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The Gospel Among the Nations: A documentary history of inculturation

Orbis Books, 2010,

RRP $57.95

Reviewed by Rev Alan Renton.

I am interested in mission.

This book attempts, I believe successfully, to show how the church shares the holistic gospel not only with her own people but also with those who live in entirely different cultures.

By holistic I mean witnessing both by spoken words and by the Word speaking through our caring.

The book is made up mainly of official documents from churches and statements from the World Council of Churches and the World Evangelical Fellowship, from the first century until 2010.

The basic faith, as presented through all these documents, is that of our One God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, of salvation in Christ, and of all Christians being called by the Holy Spirit to witness to those who haven't found the love of God in Christ.

The most recent of the documents relates to the current culture.

This includes globalisation, pluralism, secularism, atheism, and relativism.

It is in this world that we today are called to mission.

Almost all countries now have locally governed churches.

These live out their faith in Christ in and through their own culture.

If we would mission there, we must respect local cultures and work in partnership with local churches.

This is a deep, scholarly Christian book.

I recommend it to all who would give serious thought to mission.