A World to Win: Preaching World Missions Today
ed. Roger Greenway. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 1975. 135 pages.
Here is a book that is true to its claim in the sub-title: “Preaching World Missions Today.” That is precisely what its eleven chapter-sermons are all about. The editor as well as the other five contributors are internationally known in missiological circles. Names like Boonstra, Conn, DeRidder, Glasser, Greenway, and Soltau are no strangers to scores of evangelicals in Latin and Anglo America, India, and Korea. A combination of their practical and academic experience on the field, in the pulpit, and in the classroom helps to enrich each chapter they write, each message they preach, each lecture they present.
To review a book of this nature is always difficult without overemphasizing the contribution of one author while neglecting that of another. Admittedly, all chapters are in my estimation not of equal value; even theologically some sections are weaker than others. On occasion a writer is tempted—as one of them consents—to elevate the divine sovereignty at the expense of human responsibility. But that is understandable in a book written by persons of predominantly Reformed persuasion.
Several characteristics deserve accentuation. One is its biblicism. Each chapter is a scriptural message on mission, based on a given text and elucidated by sound exegesis. “Missionary impetus must come from the Scriptures,” asserts the editor, “for it is through them that the Spirit motivates and directs Christ’s church.” Another fact is its relevance. The writers deal with timely concerns in mission of our day. Such topics as “The Missionary Call”, “Human Responsibility in the Mission of God”, “Praying for Missions”, and “The Cultural Mandate” all speak to the issues confronting the Church in our time. Furthermore, the book speaks about the mission of the Church. The emphasis is on “The Believing Community’s Task in a Decaying World.” The missionary character of the Believers’ Church under Christ’s Lordship is a commendable accent throughout the book. Finally, there is stress on mission preaching. The editor contends that “it is pre-eminently the task of the pulpit” to bring the Church to an intellectual understanding of her nature and to a dynamic involvement in mission.