1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. The years 1912–1928
  4. The years 1928–1972
  5. The years 1973–2011
  6. Footnotes
  7. Biography

Since its founding a century ago, the IRM has sought to advance learning about mission strategy, methods of evangelization and mission theology. How the journal has affected the development of the field of missiology is the particular focus here, through a survey of exceptional articles. Three phases are identified: a first period when the journal closely reflected the outlook of the World Missionary Conference (Edinburgh 1910), but also began to innovate; a middle period of transitions; and the more recent period when issues of interfaith dialogue, religious pluralism, contextualization, and ecumenical relations have been prominent in the journal.

My intention in this article is to look back over the first one hundred years of the International Review of Mission and to consider how the journal has contributed to the development of missiology as a scholarly field of study. This is one way to celebrate the rich legacy of the IRM, which was founded in part to spur research on mission. Earlier, I wrote about the bibliography feature of the journal and its relationship to the conceptualization of missiology.[1] Here I focus on exceptional articles and editorials that in retrospect seem to have shaped decisively how mission is viewed and the methods used to study mission.

To give some structure to this survey, I will recognize three distinctive but not entirely separate phases in the life of the IRM: its establishment under the direct guidance of J. H. Oldham (1912–1928), the next forty-plus years that concluded with the editorship of Philip Potter (1967–1972), and then, various developments since the early 1970s.

The years 1912–1928

  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. The years 1912–1928
  4. The years 1928–1972
  5. The years 1973–2011
  6. Footnotes
  7. Biography

In a set of “editor's notes” with which the first issue of the journal began, J. H. Oldham outlined the leading objectives of the IRM. “The primary purpose of the Review,” he wrote, “is to further the serious study of the facts and problems of missionary work among non-Christian peoples, and to contribute to the building up of a science of missions.”[2] In the same essay, Oldham emphasized the analytical character of the creative enterprise he now headed: “the Review will be more than a collection of individual papers; it will be the organ of a comprehensive, systematic, and united effort to study missionary problems.”[3] The collaborative aspect of the project Oldham described was repeatedly emphasized in his editorial comments. The journal's writers and readers would be “learning from the past and from one another.”[4] “It will be our aim to supplement, and in every possible way to co-operate with, all good work that is being carried on at present.”[5] The review would seek to “promote Christian fellowship and foster the spirit of readiness to learn from one another.”[6] This was not study for its own sake. Oldham recognized that the journal needed to serve the research needs of current and future missionaries, in order to be considered successful by its contemporary readership. Thus, he proposed further that the IRM would “study and sift the vast body of experience that has been accumulated in different mission fields, and make it available for the direction of present work; to aim at reaching large guiding principles, based on a thorough and fearless examination of the facts; and to test all methods with a view to securing the highest efficiency.”[7]

Brian Stanley's article elsewhere in this issue explores the origins of the IRM and discusses several ways in which the concerns and outlook of Edinburgh 1910 shaped the journal in its early years. Stanley rightly calls attention to important articles in the first volume of the IRM from Tasuku Harada and Ch'eng Ching-yi, each of whom had spoken memorably at the conference. Subsequent issues would showcase the views of other emerging leaders of a worldwide Christian movement, including Chengting T. Wang (vol. 5) and Timothy Tingfang Lew (vol. 11). Lew's article is a particularly fascinating study of missionary and indigenous worker psychology. His aim was to compare the expectations of foreign workers in China with the typical experience of native Christian evangelists, in order to understand the “psychological difference between the life of a missionary and the life of a Chinese worker, with him, or under him, in the same mission, engaging in the same tasks.”[8] A sense of heroism was driving most foreign missionaries, Lew believed, and so provided a basis on which they could derive a sense of accomplishment and ownership over the professional work they were doing. In contrast, native workers usually had to be content with a subordinate status in the mission, which severely restricted their opportunities for personal initiative and provided few social rewards. In the main, theirs was a “faithful, dutiful, placid and routine type of mental life.”[9]

Lew's article is not just an example of the IRM bringing non-Western voices into an increasingly global academic conversation about mission. It also shows Oldham the editor, in line with the conference he helped to organize, keen to inject into the discussion scientific insights pertaining to mission from a variety of disciplines outside of theology. Thus, in addition to Lew's research into the psychology of mission, other analyses were undertaken from perspectives of sociology, anthropology, linguistics, history, and the history of religion. Several of these anticipated or perhaps even stimulated future developments in missiological research: Alice Werner on folklore (IRM, vol. 4) and the production of vernacular literature in African dialects (vol. 14), Henri Bois' critique of Emile Durkheim and the sociology of religion (vol. 5), Edwin Smith on social anthropology (vol. 13), plus Oldham himself on William Hocking and some developments then taking place in modern philosophy (vol. 10).

In a remarkable article, Kenneth Scott Latourette previewed in the IRM the scholarly methodology he would apply to the history of mission when the first volume of his epic study appeared a dozen years later. Few could possibly have imagined the scale of what Latourette had in mind when in 1925 he demurely suggested that it might be possible for a single scholar to summarize what was already known about the processes by which Christianity had expanded worldwide over nineteen centuries. The intention was to “approach the task modestly, with frank recognition of the fact that all he can hope to do is to ask some intelligent questions, suggest possible answers and state such few conclusions as seem well established.”[10] Latourette accurately predicted that “such a story, while necessarily imperfect and incomplete, would prove both inspiring and instructive, and if diligently read and pondered would be of incalculable benefit to the entire missionary enterprise.”

Oldham's editorial stance also reflected the concerns of Edinburgh 1910 in other ways. Publishing two extended series of articles in the journal's first decade on Islam and Buddhism, for example, signaled a continuing interest of the modern Protestant missionary movement to study other religious traditions, and not only for instrumental or strictly apologetic purposes. The IRM also became a dynamic space within which divergent views of non-Christian religions contended with each other, very much as they had within the Edinburgh 1910 meeting. In this regard, J. N. Farquhar and D. MacKichan had a particularly vivid exchange with respect to Farquhar's fulfillment position in his influential 1913 study, The Crown of Hinduism. At the end of this dialogue, Farquhar forthrightly concluded: “The distance between Christianity and the different religions varies to an infinite extent; but the beginnings of the highest are visible in the lowest; and Christianity alone supplements, corrects, completes, and fulfills the far-away promise of each and every system.”[11]

This sharp interest in the religions was part of a broader impulse at work in the IRM and at Edinburgh 1910 to understand the church's context in the world as completely as possible. The journal reached for this objective most basically by providing a framework through which missionary “intelligence” gathered from different locations around the world could be shared efficiently with persons working virtually everywhere else. In support of this intent, a few early articles focused on how best to collect and present accurate information about mission, including W. H. Findley on statistical methods (vol. 6) and Charles Fahs (vol. 14) on the technical and organizational challenges faced in developing the 1925 World Missionary Atlas. Also, some extraordinary eyewitness accounts of what were contemporary events were tucked into the various reports and analyses, such as what was emerging then as a new “prophet movement” under the leadership of Simon Kimbangu.[12] Readers of the IRM were similarly informed of Gandhi and India's non-cooperation movement, thanks to the reporting of C. F. Andrews, among others.[13]

