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October 1972 · Vol. 1 No. 4 · pp. 132–33 

Book Review

Man, Milieu and Mission in Argentina

Arno Enns. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1971. 258 pages.

Reviewed by Vern Ratzlaff

Enns, Conservative Baptist missionary in Argentina since 1955, presents a brief survey of the work of ten Protestant churches in Argentina (of the some 76 denominations represented there), together with an assessment of the Catholic church and some evaluations of the factors which have occasioned growth (e.g. the Pentecostal church constituted zero percent of the evangelical community in 1925, 25.5 percent in 1949 and 40.3 percent in 1967; the Plymouth Brethren have dropped from 29.5 percent in 1925 to 10.7 percent in 1967, although their membership gain has increased from 5,500 to 25,000; the Mennonites have remained constant with 0.4 percent of the total evangelical community.)

What is required for the evangelical church in Argentina, a church which now constitutes slightly more than 1 percent of the total population? (It constituted 0.2 percent in 1925.) Enns offers no neat, pointed solutions, and in fact demonstrates the fallacies inherent in some simplistic approaches (e.g. that foreign-supported congregations grow more slowly than native-supported groups). He does emphasize the need for the church to recognize the urgency of its message, to forsake a preoccupation with Anglo-Saxon structures and forms, to utilize a broader spectrum of church leaders, to seek out the masses, and to give training to leaders on levels commensurate with actual needs. (He points out that apprenticeship training “is far more adequate to the need of these growing churches than {133} traditional educational approaches.” p. 229) An important book to see what is happening to fellow Christians in a Latin American setting.

Vern Ratzlaff
Mennonite Brethren Bible College, Winnipeg, Manitoba

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