Monday, February 8, 2010

Revolution in World Missions Part 2

In the last half of the book, the author discusses strategy. He begins by condemning the liberal "social gospel" that many people are into. He claims that the message is much more important than any social or physical help that we can give. And helping minister to physical needs is important and biblical - but, it must be done as a sidedish - the main course is the gospel. He claims that many Christians have a theological problem: a refusal to truly believe in hell. And even if they say they believe in the Bible and in hell, that their actions show that they don't really believe it. If they did, they would do more to rescue souls.
"Go to save souls. And go to the worst." That's a quote he gave from the founder of the salvation army.

He then explained why grassroots movements are more successful than the building of institutions. He used communist China as an example. A conversation happened between a Christian in China and a communist. The communist said, "What you have failed to do in 100 years with your buildings and institutions, we will do in 10 years through the printed word and word of mouth." And that became the reality. Within 10 years, the Christians were kicked out of China, and communism was prevelant.

Furthermore, he insists that indigenous missionaries will be more successful than western missionaries. This is due partly to racism, (people racist against Americans, and people who believe that Christianity is just a white religion), partly due to how inefficient western missionaries have become (many need 80k a year to live which is much more than indigenous missionaries. Indigenous missionaries can live comfortably on 1k-2k per year. Also, many leave the country without even 1 well-trained disciple to continue their work without them).

He is not calling for all western missionaries to pull out of all countries and simply become financial backers only. He specifically states that he doesn't want that. He simply wants people to be less prideful about their view on missions; and more willing to humbly get behind what the nationals are doing. And he feels that many people are dead wrong about their racist view of national missionaries - they have a feeling of superiority or distrust that isn't biblical.

When asked the question, "Is there any room for Western missionaries?" at the end of the book; he answers "yes". and gives 3 ways that western missionaries are needed on the field: 1. There are some completely unreached places that need to be infiltrated before there can be indigenous missionaries - places like morroco, afghanastan, and maldive islands. 2. missionaries need technical support and training from western missionaries. 3. short-term mission trips are important for raising awareness and burden.
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