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29 November 2019

Mission Round Table—Vol. 14 No.3 Sep-Dec 2019

To the Ends of the Earth

“I will make you as a light for the nations, that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth.” Isaiah 49:6

In the first verse of the book of Acts, Dr. Luke reminded Theophilus that he had written his previous book—his Gospel— to record “that which Jesus began to do and to teach.” Though unstated, his purpose for this second book was to record that which Jesus continued to do and teach through his apostles. Their job was not to speculate about when Jesus might restore the kingdom to Israel, but to wait for the Spirit to empower them so that “you will be my witnesses, not only in Jerusalem, but also in all of Judea and Samaria and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8).

But Luke’s second account does not conclude with the work Jesus began to do and teach being completed; “the ends of the earth” was not reached when Paul arrived in Rome. Each generation of Christians must receive power from the Spirit and bear witness of Jesus. The desire to see the story of Jesus proclaimed throughout the world lies behind this issue of Mission Round Table. All but the opening article were originally produced for the June 2019 OMF Mission Research Consultation that focused on sharing the gospel.

How Indigenous Are the OMF Asian Home Councils? Tracing the History of their Establishment.[1]

Synopsis: This paper recounts the birth and development of OMF’s Asian Home Councils, points out the key issues faced by these councils, identifies changes that have emerged over the years, and considers whether Asian Home Councils can be legitimately considered indigenous. Koyuki Sami Koyuki Sami joined OMF in 1992. She worked among the urban and [...]

One Kingdom Theology as a Paradigm for Gospel Ministry: A Commendation of the Thoughts of J. H. Bavinck

Synopsis: This paper examines the mission theology of the Dutch missionary, Johan Herman Bavinck. Special focus is given to Bavinck’s conception of missions in light of the theme of the kingdom of God, the interplay between general and special revelation, and the relationship between missions, church, and the world. Song Tsai Song Tsai is an [...]

God’s Mission, the Messianic Kingdom, and the Calling of the Church

Synopsis: Responding to Song Tsai’s reflections on Bavinck in "One Kingdom Theology as a Paradigm for Gospel Ministry", Michael Widmer examines some of the writings of Bavinck and presents a wider investigation into the nature and purposes of God’s mission and how this relates to his kingdom and the commissioning of the church. Michael Widmer [...]

The Gospel and the Cross-Cultural Gospel Messengers: Issues of Identity and Platform in Bringing the Good News

Synopsis: This paper addresses key questions related to platforms and distinguishes between missionary calling and the professional vocation which many have found helpful. It includes a scale that attempts to capture some of the issues in how these two callings intersect for different people and discusses the key question of effectiveness. Ian C. H. Prescott [...]

The Gospel Expressed Through Ritual Materiality for Discipleship in the Context of Thai Folk Buddhism

Synopsis: This paper begins with a brief presentation on the basic religious outlook of Thai folk Buddhists followed by a discussion of how ritual materiality reflects vital expressions of spirituality that reveal the way Thai folk Buddhists see the world. The paper looks at possible redemptive expressions in the realm of ritual materiality through which [...]

Let the Gospel Enter the Heart Underneath the Kimono

Synopsis: Responding to Samuel Lim’s article "The Gospel Expressed Through Ritual Materiality for Discipleship in the Context of Thai Folk Buddhism" from a Japanese perspective, Ricky and Winny Leung underline similarities and differences between Japanese and Thai Buddhism. Their discussion considers how Japanese churches have rituals similar to those in the society at large, the [...]

Extract from China’s Millions (1877): Plan of the Operation of the China Inland Mission

This article from China's Millions (April 1877) describes the CIM's plan to move into the nine inland provinces lacking missionary witness. The journeys made by these young men covered thousands of miles. Traveling by foot, horseback, and boat, they faced danger from the terrain, bandits, and illness. More details of these amazing journeys can be [...]