Christian Missions In Biblical Perspective
An Introduction to the Science of Missions, by J. H. Bavinck (Presbyterian & Reformed, 1960, 323 pp., $4.95), is reviewed by Harold Dekker, Associate Professor of Missions, Calvin Theological Seminary, Grand Rapids, Michigan.
The author of this work (originally published in the Dutch language in 1952) has had extensive experience as a missionary in Indonesia, has taught missions subjects at several schools in the Netherlands and presently is Professor of Practical Theology at the Free University in Amsterdam. During the fall quarter of 1960 he served as Visiting Professor of Missions at the University of Chicago and gave lectures at various American schools, including a series at Calvin Theological Seminary.
The publishers have rendered a distinct service in making Dr. Bavinck’s ripe experience and scholarship available to English readers. Although not quite ideal as a textbook, in the opinion of this reviewer, we have here the best book on the market for primary use in connection with a college or seminary course in Principles of Missions.
The first part consists of a survey of the biblical foundations for a science of missions. Perspectives on the place of nations in the Old Testament are especially suggestive and, linked by successive steps to the eschatological element in the New Testament, provide a helpful biblical-theological background for what follows. This splendid expository material would have been more successfully used if tied more directly into subsequent systematic constructions.
The strongest chapters for the average student are those on the missionary approach. The author’s sensitive understanding of the relationship between the Christian mission and its cultural context, ...1
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