As Brian Stanley has correctly noted, the IRM was slow to include articles from authors native to Africa, in keeping with the relatively low regard shown for the continent and its cultures at Edinburgh 1910. Although still quite modernist and evolutionist in outlook, articles reflecting increasing respect for the religions and social systems of Africa soon began to appear. Examples of this are the many anthropological studies focused on sub-Saharan Africa, including several by Henri Junod (vols. 3, 11, 15, 16), plus an essay by Edwin Smith (vol. 11) in which missionaries were strongly urged to build upon the best of what was deeply ingrained within Africa's traditional societies. Donald Fraser wrote about the social function of children's games, singing, dancing, recreational activities, and other forms of amusement often enjoyed in African village life, and invited readers to be open to “the positive gifts and graces” drawn from human culture that should accompany faith in all circumstances.[14]

As Diedrich Westermann pointed out later, such positive regard for African cultures ran counter to a more widespread assumption that Africans had “no religion, no language, no traditions, no institutions, no racial character of their own,” and so are “empty vessels” needing to be filled with European or American goods.[15] In contrast, Westermann argued that the African's past “will forever be the true basis on which his future should be built.”[16] Therefore, “African community life is for us the mother soil into which the divine seed is to be sown and out of which a Christian society will grow.”[17] The challenge then was for missionaries to find ways “to work together with the Africans for Africa.”[18] It is significant that Westermann's essay appeared in an unprecedented double issue of the IRM devoted to Africa, along with a number of other major papers about to be presented to the 1926 Le Zoute conference on “The Christian Mission in Africa.” Without question, the IRM had moved well beyond the minimal recognition given to Africa and its social structures at Edinburgh 1910.

Missiologically, under Oldham the IRM also broke with Edinburgh 1910 by broadening the scholarly community brought into conversation about mission. Most obviously, this change took place with respect to Roman Catholicism. Readers of the journal regularly received news about Catholic mission activities taking place around the world, reported in a matter-of-fact tone that was remarkable for its time. Notices of Catholic scholarship on mission likewise appeared with some frequency in the IRM, along with a few articles written by Roman Catholic scholars. Good examples of the former are Martin Schlunk's review of Roman Catholic missionary literature (vol. 10) and Otto Dempwolff on Wilhelm Schmidt's theory of culture groups (vol. 16). Friedrich Schwager's article on “Missionary Methods from a Roman Catholic Standpoint” probably made many uncomfortable because he boldly challenged several “mistaken notions” concerning Catholic missions that he saw regularly repeated in Protestant missionary literature.[19] Less controversially, Maternus Spitz recounted for a mostly under-informed Protestant audience the history of Roman Catholic missionary work in Africa (vol 13).

More subtly, Oldham used the IRM to expand the circle of academic missiological exchange by actively seeking to include contributions written by women. Women had participated in Edinburgh 1910, but in the IRM they were now writing on topics that no longer were strictly confined to “women's work.” Outstanding among these were articles on missionary cooperation (vol. 3), fundraising (vols. 7, 15), and missionary preparation (vol. 13) by Oldham's close colleague in the IRM office, Georgina Gollock, and also Ruth Rouse on the missionary vocation (vol. 6) and Pearl Buck on China (vol. 13).

The years 1928–1972

  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. The years 1912–1928
  4. The years 1928–1972
  5. The years 1973–2011
  6. Footnotes
  7. Biography

Before and after World War II, there were different leading concerns of the missionary movement, but the next phase of the IRM had an overarching theme to which many of the journal's most influential articles in this period were connected. This was the growing sense that the previous mission era was very quickly passing away. It was increasingly common, even among the most ardent supporters of mission who were writing in the IRM, to speak of their historical location as occurring at “the end of an era.”[20] For many who looked to the journal and the International Missionary Council (IMC) for strategic and conceptual guidance, this meant also that a new theological approach to mission had to be found, and soon.

One aspect was the church's changing relationship to Western power. In the 1920s, under the notion of “trusteeship,” it had still been possible to think of Christian mission in terms of a useful partnership that bound colonial governments and missionary agencies together in working benevolently on behalf of underdeveloped peoples and societies. Such had been the position of Oldham and many others at Le Zoute, but an alternative view eventually took hold within the pages of the IRM. C.F. Andrews, for example, sharply criticized 19th-century missions for “gradual intermingling … with that economic and political imperialism which more and more became a dominant characteristic of the white race.” Too many missionaries “have so fully taken their part side by side with the ruling race as to be identified with it in the eyes of their eastern fellow-Christians.” Far from strengthening the missionary movement, according to Andrews, cooperation with imperialism threatened to undermine all the good that had been accomplished: “since this form of territorial aggression in Africa and the East emanated from the same countries as the missionary enterprise, it became almost impossible for the peoples of Asia and Africa to dissociate the one movement from the other.”[21]

The devastating implications of this critique by Andrews and others became impossible to ignore in the aftermath of the communist revolution in China. Writing anonymously in the IRM, David Paton drew the startling conclusion that the “débâcle” of Christian missions in China was a result of God's judgment on a missionary era that had reached its useful end.[22] Whatever their past accomplishments and early promise might have been, the missions in China had foundered theologically, Paton argued, either by presenting weak forms of liberalism to educated elites, who had to become Anglo-Saxons in their thinking to assume leadership roles in the Chinese church, or by resorting to simplistic notions of salvation that too easily appealed to superstitious villagers. In either case, the missions failed to confront the deep causes of misery in the countryside, a fatal omission that China's Communist cadres had pledged to rectify. The church they had planted in Chinese soil was too Western to take root and prosper. The standard of living enjoyed by most missionaries separated them from the very people they hoped to evangelize. Those driven out of China had a responsibility to warn others to repent and change their ways, or they also would risk being driven out in the near future.[23]

The post-colonial context was only part of the new day dawning in missions. Since the late 1920s, the IRM had also been grappling with the rise of secularism and its meaning for missionary agencies who had long assumed Christendom to be a permanent feature. William Paton (vol. 18), Hendrick Kraemer (vol. 19) and Emil Brunner (vol. 19) were among those IRM contributors who carefully examined the secular ideologies that were increasingly competing with Christianity on a global scale. Most starkly, F. Scott Thompson described the changed situation in 1933 this way: “A century ago the missionary often had to explain why he taught anything but religion in his schools. To-day many travelers ask why he teaches religion at all.”[24]

Severe economic crises, the rise of totalitarian regimes, another world war, and the successes of communism pulled the attention of the church away from the problem of secularism for a time, but not for long. With remarkable prescience, W.J. Thompson outlined in 1945 what was likely to ensue in the post-war era. For him, the crux of the matter was that foreign missions now had to compete more directly with other agents of modernity. Multi-national corporations and secular philanthropic organizations (for example, the British Council) were rapidly expanding their reach. In more and more places, “the missionary finds himself far from being the only dispenser of western medicine or education.”[25] Stimulated by these and other outside forces, national governments had begun “to realize their powers and exert themselves and develop the techniques of control” that Thompson thought would inevitably lead to restrictions on missionary activity around the world. Most of the major strategic changes Thompson suggested in response were adopted by major segments of the Protestant missionary movement over the next two decades. This included advocacy for religious freedom as one of several basic human rights, finding new ways to involve secular business people in the work of evangelism abroad, and the construction of mission partnerships with national churches.

