Terry, John Mark. Missiology: An Introduction to the Foundations, History, and Strategies of World Missions. Nashville, TN: B&H Academic, 2015. 662 pp. $54.99.
For nearly two decades John Mark Terry’s Missiology: An Introduction to the Foundations, History, and Strategies of World Missions has served as a key text for missions courses for seminaries across the country. Seventeen years after the publication of the first edition, B&H Academic has now released a much needed second edition.
Although the structure that made the first edition so successful, a collection of voices on the most pressing missiology issues, is kept—the book has so many additions and changes from the first it is almost a new book rather than a second edition.
Both editions maintain forty-two chapters, however, in the second edition nearly half of the chapters are either new topics or new authors. The addition of new authors, particularly those from other evangelical organizations outside of Southern Baptist life, is intentional on Terry’s part as it broadens the book’s appeal (vii).
Two of the most notable new authors are internationally renown scholars Christopher Wright and Andreas Köstenberger. They each author chapters in their respective fields of expertise as Wright provides a chapter on “Mission in the Old Testament” and Köstenberger a chapter on “Mission in the Gospels”.
An additional element of the second edition is how the added aspects reflect current trends in evangelical thought. First, there is an increased emphasis on the role of the local church in missions. While the first edition included a chapter missions education in the local church and missions and the local church, the second edition includes a chapter by Ed Stetzer on “The Missional Church”, a chapter by Benjamin Merkle on “Ecclesiology and Missions”, and chapter by J.D. Greear and Michael McDaniel on “Missions in the Local Church”, each with an emphasis on the vital role of the church in missions.
Second, new chapters on “Urban Missions”, “Business as Mission”, and “Strategies for Ethnic Ministries”, and “Women in Missions” each reflect the ever changing face of missions, particularly the reality that “we train everyone to go everywhere”.
Benefit for Pastoral Ministry
Upon first glance, the natural impulse of a pastor may be to overlook this book and assume it is just for the seminary or graduate student taking an introductory missions course. While that is primary goal of the book (vii), it’s usefulness goes beyond that.
First, if the local church is the primary means for extending the kingdom of God and participating in the mission of God, then the shepherds of local churches must be informed and equipped to guide their congregations to active and fruitful participation in the work of mission.
For too long, too many have understood missions as a sub-discipline or calling for a few in the church, rather than a primary work of the entirety of a congregation. Terry’s second edition provides several excellent chapters that serve to equip pastors to better understand and see how their particular location congregation is and should be a part of God’s mission to the nations.
The chapters by Wright and Köstenberger, along with Eckhard Schnabel’s “Missions in the Apostolic Church,” serve to help the pastor understand the missional element of any text they are preaching on a given Sunday. When the missional element is understood, the pastor is better equipped in shepherding his congregation to participate in that mission.
Second, the book serves as an excellent resource for the missions practitioner. Because of the way the book is organized, it is easy to use as a resource as one is able read the chapter(s) that are most applicable to the work or the missiology issues one is currently facing.
So, whether you are preparing for the work of ministry or already engaged in the work of ministry, Terry, along with the other authors, have greatly served the work of missions through God’s people with this valuable resource.
Essential — Recommended — Helpful — Pass It By
Missiology: An Introduction to the Foundations, History, and Strategies of World Missions is a foundational and comprehensive resource into the discipline of missiology and the task of mission.