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Paradigms in Conflict: 10 Key Questions in…
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Paradigms in Conflict: 10 Key Questions in Christian Missions Today (edizione 2005)

di David J. Hesselgrave (Autore)

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Through the authoritative use of Scripture and drawing from the social sciences and history, David J. Hesselgrave tackles ten of the most pressing issues facing missionaries and students of missions today.
Titolo:Paradigms in Conflict: 10 Key Questions in Christian Missions Today
Autori:David J. Hesselgrave (Autore)
Info:Kregel Academic & Professional (2005), Edition: 11/15/05, 368 pages
Collezioni:Box 4, La tua biblioteca

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Paradigms in Conflict: 10 Key Questions in Christian Missions Today di David J. Hesselgrave

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As his titles suggests, Hesselgrave’s desire is to compare and contrast ten (sometimes complementing, but always conflicting to various degrees) approaches to missiological issues. They are as follows:

* Sovereignty and Free Will: An Impossible Mix or a Perfect Match?
* Restrictivism and Inclusivism: Is This Missions Trip Really Necessary?
* Common Ground and Enemy Territory: How Should We Approach Adherents of Other Faiths?
* Holism and Prioritism: For Whom Is the Gospel Good News?
* Incarnationalism and Representationalism: Who Is Our Missionary Model—Jesus or Paul?
* Power Encounter and Truth Encounter: What Is Essential in Spiritual Warfare?
* Amateurization and Professionalization: A Call for Missionaries or a Divine Calling?
* Form and Meaning: How Does the Inspiration of Scripture “In-form” Contextualization and Make It “Meaning-full”?
* Countdowns and Prophetic Alerts: If We Go in Force, Will He Come in Haste?
* The Kingdom of God and the Church of Christ: What on Earth is God Building—Here and Now?

These are individually written chapters and while they overlap, they do not necessarily build on each other. This makes the writing style, ease of understanding, and level of interest a bit uneven. I found his sovereignty/free will chapter to be the least helpful, but most of the others were very helpful and insightful.

Creating Common Ground
In the chapter on common ground/enemy territory, he discusses “problematic, plausible, and positive” approaches to establishing common ground. Among the “positive approaches,” he suggests engaging in Biblical theology (“communicating that larger story and not just fragments of it or lessons growing out of it,” 109) and missional theology in which the missionary discovers how biblical concepts function within the beliefs and practices of the non-Christian respondents -- i.e. how are they receiving what I teach and interpreting it? In this vain, he calls on missionaries “to take an untiring and genuine interest in the religion, the ideas, the sentiments, the institutions of the people among whom they work. It is that kind of ‘close-up’ indigenous understandings and practices that the missionary must take into consideration if the gospel is to be contextualized effectively” (110). The last of the positive approaches to seeking common ground is what gets the most emphasis: “If there is any one key that unlocks the door to common ground it is ‘missionary self-exposure’ ” (111). “Clearly, what is common to all of us is our sinful state before a holy God” (ibid).

Waiting for His Coming
Another very helpful discussion (found in the chapter on countdowns/prophetic alerts) was Hesselgrave’s analysis of Christ’s perspective on His second Coming as described in Matthew 24:43-25:13. There are, he says, three parts to the answer.

First, Christ's followers should be watchful, Matthew 24:43-44. The Householder did not know when the break-in would occur, so he was not “on the alert” (v. 42).

Second, no one who knows that the Master is coming should presume that he will not come now, Matthew 24:45-51. Here the servant who has been put in charge of the affairs of a large estate while the owner goes on an extended trip presumes on his long absence and is thus unprepared for his return.

Third, no one should make decisions on a presumption that Christ must come right away, Matthew 25:1-13. In this story, five bridesmaids are caught without oil for their lamps precisely because they expected him to come shortly and were not prepared for his long delay. “Their mistake was the opposite of the servant’s when he thought the master would never return, but it had a similar result” (301). Hesselgrave applies this to missionaries who “are so sure the time is short that they go half-prepared. And they are so busy on the field that they do not take time to nurture mind or spirit. The months pass; perhaps even years. Sooner or later, they have 'run out of oil.’ Some return to school to 'buy more oil.’ But for others it is simply too late. The opportunity to prepare and remain prepared to meet the challenges of missionary service has passed.”

He concludes this section, “It is right to look for Christ’s coming. But it is wrong to make important decisions on the basis of calculations as to the exact time of his coming. Someone has said, we should act as though he is coming today, but we should plan as though he is not coming for a thousand years. There is a tension there, but, rightly understood, that must be close to what Jesus meant” (ibid. italics original).

I don’t have room to draw from his other discussion, but this gives you a taste of what I found to be a very helpful and insightful book on missions. ( )
  trbixby | Apr 13, 2009 |
Hesselgrave I know from the masterful work Communicating Christ Cross-Culturally and, like that book, this one doesn’t disappoint.

Read the full review at Arukiyomi.
  arukiyomi | Oct 19, 2007 |
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Through the authoritative use of Scripture and drawing from the social sciences and history, David J. Hesselgrave tackles ten of the most pressing issues facing missionaries and students of missions today.

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