Book Reviews -- By: Anonymous

Journal: Michigan Theological Journal
Volume: MTJ 02:1 (Spring 1991)
Article: Book Reviews
Author: Anonymous

Book Reviews

An Introduction to World Missions. By J. Raymond Tallman. Chicago: Moody Press, 1989. 247 pp.

Tallman has combined his years as a missionary and a teacher of missions to produce a good introductory textbook for missions. As an introductory book it covers vast areas with quick, broad strokes. It does not get involved or even lost in the history of missions as some of the older texts do. Nor does it get involved in anthropology or social psychology.

The Introduction is loaded with bits and pieces that are part of the foundation and jargon of missiology today. The illustrations and charts are valuable, for their content as well as the awareness of their resources, as indicated in the footnote on the bottom of each page. Bibliographies for each section would have added to the value of the book.

In Part I, the author discusses the theological basis for world missions. The four chapters that give the basis are centered on the nature, Word and goals of God and also on His enemies. Under the nature of God, Tallman discusses the trinity, revelation and judgment. As a rubric for discussion, two names for God, Elohim and Jehovah, are used. This perception is different and helpful. The chapter on the Word of God proves the chapter thesis “that the Bible is a missionary book cover to cover.”

The world, the flesh and the devil are enemies of missions, but he did not prove that they are also a theological basis for missions. He states that the three “most common areas in which God’s holiness is challenged” by the world in missions work are in bribery, lying and sexual sins. However, our cultural prejudice, pride, Western individualism, materialism, naive spiritual and cross-cultural preparation may be more of the problem than the worldly practices of our host culture.

His chapter on the goals of God is very readable and preachable! He presents the golden thread of God’s redemptive purpose and the white thread of God’s manifold wisdom intertwining in missions.

In Part II, the motivations, qualifications, preparations, agencies for service and apprenticeships for mission candidates are given. This section is packed with essential material for

missions committees and pastoral staff members to be aware of as they oversee the mission activities of the local church.

In Part III, Tallman covers the international challenges for world missions. He deals with the philosophical pressures of colonialism, nationalism, communism, humanism and totalitarianism with the religious challenges that are particular to each. Included here are the syncretistic indigenous church movements, cults, wo...

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