In the middle of the 20th century the IRM served as a forum for technical debates over strategy and methods, in line with the approach of W. J. Thompson and many others. The journal also became a primary location where the foundational premises of modern missions could be challenged and new formulations attempted. An early example was by Constance Padwick, who pressed lyrically and with great erudition in a “North African Reverie” for the rejection of all crusading methods in mission. Especially, but not only in the Muslim world, Padwick believed the church had been given an opportunity to suffer on behalf of Christ. She recalled the examples of St Francis, Raymond Lull, Temple Gairdner, Lilias Trotter, and Charles Foucauld to illustrate what it might mean to “abandon all power but Spirit-power” in the cause of Christian mission. While each had experienced great disappointment according to the usual measures of missionary success, Padwick recommended their “school of faith and surrender” as the surest path to the deepest motive of Christian mission: “the surrender of love to God as revealed in Jesus Christ.”[26]

Many others contributing to the IRM in the 1930s were eager to probe the vision for mission articulated in the Hocking report or to explore the generative capacity of dialectical theology. J.H. Oldham underlined the importance of the latter for mission theology in a series of four articles on Emil Brunner's ethical teaching (vol. 22). No theologian before or since has received this kind of attention in the IRM. Karl Hartenstein presented a heartfelt synopsis of the Barthian position in an article that summoned readers to embrace its uncompromising point of view.[27] Hocking's proposals were analysed in a pair of extended reviews by Kenneth Scott Latourette and John Mackay.[28]

In the late 1930s, the ideas of Barth, Brunner, and Hocking were still very much on the minds of mission leaders around the world. Hendrik Kraemer, on behalf of the IMC, engaged them all and then attempted his own reformulation of mission theology, published in 1938 as The Christian Message in a Non-Christian World. Various reactions to Kraemer's book and the results of the IMC meeting at Tambaram (for which his volume had been prepared) dominated much of the discussion that followed in the IRM. Oliver Quick clarified what may have appeared to be inconclusive and contradictory. He suggested that a large-scale shift in perspective was taking place throughout the missionary movement. Under the influence of Barth, theology in the 1930s was now leaning heavily toward a Hebraic metaphysic and away from the Hellenistic humanism that had undergirded 19th-century liberalism and most modernist missions.[29] Building on Quick's reading of the situation, it would appear that another decisive swing took place soon after World War II.

The IRM was right in the middle of what was becoming a thorough reappraisal of the missionary task. Two articles by Johannes Hoekendijk led the way and to a great extent set the agenda for mission theology for several decades to come. In the first of these, Hoekendijk proposed a fresh set of terms for conceptualizing mission and evangelism.[30] He argued that authentic evangelism cannot be an effort to shore up the church's institutions, an exercise in propaganda, a project to restore Christendom or reassert Christian prerogatives in society. God's call to the church rather is to proclaim the gospel message (kerygma), to offer service in Christ's name (diakonia), and to build up gospel-centered communities (koinonia). Encompassing all these activities is the biblical concept of shalom, a messianic and therefore eschatological reference point that Hoekendijk defined as “peace, integrity, community, harmony and justice.”[31] In a second seminal article, Hoekendijk laid the blame for shortsighted theologies of mission on too much “church-centric” thinking in missionary circles.[32] It is better to conceive of the church as an apostolic community that forgets itself while participating fully in Christ's radical ministry, than to see it as the beginning or end-point of mission. If the world could be filled with more churches of this kind, according to Hoekendijk, the need for extra-ecclesial mission societies would soon wither away.[33]

Hoekendijk's influence grew to such an extent that Donald McGavran would complain in the mid-1960s that kerygma, diakonia, and koinonia had become a “sacred triad” to which many in the missionary movement were subordinating the ultimate aims of mission and evangelism.[34] McGavran's protests were offered in the midst of a particularly intense ecumenical conversation about the post-colonial future of mission theology which was unfolding in the IRM. A few highlights may be recounted briefly.

Hans Margull indicated the standpoint that was eventually adopted in 1968 at Uppsala, with his early update on the progress of the study process on the missionary structure of the congregations that had been launched at the New Delhi assembly of the WCC.[35]Missio Dei language and the emerging sequence of “God – world – church” stand out in Margull's account.

In the following year, Kenneth Strachan promoted an approach to evangelism developed by some Protestants in Latin America, called “Evangelism in Depth.”[36] Victor Hayward replied sharply in the same volume that whatever success evangelicals may have had in uniting churches and filling their pews through this approach, he would reject it as unbiblical “if those who are most unselfishly concerned for the well-being of their fellow men reject the faith as irrelevant in their revolutionary world, fit only to foster individual and self-regarding piety.”[37]

The basic dispute then was reframed slightly in terms of proclamation versus service. Service, according to Günter Linnenbrink, has to be seen as an indispensible form of mission, equal to proclamation, with a capacity to become “transcendent” through “its humanity and solidarity with others.”[38] For Linnenbrink, an intention to serve God is what differentiated Christian from more general humanitarian service. Harold Lindsell contested this, and insisted with McGavran and other traditionalists that service still had but two proper functions to play in mission: to open doors for proclamation or to follow conversion as a work of the Spirit.[39] After Uppsala, M.M. Thomas and others carried forward the idea of humanization as salvation, much to the consternation of Peter Beyerhaus.[40] Reflecting more specifically on the situation of the church in Latin America, Gonzalo Castillo-Cárdenas declared that the “true meaning” of the gospel is to be found in the “liberation of the oppressed.”[41] This affirmation was fully consistent with Thomas Wieser's suggestion that persons and groups could “experience liberation and social righteousness as salvation” in the “struggle for human liberation.”[42]

