MRT 18.1 June 2023 – Race, Ethnicity, Bible, and Mission

Download issue 18.1.

From 29 May to 1 June 2023, OMF hosted its Mission Research Consultation on the theme of Race, Ethnicity, the Bible, and Mission. Twelve papers were read by a worldwide group of reflective practitioners who sensitively approached the topic from a variety of perspectives. The papers will be published in this and the next two issues of Mission Round Table.

“Every Tribe Every Nation” by Marsha Vosburg (circa) 2018. All rights reserved.

Anyone who tries to comprehend the complexities and multitudinous approaches surrounding race and ethnicity as understood in the world today faces a formidable challenge. This difficulty is compounded when one attempts to apply these concepts to missional outreach.

Just what are “race” and “ethnicity”? How can one avoid being swallowed up by the waves of contemporary scholarship that make the terms impossible to define in a way that all find acceptable? Whose understanding should one follow and why? How does one work with those who maintain different positions? And how does one negotiate such diverse views in the light of a Bible that was written in a different age to people who may have thought differently on these things, if they thought about them at all.

This issue includes a devotional and three papers from the consultation. Questions follow each paper for personal reflection or group discussion on this important missiological theme. Readers are reminded to reflect on the statement that is always written inside the front cover of the journal: “The editorial content of Mission Round Table reflects the opinions of the various authors and should not be interpreted as necessarily representing the views of OMF International.”


James 2:1–13 Favouritism Is ForbiddenDavid Eastwood

Time to Talk about Race: Colorblindness and MissiologyKirsteen Kim

“Should White People Be Missionaries Overseas?” Absurd Question or Pathway to Reimagining Missional Faithfulness in a Postcolonial World?Peter Rowan

Power, Weakness, and Status ReversalEndian

The Formation, Growth, and Development of the Hong Kong Council of the Overseas Missionary FellowshipTze Pui and Caoji

The Rest of Your LivesRose Scott

Book review – Beyond Racial Division: A Unifying Alternative to Colorblindness and Antiracism

Book review – Beyond Colorblind: Redeeming Our Ethnic Journey

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