Missionary, Come Back!, by Arden Almquist (World, 1970, 201 pp., $5.95), Call to Mission, by Stephen Neill (Fortress, 1970, 113 pp., $3.95), The Third World and Mission, by Dennis E. Clark (Word, 1971, 129 pp., $3.95), Student Power in World Evangelism, by David M. Howard (Inter-Varsity, 1970, 129 pp., paperback, $1.25), and World Mission and World Communism; edited by Gerhard Hoffmann and Wilhelm Wille (John Knox, 1968, 142 pp., paperback, $2.45), are reviewed by Samuel F. Rowen, coordinator of program development, Missionary Internship, Farmington, Michigan.
Publishers are investing many pages in the subject of world missions. This means there must be a good market for such books. That this outpouring of comment on world missions should come at a time when the Western Church is experiencing an identity crisis is perplexing. Some see the great interest in “over there” as merely a cop-out for failure at home; others view it as a necessary by-product of an affluent church, or as a sign of inevitable involvement in the global village; still others think it reflects an intense commitment to the truth of the Gospel.
Three of the authors whose books we consider here—Almquist, Neill, and Clark—deal essentially with the theme of the place or role of the missionary. The one great reality that faces the contemporary missionary is that the Church is. The truly pioneering missionary is a vanishing species. Therefore, the role of the missionary in relation to the existing church is of crucial importance. This topic determines the structure of Almquist’s Missionary, Come Back! and Neill’s Call to Mission. Both begin by discussing what the missionary did right, and conclude by building a case for a continuing role for the ...1
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