Perhaps the most nuanced position presented in the IRM with respect to mission theology during these tumultuous years of transition was crafted by its editor at the time. Lesslie Newbigin agreed with Hoekendijk that church-centric thinking about mission was flawed and had become outmoded.[43] He also acknowledged the passing of Christendom in the ecumenical acknowledgment that mission should come from all six continents. According to his autobiography, Newbigin had serious reservations at the time about the assumptions of church growth missiology.[44] He also had been as responsible as anyone for the integration in 1961 of the IMC with the WCC, an action that many evangelicals considered a betrayal of the modern Protestant missionary movement.[45] Yet, there was something about Christian witness that left Newbigin unsatisfied with inter-church aid programmes, revolutionary protests, or cooperation with secular development initiatives. Without a forthright call to faith in Jesus Christ, efforts at outreach were bound to be truncated, in his view, since “missions are concerned with the radical conversion that leads men to explicit allegiance to Jesus Christ.”[46] Persistently but without great success, Newbigin continued to advocate within the WCC for direct evangelism, arguing that it still mattered whether or not people came to faith in Jesus Christ.[47] Because of this he still saw “a specific need for groups whose commitment is to create a Christian presence in situations where Jesus is not known and named as Saviour and Lord.”[48] Deep down in Newbigin's thought, something about Kraemer's position as articulated at Tambaram still rang true, no matter how correct Hoekendijk and his most fervent followers may have been about so many things.[49]

The decision in 1969 to drop the “s” from the title of the IRM marked the formal arrival of the new age in mission that had for so long been under discussion.[50] Even so, it was still not entirely clear what might lie ahead. Some now argued with Emerito Nacpil, for example, that a singular mission undertaken at God's initiative meant the end of a need for foreign missionaries altogether.[51] Alternatively, David Barrett was predicting a surge in evangelization, led by non-Westerners, that was about to transform Africa into a demographically Christian continent, with huge implications for the study of world Christianity and mission.[52] Certainly something had changed with respect to the constituencies addressed most directly in the IRM. First, many Orthodox churches had been integrated along with the IMC into the life of the WCC, so that from 1961 an Orthodox perspective is added to virtually every theme explored in the IRM, as Athanasius Papathanasiou's article in this volume details. Following Vatican II, the IRM also became an increasingly vital medium of intellectual exchange through which progressive Roman Catholic missiologists could interact with ecumenical Protestant theologians of mission, to the benefit of both. Evangelical Protestants, however, were not as likely to publish in the IRM as they had been prior to Uppsala.

The years 1973–2011

  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. The years 1912–1928
  4. The years 1928–1972
  5. The years 1973–2011
  6. Footnotes
  7. Biography

Another change was occurring in the 1970s that would also impact the character and reach of the IRM. This was the founding of several other major journals in English concerned with the study of mission, including Missiology (succeeding Practical Anthropology), Missionalia, the IAMS Newsletter (later Mission Studies), and the Occasional Bulletin of Missionary Research (later International Bulletin of Missionary Research). Already established previously was the Evangelical Missions Quarterly. Most of these journals were produced outside of Europe, which put their editorial staffs in quite different contexts than that of Geneva. None of them had the same relationship to the WCC, its member churches, or its institutional life as did the IRM. The proliferation of venues available for the publication of missiological research in this period meant that each of these journals tended to focus on a select range of issues of particular interest to its primary readers, as the IRM had done also. Not surprisingly, the practice of doing a comprehensive “world survey” of the mission fields (even when modified to include all six continents), as though one could view the whole from the centre of the missionary enterprise, did not survive into the 1970s.

The following are broad topic areas that encompassed many outstanding articles during this era of the IRM:

Dialogue and religious pluralism

Stanley Samartha prepared the way for interfaith dialogue to emerge as a leading concern in the IRM in the 1970s when he argued a few years earlier that discussions of salvation ought to include the followers of many different traditions, because “religions offer answers to the basic questions about human nature and destiny.”[53] In his appeal to missionaries and mission theologians to explore the meaning of salvation alongside adherents of other religious traditions, he stressed the importance of bringing living faith commitments into conversation with each other, instead of conducting academic interfaith conferences. The WCC sponsored or co-sponsored a number of important dialogue events in the 1970s, on the way towards developing an influential set of “Guidelines on Dialogue with People of Living Faiths and Ideologies” (1979; rev. 1989).

Of the many reports and papers from these gatherings, perhaps none has had the long-lasting impact as has the 1976 Christian-Muslim meeting held at Chambésy, Switzerland. The Muslim and Christian co-conveners, Kurshid Ahmed and David Kerr, presented the results of this conference in a IRM volume they co-edited (the first to involve a non-Christian editor). Especially significant for missiology, this dialogue focused on the history, practice and aims of outreach in both traditions. By all accounts, these discussions were not easy; the history of Muslim-Christian encounter has itself been complex and often difficult. Isma'il al-Faruqi's presentation on the Muslim call to faith and Lamin Sanneh's on the Christian experience of Islamic Da'wa in Africa stand out.[54]

The following year another participant, Kenneth Cragg, reflected on what had taken place at Chambésy, concluding that the human desire to possess religious truth, and a strong sense of “us and ours” on both sides cause much of the strife and dismay experienced in interreligious encounter.[55] Cragg urged those in future dialogues to reach together for “a fuller alertness to the common humanity of which we are a part and especially to its perplexities and fears,” along with a willingness to “expose ourselves to the wistfulness of unbelief outside both, or all, our systems.”[56] Some years later, David Kerr would return to the comparative topic of Christian mission and Islamic Da‘wa, extensively reviewing what had been learned since Chambésy.[57] Kerr's paper concluded with ten theses for cooperation, for example, suggesting that Christians and Muslims ought to reflect mutually on the meaning of witness in their respective traditions, develop a common liberating praxis on behalf of the poor, and join together in the work of reconciliation.

Since the 1970s, many who had been writing about dialogue in the IRM and elsewhere also began to address the closely related topic of religious pluralism. Emilio Castro, reflecting on the religiously plural environment, posed anew the question of evangelism in these terms: “how do we carry out mission in this pluralistic world?” Aware that the history of mission includes many episodes of conflict and misguided attempts to dominate others, but still convinced that the impulse to share Christ with all humanity is constitutive of Christian identity and vocation, Castro concluded that effective evangelism in a pluralistic age requires a dialogical attitude. By this he meant “an attitude that corresponds to God's own attitude toward humankind manifested in Jesus Christ: not imposing but offering; not crusading but self-surrendering.”[58]

Anthony Gittins has since discussed interfaith relations and religious pluralism in connection with the concept of hospitality, arguing that fully developed theologies of relationship will spur missionaries not only to extend hospitality to strangers but also to receive the same from others.[59] The key, according to Gittins, is to be able to see oneself and not only others as the “stranger.” Konrad Raiser has followed with an appeal to the ecumenical movement through mission and evangelism to “contribute to the building of an alternative culture of dialogue and solidarity” that responds to a global culture of competition and domination, which he sees increasingly stimulated by the factors of globalization and pluralism.[60] Various articles in the IRM during this period have also taken up the subject of theology of religions. Particularly insightful are the remarks of Veli-Matti Kärkkäinen, who has written from a Pentecostal perspective on pneumatology and the theology of religions.[61] Lalsangkima Pachuau has emphasized the importance of such studies for contemporary efforts to understand mission in his suggestion that the theology of religions has become the central integrating principle or hub of missiology.[62]

Gospel and culture

Before the 1960s, gospel and culture questions tended to be posed in terms of how to apply a message normed in the North Atlantic region to new cultural settings. The danger to be avoided at all costs was syncretism, generally understood to be an operation of adaptation gone awry that somehow compromised the integrity of the essential message one had hoped to communicate. Since the 1960s, missiologists have begun to change how they study culture, affected in part by the collapse of the old colonial order, the hollowing-out of Christendom assumptions, and the rise of post-modern thinking.

