I enjoy a good conversation about missiology and I'd like to host one each week in January. And, I'd like to invite you to participate. If you will, I will even provide the book!
Here's the guidelines. First, you have to be ready to work through real, thoughtful missiology. Misisology is something that many pastors are talking about today. Mission, missional, missiology, and missio dei are important subjects and lots of folks are writing and talking about it. That's good.
But, it is also a discipline. You can get a Ph.D. in the subject (as I have). And, there are professors that teach the subject.
What David Hesselgrave and I decided to do is to edit a book on missiology around the big issues that are being discussed in churches and in missiology circles. David recently emailed me with several chapters of "second thoughts" he had about our book-- and I thought we would discuss them here at the blog.
If you are a blogger and are interested in missiology, here is the deal. I will send you a free copy of MissionSHIFT: Mission Issues in the Third Millenium. Then, for four weeks in January, I will post a discussion around these issues. I will send you David Hesselgrave's new (and unpublished) comments for you to interact. You would be committed to read the Grand Essay, the three respondents, and David Hesselgrave's additional comments. Then, on Monday, you can post it on your blog and I will link to it on mine if you will alert us to it.
Now, this discussion will be more than just, "look, ma', I can use the word 'missional,'" but this is a real discussion of missiology. But, you do not need to have a background in missiology. The book is accessible to readers of all levels if you have an interest in missiology. There will be three big issues discussed: what is the nature of God's mission, how can and should we contextualize, and what is the future of mission. Here is the description from the back of the book:
For an understanding of the future of mission, we need a clear understanding of the past and present status of God's mission and the work of missions in and through the church. It is the task of academics but needed for local church leaders. Missionshift offers an accessible overview to the necessary subject of mission in the church today, and tomorrow.
The book is anchored by exceptional essays, written by three of the foremost missiologists of our time: Charles Van Engen, the late Paul Hiebert, and the late Ralph Winter. Van Engen discusses mission's past, Hiebert analyzes mission's present, and Winter predicts mission's future. The three essayists offer insights into the role of the church for engaging in God's mission in the world.
We have also enlisted outstanding writers in the field of missiology to interact with our essayists. You'll discover lively, stimulating debate in their responses. The end result is a missiological conversation on the key issues of our day.
So, if you are willing to join the conversation, email email@example.com and we will get you a book and start the conversation.
You will note that David is the founder of the Evangelical Missiological Society and is concerned about where evangelical misisology is going. I am more open to some of the new directions in missiology, but also have some concerns. You do not have to agree with us, but we do want to dialogue about some of the big issues.
Rules: This is limited to the first 50 blogger respondents and you must read the book, post about it, and join in the dialogue for four Mondays in January. You do not have to agree or say nice things, you just need to join in the conversation. Please send your name, postal address, and blog to firstname.lastname@example.org.
UPDATE: We have met the limit of 50 respondents and look forward to the upcoming discussion. We will notify participants soon. Thanks for your willingness to interact.