States in 1991 to accept a position at Wheaton College, currently teaching in the Missions and Intercultural Studies Department.
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Top Customer Reviews
Moreau divides his book into two parts. In section one he discusses the foundations of evangelical contextualization. Evangelicals were not the first to use the term and have built on the work of other thinkers/practitioners. In chapter one, Moreau summarizes the work of Stephen Bevans and Robert Schreiter, both of who mapped various approaches to contextualization and evangelical missiologists have built on their work; however evangelical approaches differ from more mainline approaches in that evangelicals are committed to the necessity of conversion, activism, Biblicism and crucicentrism (Bebbington's characteristics of evangelicals). In chapter two and three, Moreau further explores the constraints on evangelical approaches based on their understanding of revelation and interpretation. Chapters four through six look closer at the good and bad in contextualization, conceptual frameworks and describe Moreau's analytic approach.
In section two, Moreau sets about mapping the variety of evangelical contextual approaches. He maps six approaches to contextualization, drawn from his research into what 249 contextual initiators are doing (i.e missions organizations or ministries working on a multinational scale). From his research, he uncovered six distinct approaches. That of facilitator, guide, herald, pathfinder, prophet and restorer. He closes this section by imagining future trajectories of evangelical mission and the work of contextualization. Additionally he includes several appendices which evaluate other evangelical attempts at mapping contextualization.
If you are looking for a book that provides a comprehensive overview of evangelical understandings of contextualization, this is really the best book. It is accessible and Moreau does a very good job of evaluated various approaches and summarizing the debates.Each chapter begins with a summary and outline and ends with a list of keywords from the chapter and questions for reflection. This will be a helpful resource for the classroom, or for missions preparations. Readers who are interested in the philosophical underpinning of various missional approaches will also find this worthwhile. I highly recommend it. I give it five stars. ★★★★★
I received this book from Kregel Academic through the Kregel Academic and Ministry Blog Program.
From an information perspective, this book is unparalleled in it's scope and comprehensiveness. Nearly the entire book is focused on summarizing and critiquing the major views, theories, and practices of contextualization. It contains chapters on the presuppositional concerns in contextualization, how to discern the good from the bad, tools for analysis and application, and several informative chapters on various examples of evangelical contextualization.
There is a drawback to the book, however. Though I love reading about contextualization and love even more trying to apply the principles of contextualization to the Gospel work I am doing today, I found myself incredibly bored with this book. Though the book is very informative, it is also quite dull. It reminded me of most of the textbooks I had to read in seminary.
The majority of this book contains a summary of the views on various topics related to the issues of contextualization in missions. The author himself rarely shows up in the text, except to provide a brief transitional paragraph or two between summaries of what other authors have written. Though these types of books are a great way to grasp all the various views and approaches on a particular topic, I find them difficult to read. But if you are a professor, missionary, or seminary student that needs a detailed and thorough summary of the issues related to contextualization, this book is a good place to start.
Ultimately, Contextualization in World Missions is a great primer and summary of issues related to contextualization, and I recommend it for anyone interested in learning more about this all-important topic for understanding the Gospel and applying it to the various cultural contexts in which we work and minister.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Contextualization is the kind of book I loathe, and the style makes it...Read more