Evidence of this shift in approach appeared in the IRM initially as research on the development of theologies for post-colonial settings. In agreement with Bengt Sundkler, Harry Sawyerr argued that “theology in Africa has to interpret … Christ in terms that are relevant and essential to African existence.”[63] According to Sawyerr, a commitment to this stance would require a full treatment of the incarnation, engagement with African ideas about immortality, and a coherent account of God's omnipotence. Another important article came from John Mbiti, who focused more particularly on African traditional religions. As he saw it, “Christianity has christianized Africa, but Africa has not yet africanized Christianity.”[64] Kaj Baago, writing in the context of post-colonial India, boldly urged his fellow missionaries to “leave Christianity (the organized religion) and go inside Hinduism and Buddhism, accepting these religions as one's own, in so far as they do not conflict with Christ, and regarding them as the presupposition, the background and the framework of the Christian gospel in Asia.”[65] Only in this way could one hope to contribute to the creation of a genuine form of “Hindu Christianity” or “Buddhist Christianity.” In another Asian context, Kosuke Koyama reflected on the right place to begin doing theology in rural Thailand where he was serving, and concluded that he ought to be thinking more about the everyday life of farmers and water buffaloes and less about the abstract Western theologies of Thomas Aquinas and Karl Barth.[66]

Many more expressions of contextual theology would be presented in the IRM over the decades that followed, some developed especially in light of other religious traditions and others responding more particularly to regional or national socio-political realities. The idea of contextualization (or inculturation) provided a useful conceptual framework within which to understand the social processes necessarily involved when Christian witness is shared cross-culturally. In a sophisticated analysis utilizing both theological and social scientific perspectives, Michael Amaladoss grappled with the complex reality of gospel-sharing in the context of a vibrantly multi-religious, post-colonial Indian context. Christian communities in that setting, he suggested, have to find ways to cultivate dialogue as they reach toward the goal of inculturation. Ideally in his view, inculturation as evangelization becomes an integral process in which elements of proclamation, dialogue and liberation each finds their place.[67]

Writing in the mid-1990s, Konrad Raiser provided a good sense of the direction taken in ecumenical discussions over several decades with respect to the gospel and human cultures. He highlights two insights in particular. The first has to do with the continuous nature of the interaction of gospel and culture. Initial missionary critiques of indigenous cultures are often followed by the cultural conversion of the evangelizers, which can lead to an ongoing series of gospel and culture encounters that never end, so long as there is a living Christian community alert to its surroundings. As a result, “cultural adaptation of missionary witness (inculturation or indigenization) is only the first phase in the interaction between gospel and culture that will ultimately lead to a transformation of both, the given culture and the forms of witness for the gospel.”[68] Raiser also draws attention to two forms of missionary witness that can be identified near the end of the 20th century. First, in the case of “older” churches in situations of cultural captivity, mission requires believers to articulate the liberating opposition of the gospel over against the dominant religious-cultural synthesis. The primary missionary task of the “younger” churches, on the other hand, is still “to find ways of entering into and appropriating the indigenous culture.” That the task of contextualization is a continuous function of mission, which does not develop in the same way everywhere, is missiologically perceptive.

Lamin Sanneh further underscored the dynamic character of contextualization when he brought into this long conversation the principle of “translatability.” As Sanneh has observed more than once, the message of Jesus Christ carries with it two major consequences for the religious status of culture: “first, the relativization of all cultural arrangements, and, second, the de-stigmatization of all Gentile or taboo cultures.”[69] By this reasoning, no particular culture can claim privilege with respect to the gospel. At the same time, none may be judged incapable of receiving it. Brian Stanley has since probed carefully into the problem of conversion, taking into account not only the theological arguments often made on behalf of the Spirit's agency at such times but also the social processes of inculturation that might be at work.[70]

From another angle, Paul Hedges has written on matters of inculturation using data supplied by examples of mission architecture in India. He compares the style and decoration of buildings commissioned for the Victorian-era Cambridge Mission to Delhi with a contemporary set of buildings designed to inculturate the gospel in India, thus showing that (missionary) architecture is always an expression of theology.[71]

Similarly nuanced and missiologically interesting are the more recent reflections by Jyoti Sahi at a WCC-sponsored consultation on inculturation.[72] In light of an unprecedented surge in global mobility and the strong affinity that migrants of many kinds still hold for the cultures from which they come, Sahi considers the dilemmas of belonging in a post-modern age: Do we choose or inherit our identities? To what extent do personal and group choices shape our self-understandings? Is it possible to belong to multiple religious and cultural communities at the same time?

Some specific issues in mission theology

Since the 1970s, several other topics of special interest to contemporary missiologists received attention in the IRM. In the political sphere, for example, the crisis of apartheid in South Africa, the IRM published an extraordinary 1979 letter from Allan Boesak to the South African Minister of Justice, in which Boesak closely examined the demands of mission theology and the responsibilities of Christian social witness in relation to that government's official expectations for the church's public behaviour.[73] Cognizant of the highly charged political situation in which he was writing, K. H. Ting presented a kind of operational map for the future of the Protestant church in mainland China that, to a large extent, was followed in the 1980s and beyond.[74] Bishop Ting's article appeared in a special issue devoted to China, the impact of which was magnified because so little news about the Chinese church had been made available through the IRM from inside China since the 1950s.

