Sunday, February 07, 2010

Book Review: Mission Accomplished?

Maxfield, Jennifer J. Ed. Mission Accomplished?: Challenges to and Opportunities for Lutheran Missions in the 21st Century. Congress on the Lutheran Confessions. St. Louis, MO; The Luther Academy, 2008.

That's a really lousy image, isn't it? Oh well, it'll have to do.

A series of papers didn't really inspire me, but there were a few choice bits.

In "From Wittenberg with Love: Martin Luther's Theology of Missions," Klaus Detlev Schulz reiterated an argument I have used many times on this blog: "We have a tendency to see the Word of God in its static form, as doctrine laying down what is to be believed and against which other teachings are measured. ... In Luther's theology, the Word of God has a dynamic missionary character, being constantly in motion and not limited to time and space."

In "Neuendettelsau and Hermannsburg: What we can learn," Roland Ziegler had this pithy quotation from Louis Harms: "Money does not drive the mission, prayer drives the mission; for where God drives the mission, then money comes automatically (by itself). Contrary, where money is the main subject, where one always cries: give money, give money--there men drive the mission, and it will soon fall. The mission that converts heathen and takes them out of the power of Satan is a miracle of God. Therefore, if you love our mission, I ask you: pray, pray for our mission, pray in faith, pray with reconciled hearts, then our mission cannot perish, as surely as God's Word cannot perish."

And here's something that was quite shocking to me, in "Open and Closed Doors: Opportunities in Global Missions Today," by Timothy C. J. Quill: "In Sweden there are no longer any Lutheran bishops who will ordain men opposed to the novelty of women's ordination. Before a candidate will be ordained, he is required to receive communion from a woman priest."

Of course, when it comes to missions, as one of them quoted, "Why is it, that so many people who claim to be born again make you wish they had never been born the first time?"

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