Reformed Mission in an Age of World Christianity

Reformed Mission in an Age of World Christianity

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  • Editors:
  • Published: June 15, 2011
  • Publisher: Calvin College Press
  • ISBN: 978-0972726-08-5

Reformed Mission in an Age of World Christianity

As Christians, what should we do until Jesus returns? Attention to theological thinking about the intersection of living, learning and acting in the world has been a historic strength of Reformed Christianity.

This book weaves the future of world Christianity with Reformed Christian frameworks, providing fresh ideas for the 21st century. This book is a collection of essays drawn from an international conference preceding the Uniting General Assembly of the World Alliance of Reformed Churches and the Reformed Ecumenical Council that took place in Grand Rapids, Michigan from June 16 to 26, 2010.


“We live in an age when Christianity is truly a world religion, with 2.3 billion adherents, the vast majority of whom live in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the islands of the Pacific. That geographic pattern is also true for more than 75 million members of the World Communion of Reformed Churches. This Reformed Christian tradition is not one of the world's largest or fastest growing, but it has a reputation for lively and strategic Christian thinking. Our times cry out for fresh approaches to Christian mission in the world, and in the book, Reformed Christian thinkers from around the world show that they have much to offer.”

— Joel Carpenter, Nagel Institute for the Study of World Christianity

“Augustine noted that through harmony we imitate God's unity. As Christians gather from various cultures, we "hear" the polyphonic songs that emerge from living between scripture and culture. Convinced of such Reformed emphases as God's sovereignty over all things and driven to attend to all the hurts of the world, Christians from various cultures and denominations here raise their sweet-sad songs of faithful witness across several realms of human endeavor. I pray that the essays in this volume will provide such delight that readers will become "singers," further contributing to the symphonic shalom that all people seek.”

— Nick Lantinga, International Association for the Promotion of Christian Higher Education


Editor's preface by Shirley J. Roels, senior advisor for Network for Vocation in Undergraduate Education (NETVUE) of the Council of Independent Colleges

Foreword by Setri Nyomi, general secretary of the World Communion of Reformed Churches

A 21st-Century Call

"Elected for a Global Mission: The Call to the Broader Reformed Agenda," by Richard J. Mouw, president and professor of Christian philosophy, Fuller Theological Seminary

Part I: Living Roots For Living Water

"Strong Roots for a Vibrant Future," by Karin Maag, professor of history and director of the H. Henry Meeter Center for Calvin Studies, Calvin College

"Reformed Principles as Remaining Roots," by Paul J. Visser, Protestant Church in the Netherlands pastor and chairman of the Foundation for the Promoting of Reformed Missiology and Ecumenics

Part II: Translation Across Borders

"Cross-Boundary Faith: The Universal and the Contextual," by Janel Curry, provost, Gordon College

"Mission as Transformation: Holistic, Ecumenical, and Contextual," by David S. Lim, president of the Asian School of Development and Cross-Cultural Studies, Quezon City, the Philippines

Part III: The Covenantal Community

"Covenantal Communities and Reformed Mission Worldwide: Covenantal Mission, the Institutional Church, and Freedom from Cultural Captivity," by John D. Witvliet, director of the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship, professor of worship and theology, and chair of congregational and ministry studies, Calvin College

"Men and Women: Made by and for Community," by Ruth Padilla DeBorst, secretary general of the Fraternidad Teólogica Latinoamericana

Part IV: Roles at the Table of the Church

"The Global Economy, Injustice, and the Church: On Being Reformed in Today's World," by Roland Hoksbergen, professor of economics, Calvin College

"Fostering Communion and Justice: Twin Roles for the Church," by Jerry Pillay, general secretary of the Uniting Presbyterian Church in Southern Africa and the president of the World Communion of Reformed Churches, and Shirley J. Roels

Together in Our Global Future

"Challenges and Opportunities: A Next-Steps Discussion," by José Alcántara, professor of literature at Universidad Iberoamericana, Mexico City, Mexico; Susan Felch, director of the Calvin Center for Christian Scholarship and professor of literature, Calvin College; Won Lee, professor of religion, Calvin College; and Paul J. Visser


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