“Evangelical-ecumenical relations” was another topic on which many important and exceptional articles were published over the past four decades. Within the context of the IRM, the point of such research was not simply on how to improve such relationships or advance the cause of Christian unity for its own sake. The larger objective was to extend learning about mission, which is helped when the whole church participates. John Stott familiarized readers of the IRM with some of the new developments that were taking place in evangelical thinking about mission with an article on the significance of the 1974 Lausanne international congress on world evangelization.[75] Some twenty years later, Alan Bailyes showed how “ecumenicals” and evangelicals had been mutually influencing each other's development with respect to mission theology, despite all their disagreements and feelings of distrust.[76] With an eye on mission structures, Bryant Myers reflected on what was being learned about the types of institutions most likely to be effective in the post-modern era.[77] Quite deliberately, Myers drew on a wide range of organizational experience, rather than restricting his view to groups identified with only a small part of the theological spectrum. He is critical of large-scale solutions to global problems, arguing that we should no longer expect to find meta-answers, including in theology or missiology.[78]

Before the 1980s, the IRM took almost no notice of Pentecostal missions, as Kirsteen Kim observes in her article in this volume.[79] A decisive change in editorial policy was signaled, however, when the journal published a pair of issues in 1986 (vol. 75:1–2) focused on Pentecostalism and charismatic Christianity. In an opening guest editorial, Walter Hollenweger surveyed the previous twenty years of research on Pentecostalism.[80] Subsequently, a number of articles on Pentecostal missions have appeared in the IRM. These largely have been concerned to rehearse the dramatic story of worldwide Pentecostal growth, to assert the importance of pneumatology for Pentecostal theologies of mission, and to emphasize aspects of evangelistic practice (healing, for example) that have marked Pentecostal identity.

Somewhat more unusual are several articles that pushed into new research, such as Allan Anderson's treatment of Pentecostalism and the Enlightenment cultures of Europe.[81] In Anderson's view, Pentecostalism in Europe is both a “distinct reaction to the rationalism of the Enlightenment” and a possible means to “help rescue the church from pending oblivion in this post-Christian continent.”[82] Kwabena Asamoah-Gyadu, writing in the context of Ghana, likewise sees in African Pentecostalism a worldview that stands apart from European Enlightenment assumptions about how evil asserts itself in human history. As he observes, in concert with Kwame Bediako, Pentecostal “interventionist theologies” often receive warm welcomes in sub-Saharan Africa because they meet African hopes for ritual protection from malevolent spiritual forces.[83] Thus, Asamoah-Gyadu concludes: “wherever Pentecostalism has emerged in Africa the ministries of exorcism, healing and deliverance have been its main means of evangelizing.”[84] Samuel Escobar, on the other hand, suggests that less adversarial relationships to modernity might also obtain in certain circumstances with respect to Pentecostalism. In his analysis, the rapid spread of Pentecostalism in Latin America has been due in part to its social function as a modernizing force.[85] Also stimulating is the suggestion of Amos Yong that Pentecostal research on pneumatology ought to be brought into deeper conversation with other work on the theology of religions, in order to enrich ecumenical theologies of mission that are concerned with religious pluralism.[86]

Undoubtedly, M.L. Daneel broke new ground with his study of two AIC (African Independent Churches) Spirit-type churches in Zimbabwe and their activism since the 1980s on behalf of the environment, or “earthkeeping.”[87] This was a somewhat unusual point of entry into a topic that had grown in significance in the WCC since the 1983 assembly in Vancouver. An entire issue of the IRM (v. 79/2) linked ecumenical thinking about mission to a variety of ecological initiatives. Very recently, Mary Motte has written in engaging and imaginative ways about God's intention to renew the creation, and our need for “ecological conversion” as a matter of Christian discipleship.[88]

Two additional contributions stand out because of their importance to the study of mission as an academic field. The first of these, on the “old age” of the missionary movement, is important in part because it represents a link to the accumulated research on mission produced over decades by Andrew Walls. Although Walls published almost all of his articles and reviews elsewhere, he has still been deeply involved with the IRM since the 1970s, especially through his editing of the journal's mission bibliography section.[89] Finally, I wish to take note of a brief but substantive essay by David Bosch, in which we find a preview of the approach he would take to the theology of mission in his justly famous textbook, Transforming Mission.[90] Applying the methodology of Thomas Kuhn to the history of mission in the 20th century, Bosch argued that a fundamental “paradigm shift” in missionary thinking had taken place since the foundation of the IRM in 1912.[91] In response, Bosch outlined six “priorities for the church-in-mission,” a programme of renewal that largely anticipated the much longer presentation he would make in Transforming Mission of an “emerging ecumenical missionary paradigm.”[92] Just how many readers of the IRM at that time might have recognized the significance of Bosch's conceptual approach is impossible to know. Much more certain is the judgment that this book has shaped the field of missiology to a greater degree than any other since the early 1970s.


