Transforming Mission: Paradigm Shifts in Theology of Mission

by David J. Bosch. Orbis Books, 2011.

According to author David Bosch, our understanding and practice of Christian mission are now shifting. We face a highly demanding pioneer task that looks toward missionary involvement different from any experienced in Christian history. Bosch’s careful, thorough, and scholarly research takes us through six historic mission paradigms. In the past, there was no one single mission theology; rather, different theologies formed a complimentary mosaic. But this century has witnessed a shift from the church-centered mission to a mission-centered church. A mission-centered church sees itself as a servant community, a pilgrim people, a sacrament and sign to the world rather than a legal entity. Mission today, Bosch concludes, is the good news of God’s love, incarnated in the witness of community, for the sake of the world. Clergy, teachers, and lay leaders will be interested in reading this book, not only for historical mission theologies, but also for how these theologies still influence our current views of the church’s mission.