The Great Commission, which Christ gave us before he ascended into heaven, is the mission all who follow Christ must obey. It is their Earthly duty, which glorifies God and bringing His people back to Him. Throughout the centuries, since Christ ascended into heaven, there have been many attempts to fulfill the Great Commission, which is an ongoing mission which will only end when Christ returns, yet their steps forward help current Christ followers do the same. The book Encountering the History of Missions: From the Early Church to Today by John Mark Terry and Robert L Gallagher details the ongoing attempts to fulfill this obligation.
Encountering the History of Missions is an all-encompassing book which does the job it sets out to accomplish. In just over 400 pages, Terry and Gallagher, give a phenomenal account of missions through the ages past. Their study shows a good balance of the past 2,000 years using broad stroke looking at seventeen different areas of missions.
Each section details the specific theology behind a certain group or time period of missionaries or the movers and shakers of the group or time. Due to the structure of this book it is best used as either a reference work or as a textbook for a college-level class. To use this book in the academic study of the history of missions there are sections of the work, case studies, which can be found at the end of most chapters, followed by a section of reflection and discussion. This will aid professors in the process of assigning this text for reading.
With specific regard the readability of this work, Encountering the History of Missions, the text easy to read comparatively to most textbook like works. Furthermore the detail found in this work is outstanding, jam-packed with information, without becoming unreadable to anyone but a scholar. Additionally the reference list, located in the back of the work, encompassing over 20 pages, and would be suitable for any student college or above to use for further study in this area.
As a minister who is intimately familiar with the history of missions, I see this book as a great introduction to this most important Heavenly obligation. I therefore recommend this work to all pastors, students of missions, and prospective missionaries who desire to know of Saints who came before them, in the field of overseas missions.
I received this work from Baker Academic for the purposes of review, yet the views expressed are my own, they did not need to be positive.
Title: Encountering the History of Missions: From the Early Church to Today
Author: John Mark Terry and Robert L Gallagher