  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. The years 1912–1928
  4. The years 1928–1972
  5. The years 1973–2011
  6. Footnotes
  7. Biography
  • 1
    Stanley H. Skreslet, “Configuring Missiology: Reading Classified Bibliographies as Disciplinary Maps,” Mission Studies 23/2 (2006), pp. 171201.
  • 2
    J. H. Oldham, “The Editor's Notes,” IRM 1/1 (1912), p. 1.
  • 3
    J. H. Oldham, “The Editor's Notes,” IRM 1/1 (1912) p. 6.
  • 4
    J. H. Oldham, “The Editor's Notes,” IRM 1/1 (1912) p. 1.
  • 5
    J. H. Oldham, “The Editor's Notes,” IRM 1/1 (1912) p. 3.
  • 6
    J. H. Oldham, “The Editor's Notes,” IRM 1/1 (1912) p. 5.
  • 7
    J. H. Oldham, “The Editor's Notes,” IRM 1/1 (1912) p. 2.
  • 8
    Timothy Tingfang Lew, “Problems of Chinese Christian Leadership: A Preliminary Psychological Study,” IRM 11/2 (1922), p. 213.
  • 9
    Timothy Tingfang Lew, “Problems of Chinese Christian Leadership: A Preliminary Psychological Study,” IRM 11/2 (1922) p. 216.
  • 10
    Kenneth S. Latourette, “The Study of the History of Missions,” IRM 14/1 (1925), p. 115. Latourette's great project, A History of the Expansion of Christianity, Harper, New York (19371945), resulted in seven volumes and nearly 3,500 pages.
  • 11
    J.N. Farquhar, “The Relation of Christianity to Hinduism,” IRM 3/3 (1914), p. 431.
  • 12
    P.H.J. Lerrigo, “The ‘Prophet Movement’ in Congo,” IRM 11/2 (1922), pp. 270277.
  • 13
    C.F. Andrews, “The Leader of the Non-Co-operation Movement in India,” IRM 13/2 (1924), pp. 190204.
  • 14
    Donald Fraser, “The Church and Games in Africa,” IRM 10/1 (1921), p. 110.
  • 15
    Diedrich Westermann, “The Value of the African's Past,” IRM 15/3 (1926), p. 426.
  • 16
    Diedrich Westermann, “The Value of the African's Past,” IRM 15/3 (1926) p. 419.
  • 17
    Diedrich Westermann, “The Value of the African's Past,” IRM 15/3 (1926) p. 431.
  • 18
    Diedrich Westermann, “The Value of the African's Past,” IRM 15/3 (1926) p. 437.
  • 19
    Friedrich Schwager, “Missionary Methods from a Roman Catholic Standpoint,” IRM 3/3 (1914), p. 488.
  • 20
    Charles W. Ranson, “Christian World Mission in the Perspective of History,” IRM 43/4 (1954), pp. 381389. See also M. A. C. Warren, “Nationalism as an International Asset,” IRM 44/4 (1955), pp. 385393, and Donald A. McGavran, “New Methods for a New Age of Missions,” IRM 44/4 (1955), pp. 394403.
  • 21
    The quotes in this paragraph are all drawn from C. F. Andrews, “Missions in India Today,” IRM 22/2 (1933), pp. 190191.
  • 22
    A Missionary in China [David Paton], “First Thoughts on the Débâcle of Christian Missions in China, IRM 40/4 (1951), p. 411. For an identification of Paton as the author of this article, see Paton, Christian Missions and the Judgment of God, 2nd ed. Eerdmans, Grand Rapids (1996), p. 109.
  • 23
    Paton, “First Thoughts,” pp. 417418.
  • 24
    F. Scott Thompson, “The Future of Missions,” IRM 22/3 (1933), p. 396.
  • 25
    J. W. Thompson, “A New Approach in a New Day,” IRM 34/3 (1945), p. 281.
  • 26
    Constance E. Padwick, “North African Reverie,” IRM 27/3 (1938), pp. 352353.
  • 27
    Karl Hartenstein, “The Theology of the Word and Missions,” IRM 20/2 (1931), pp. 210227.
  • 28
    Kenneth Scott Latourette, “The Laymen's Foreign Missions Inquiry: The Report of Its Commission of Appraisal,” IRM 22/2 (1933), pp. 153173. John A. Mackay, “The Theology of the Laymen's Foreign Missions Inquiry,” IRM 22/2 (1933), pp. 174188.
  • 29
    Oliver C. Quick, “The Present Situation in Christian Theology,” IRM 27/4 (1938), pp. 569580. Acknowledging the limitations of 19th-century liberalism, due to the legacy of original sin, Quick nevertheless worried about the consequences of rejecting its intellectual heritage wholesale. If it is true that the world is entering a new dark age, he cautioned, “the Church is now, or soon will be, the only remaining trustee of all the treasures of Hellenism – its belief in reason, persuasion, beauty, justice, freedom and the moral consciousness of man” (p. 580). One day, he suggested, the Christian missionary would need these gifts from the past, in order to build for the future.
  • 30
    J. C. Hoekendijk, “The Call to Evangelism,” IRM 39/2 (1950), pp. 162175.
  • 31
    J. C. Hoekendijk, “The Call to Evangelism,” IRM 39/2 (1950) p. 168.
  • 32
    J. C. Hoekendijk, “The Church in Missionary Thinking,” IRM 41/3 (1952), pp. 324336.
  • 33
    J. C. Hoekendijk, “The Church in Missionary Thinking,” IRM 41/3 (1952) p. 335.
  • 34
    Donald A. McGavran, “Wrong Strategy: The Real Crisis in Missions,” IRM 54/4 (1965), p. 455.
  • 35
    Hans Jochen Margull, “Structures for Missionary Congregations,” IRM 52/4 (1963), pp. 433446.
  • 36
    R. Kenneth Strachan, “Call to Witness,” IRM 53/2 (1964), pp. 191200. Elsewhere in this issue, Samuel Escobar offers an extended analysis of the “Evangelism in Depth” programme Strachan describes and the intense missiological debate that his article sparked in the IRM.
  • 37
    Victor E. W. Hayward, “Call to Witness – But What Kind of Witness?IRM 53/2 (1964), p. 208.
  • 38
    Günter Linnenbrink, “Witness and Service in the Mission of the Church,” IRM 54/4 (1965), p. 435.
  • 39
    Harold Lindsell, “A Rejoinder,” IRM 54/4 (1965), pp. 439440.
  • 40
    M. M. Thomas, “Salvation and Humanization,” IRM 60/1 (1971), pp. 2538. Peter Beyerhaus, “Mission as Humanization,” IRM 60/1 (1971), pp. 1124.
  • 41
    Gonzalo Castillo-Cárdenas, “From Protest to Revolutionary Commitment,” IRM 60/2 (1971), p: 216.
  • 42
    Thomas Wieser, “The Experience of Salvation,” IRM 60/3 (1971), p. 390.
  • 43
    Lesslie Newbigin, “Developments during 1962: An Editorial Survey,” IRM 52/1 (1963), pp. 1011.
  • 44
    Lesslie Newbigin, Unfinished Agenda: An Updated Autobiography, 2nd ed., St Andrew, Edinburgh (1993), p. 219. See also Newbigin, “Integration – Some Personal Reflections 1981,” IRM 70/4 (1981), p. 254.
  • 45
    In another article in this volume, Mark Laing examines the reasons for and the process by which the IMC was integrated into the WCC, and his assessment of the results.
  • 46
    Lesslie Newbigin, “From the Editor,” IRM 54/2 (1965), p. 149.
  • 47
    Newbigin, “Integration,” p. 248.
  • 48
    Newbigin, “Integration,” p. 253.
  • 49
    Lesslie Newbigin, “A Sermon Preached at the Thanksgiving Service for the Fiftieth Anniversary of the Tambaram Conference of the International Missionary Council,” IRM 77/3 (1988), pp. 327328.
  • 50
    William H. Crane, “Dropping the S,” IRM 58/2 (1969), pp. 141144.
  • 51
    Emerito P. Nacpil, “Mission but Not Missionaries,” IRM 60/3 (1971), pp. 356362.
