A Thorough Outline

A Biblical Theology of Missions, by George W. Peters (Moody, 1972, 368 pp., $6.95), is reviewed by Robert Brow, Anglican rector of Millbrook, Ontario.

This book by the professor of world missions at Dallas Seminary is a necessary addition to every Bible school and seminary library. Its subheadings and numbered points will be appreciated by students but do not encourage bedtime reading.

The first five chapters thoroughly outline the idea of mission in the life and teachings of Jesus Christ and in the Old and New Testaments. There is a distinction between the mandate to Adam—“the qualitative and quantitative improvement of culture on the basis of the revelational theism manifested in creation”—and the mandate for mission through the Church. Peters clarifies the latter by giving a helpful exegesis of the great commission in the four Gospels.

Field missionaries will note the lack of a thorough discussion of the theology of Roland Allen and Donald McGavran in the brief chapter on missionary societies.

A chapter entitled “The Instruments of Missions” gives one view of the relation of the apostles and prophets of the New Testament to modern missionaries. Peters argues for the continuance of two kinds of missionary: evangelist-church planters, and pastor-teachers. The former are successors of the apostles, but without Paul’s apostolic authority. The latter are “functional successors” to the prophets, but without the function of teaching “under the immediate influences of the Spirit.” It is pastor-teachers who are mainly needed as the “contribution of the older churches to the younger churches.”

The distinction between the call to a ministry of the Word and secular callings (farmer, businessman, banker) is very sharply ...

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