A Practical Theology of Missions: Dispelling the Mystery; Recovering the Passion Eric E. Wright Paperback, 380pp.
Published by Day One Publications, Ryelands Road, Leominster, HR6 8NZ. Price: £12.00. ISBN 978-1-84625-198-6.
This book addresses the ever-important subject of the church’s responsibility to bring to all men and women the message of the gospel. The author, Eric E. Wright, is a Canadian who, with his wife, spent some sixteen years as a missionary in Pakistan, founding in that country a theological seminary. Since their return to Canada he has been pastor of a church in Toronto, and has also lectured at Toronto Baptist Seminary. The book is divided into eight sections, each covering some aspect of the overall theme – the biblical basis of missions; the Task; the Message; the Missionary; Teamwork; Culture; Strategy; the Work itself. Interspersed throughout the book are examples of contemporary missionary work and challenge.
The book has been written because of the author’s conviction that ‘A thorough review of missionary theory is necessitated by the condition prevailing in the evangelical church at large … Not enough thought has gone into the theological foundations of missionary work’.
It would be easy to review this challenging book by concentrating on the author’s ecclesiastical stance, and his views on things future. But to do so would be to miss the real value of this work. In fact, the author raises vital questions which are of concern to all believers who seek faithfully to discharge their responsibilities under the great commission. He challenges the content of much gospel preaching, in particular the failure to call to repentance. Another timely warning concerns the effect of postmodernism on ‘evangelicals’. Yet again, he targets the neglect of the New Testament in the way evangelism is undertaken. Perhaps the most searching question of all is, ‘Do we really believe that the lost are lost?’
If one can avoid being distracted by the author’s views as outlined above, this will prove a challenging book.
[Our thanks to Ed Hotchin, Hucknall, Nottingham, England, for this review]