  • 52
    David B. Barrett, “AD 2000: 350 Million Christians in Africa,” IRM 59/1 (1970), pp. 3954. Barrett's work was updated in the IRM several decades later by Todd M. Johnson and Sun Young Chung, “Tracking Global Christianity's Statistical Centre of Gravity, AD 33 – AD 2100,” IRM 93/2 (2004), pp. 166181.
  • 53
    Stanley J. Samartha, “The Quest for Salvation and the Dialogue between Religions,” IRM 57/4 (1968), p. 426.
  • 54
    Isma‘il al-Faruqi, “On the Nature of Islamic Da‘wah,” IRM 65/4 (1976), pp. 391409. Lamin Sanneh, “Christian Experience of Islamic Da‘wah, with Particular Reference to Africa,” IRM 65/4 (1976), pp. 410426. Published excerpts from the discussions that followed each of these presentations are included in these citations.
  • 55
    Kenneth Cragg, “Us and Ours,” IRM 66/2 (1977), pp. 169175.
  • 56
    Kenneth Cragg, “Us and Ours,” IRM 66/2 (1977) p. 173.
  • 57
    David A. Kerr, “Islamic Da'wa and Christian Mission: Towards a Comparative Analysis,” IRM 89/2 (2000), pp. 150171.
  • 58
    Emilio Castro, “Mission in a Pluralistic Age,” IRM 75/3 (1986), p. 204.
  • 59
    Anthony J. Gittins, “Beyond Hospitality? The Missionary Status and Role Revisited,” IRM 83/3 (1994), pp. 397416.
  • 60
    Konrad Raiser, “Opening Space for a Culture of Dialogue and Solidarity: The Missionary Objectives of the WCC in an Age of Globalization and Religious Plurality,” IRM 88/3 (1999), p. 200.
  • 61
    Veli-Matti Kärkkäinen, “Toward a Pneumatological Theology of Religions,” IRM 91/2 (2002), pp. 187198.
  • 62
    Lalsangkima Pachuau, “Missiology in a Pluralistic World: The Place of Mission Study in Theological Education,” IRM 89/4 (2000), pp. 549552.
  • 63
    Harry Sawyerr, “The Basis of a Theology for Africa,” IRM 52/3 (1963), p. 269.
  • 64
    John S. Mbiti, “Christianity and Traditional Religions in Africa,” IRM 59/4 (1970), p. 430.
  • 65
    Kaj Baago, “The Post-Colonial Crisis of Missions,” IRM 55/3 (1966), p. 332. A sharp critique of Baago's position, claiming that he had misread scripture with respect to the relationship of Jesus to Judaism and might be leading others to adopt deceptive practices, followed in Ian H. Douglas and John B. Carman, “ ‘The Post-Colonial Crisis of Missions’: Comments,” IRM 55/4 (1966), pp. 483489. In his reply, Baago did not back down from his convictions, concluding: “Our aim in mission today cannot be to convert Hindus and Buddhists to (Greek-Roman) Christianity, but to unite all, Hindus, Buddhists, Christians and Muslims, in one brotherhood in Christ, who is over all and through all and in all.” Baago, “The Post-Colonial Crisis of Missions: A Reply,” IRM 56/1 (1967), p. 103.
  • 66
    Kosuke Koyama, “From Water Buffaloes to Asian Theology,” IRM 53/4 (1964), pp. 457458.
  • 67
    Michael Amaladoss, “Culture and Dialogue,” IRM 74/2 (1985), pp. 169177.
  • 68
    All the quotes in this paragraph are from Raiser, “Mission and Cultures,” IRM 83/4 (1994), pp. 628629.
  • 69
    Lamin Sanneh, “The Gospel, Language and Culture: The Theological Method in Cultural Analysis,” IRM 84/1–2 (1995), p. 53. A fuller presentation of Sanneh's argument for translatability is given in Sanneh, Translating the Message: The Missionary Impact on Culture Orbis, Maryknoll (1989).
  • 70
    Brian Stanley, “Conversion to Christianity: The Colonization of the Mind?IRM 92/3 (2003), pp. 315331.
  • 71
    Paul M. Hedges, “Architecture, Inculturation and Christian Mission: The Buildings of the Cambridge Mission to Delhi, and Their Meaning for the Church Today,” IRM 89/2 (2000), pp. 180189.
  • 72
    Jyoti Sahi, “Believing without Belonging? Some Reflections,” IRM 92/2 (2003), pp. 227230.
  • 73
    Allan Boesak, “Mission to Those in Authority,” IRM 69/1 (1980), pp. 7177.
  • 74
    K. H. Ting, “Retrospect and Prospect,” IRM 70/2 (1981), pp. 2539.
  • 75
    John Stott, “The Significance of Lausanne,” IRM 64/3 (1975), pp. 288294.
  • 76
    Alan J. Bailyes, “Evangelical and Ecumenical Understandings of Mission,” IRM 85/4 (1996), pp. 485503.
  • 77
    Bryant L. Myers, “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Evangelical-Ecumenical Cooperation,” IRM 81/3 (1992), pp. 397407.
  • 78
    Bryant L. Myers, “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Evangelical-Ecumenical Cooperation,” IRM 81/3 (1992) p. 401.
  • 79
    Kirsteen Kim, “Mission's Changing Landscape: Global Flows and Christian Movements”, IRM 100/2 (2011), pp. 244267.
  • 80
    Walter J. Hollenweger, “Guest Editorial: After Twenty Years' Research on Pentecostalism,” IRM 75/1 (1986), pp. 312.
  • 81
    Allan Anderson, “Pentecostalism, the Enlightenment and Christian Mission in Europe,” IRM 95/3–4 (2006), pp. 276281.
  • 82
    Allan Anderson, “Pentecostalism, the Enlightenment and Christian Mission in Europe,” IRM 95/3–4 (2006) pp. 277, 281.
  • 83
    J. Kwabena Asamoah-Gyadu, “Pulling Down Strongholds: Evangelism, Principalities and Powers and the African Pentecostal Imagination,” IRM 96/3–4 (2007), pp. 306317. For the reference to “interventionist theologies,” see p. 307.
  • 84
    J. Kwabena Asamoah-Gyadu, “Pulling Down Strongholds: Evangelism, Principalities and Powers and the African Pentecostal Imagination,” IRM 96/3–4 (2007) p. 308.
  • 85
    J. Samuel Escobar, “A Missiological Approach to Latin American Protestantism,” IRM 87/2 (1998), pp. 166167.
  • 86
    Amos Yong, “As the Spirit Gives Utterance: Pentecost, Intra-Christian Ecumenism and the Wider Oikoumene,” IRM 92/3 (2003), pp. 299314.
  • 87
    M. L. Daneel, “African Independent Church Pneumatology and the Salvation of All Creation,” IRM 82/2 (1993), pp. 143166.
  • 88
    Mary Motte, “Creation, Theological Imagination and Questions about Discipleship,” IRM 99/2 (2010), pp. 230243.
  • 89
    Andrew F. Walls, “The Old Age of the Missionary Movement,” IRM 76/1 (1987): 2632.
  • 90
    David J. Bosch, “Vision for Mission,” IRM 76/1 (1987): 815.
  • 91
    Bosch, “Vision for Mission,” 8.
  • 92
    David J. Bosch, Transforming Mission: Paradigm Shifts in Theology of Mission, Orbis, Maryknoll, NY (1991), pp. 368510.


  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. The years 1912–1928
  4. The years 1928–1972
  5. The years 1973–2011
  6. Footnotes
  7. Biography
  • Stanley H. Skreslet is F. S. Royster Professor of Christian Missions at Union Presbyterian Seminary in Richmond, Virginia, where he now is also Academic Dean. He served for ten years on the faculty of the Evangelical Theological Seminary in Cairo, Egypt, through the mission programme of the Presbyterian Church (USA).