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Mission Matters

Author: Tim Chester
Published By: IVP (Nottingham)
Pages: 176
Price: £8.99
ISBN: 978 1783 5928 07

Reviewed by Peter Thomas.

Tim Chester offers us a simple very readable introduction intended for committed Christians to stimulate interest in world mission. Starting in the Bible with the mission of God from the perspectives of Father, Son and Spirit, he then surveys mission through the Old Testament and then on to the Church. He sees the scope of mission to involve everyone with the church at its heart, embracing everything, but with proclamation at its centre, going to everywhere, with the unreached as the priority. He then discusses the cultural challenges to mission and the personal challenges faced by missionaries. Woven throughout are biographical anecdotes which are heart-warming, but tend to be historical rather than contemporary. The majority also tie in to the Keswick Convention, understandably since this book is part of the Keswick Foundations series.

I would happily give this book to somebody who was considering offering for missionary service. The section on ways in which a local church can inspire passion for world mission as well as meaningfully give support to link missionaries is excellent. On the other hand I am not persuaded that the chapter he writes specifically for those serving as missionaries overseas would be particularly encouraging to those whom I know and have visited in their settings.

Ministers, especially those who have given any attention to missiology, are unlikely to find much new here. Some might view his underlying understanding of mission and his emphasis on proclamation and church planting as a little narrow. The discussion of cross-cultural issues is not profound and there is little consideration of the challenges of postmodern thinking, anti-Christian contexts or the world post 9/11. The overall impression is of world mission as it was in the twentieth century rather as it is becoming in the twenty-first.

Peter Thomas

Minister of North Springfield Baptist Church, Chelmsford

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You are reading Issue 65 of Ministry Today, published in November 2015.

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