My Top 5 Books on Missions
The Missionary Movement in Christian History: Studies in the Transmission of Faith
Andrew F. Walls (Orbis Books)
Erudite and accessible, this collection of essays from a former missionary to Sierra Leone and founder of the Centre for the Study of World Christianity in Edinburgh stands as one of the best works available on the dynamics of mission, culture, and the gospel.
Things Fall Apart
Chinua Achebe (Anchor)
The late Achebe, a Catholic Nigerian and Nobel Prize-winner, was one of Africa's preeminent novelists. Things Fall Apart, his poignant look at late-19th-century colonialism, is not an antimission screed. Rather, it's a cautionary tale of how mission can serve as liberator or oppressor.
Mission Between the Times:
C. René Padilla (Langham Monographs)
Padilla is one of Latin America's most noteworthy evangelicals. Now more than 25 years old (and reissued in 2010), Padilla's call to integral, holistic mission remains a prescient reminder that the gospel is not either evangelism or justice, but always and forever both.
Transforming Mission: Paradigm Shifts in Theology of Mission
David J. Bosch (Orbis Books)
This is a classic work on the theology of mission by the late South African theologian. Translated into dozens of languages, Bosch's schema of mission "paradigms" has influenced mission theology throughout the globe.
Translating the Message: The Missionary Impact on Culture
Lamin Sanneh (Orbis Books)
Through careful historical and cultural analysis, Sanneh argues that the translation of Scripture into African languages provided a key bulwark against the onslaught of European imperialism. The book, now in an updated edition, remains a pivotal text in missionary studies.
Brian M. Howell, author of Short-Term Mission (IVP Academic, 2012)