The Gospel Coalition Book Award in Missions & the Global Church (2023)
A long-awaited culmination of scholarship by a pioneer of missiology and global Christianity
The history of the missions is complex and fraught. Though modern missions began with European colonialism, the outcome was a largely non-Western global Christianity. Highly esteemed scholar Andrew Walls explores every facet of the movement, including its history, theory, and future.
Walls locates the birth of the Protestant missionary movement in the West with the Puritans and Pietists and their efforts to convert the Native Americans they displaced. Tracing the movement into the twentieth century, Walls shows how colonialism and missionary work turned out to be essentially incompatible. Missionaries must live on another culture’s terms, and their goal—the establishment of churches of every nation—depends on accepting new, indigenous Christians as equals. Now that Christianity has become primarily an African, Latin American, and Asian religion rather than a European one, the dynamics of the church’s mission have transformed. Sensitive to this shift, Walls indicates new areas of listening to and learning from this new center of Christianity and speculates on the theological contributions from a truly global church.
Throughout his long and fruitful career, Walls told the story of missions as a dedicated Christian scholar, teacher, and mentor. Prior to his passing in 2021, he entrusted the editing of his lectures to his friends and students. The result of this labor of love, The Missionary Movement from the West is a must-read for scholars of missiology, world Christianity, and church history.
Editor’s Introduction Foreword I. Birth and Early Years 1. The Birth of the Western Missionary Movement 2. Puritan and Pietist Origins: Jonathan Edwards and the Missionary Significance of Native America 3. A History and Geography of Christian Obedience: Early Protestant Foreign Mission Initiatives from Europe and America 4. “Honour All Men”: The Humanitarian Strand in Early Protestant Missions II. Towards the Middle Age of Western Missions 5. Reading the Bible: Theology and the Interpretation of Prophecy in Nineteenth-Century Protestant Missions 6. Jerusalem and Antioch: Western Missions and non-Western Churches 7. "Made of One Blood:" Race, Culture, and Society in Western Mission Thinking 8. How Protestant Missionaries Got into China; and how China Got into the Missionaries III. Mid-Life Crises: Western Missions in the Late Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Centuries 9. Protestant Missions Enter Middle Age 10. The World Missionary Conference and the First World War: Bright Visions, Dark Clouds, Hidden Happenings 11. The Missionary as Specialist: Healing and the Gospel 12. Before the Volcano Erupted: The Tambaram Meeting: Mission on the Eve of the Second World War IV. The Second World War and the Old Age of the Western Missionary Movement 13. The Seventh Chapter of Daniel Continued: The Legacy of World War II and the Birth of the Indian Nation 14. Red Sky at Night, Judgment of God? Missions and the China Experience 15. Winds of Change and Latter Rain: Christianity and the New African Nations 16. The Theological Challenge of World Christianity Bibliography Index
The late Andrew F. Walls (1928–2021) towers over the study of Protestant missions ending with the new era of the globalized church. He was a devoted participant-observer and learner in the work of world evangelization, and he was teacher and mentor to many current missiologists. He authored landmark books such as The Missionary Movement in Christian History and The Cross-Cultural Process in Recent History but above all was a teacher whose lectures were legendary in his field. Before his death he invited trusted students and colleagues to edit his renowned lectures into this book.
“A feast full of the wisdom, insight, and (yes) wit so characteristic of Andrew Walls’s landmark essays. . . . It is vintage Andrew Walls, and therefore a book to read, savor, ponder, and read again.” —Mark Noll, coauthor of Clouds of Witnesses: Christian Voices from Africa and Asia
“Andrew Walls was a brilliant and influential interpreter of the history of Christianity as a worldwide movement. These essays demonstrate his deep knowledge, incisive prose, and lively faith. . . . [They] will keep Walls’s voice alive for another generation of readers and inspire scholars and practitioners alike.” —Dana L. Robert, Boston University
“Readers, old and new, will find in this compendium of essays an absorbing reassessment that greatly enriches the historical study of Christianity.” —Jesu J. Hanciles, Emory University
“The Missionary Movement from the West invites all of us interested in the fortunes of Christianity across the continents of the modern and late modern world to be informed and gripped by a master storyteller. . . . I dare say no one should think they could imagine the possibility of effective Christian missional witness after 2025 without first having read this book!” —Amos Yong, Fuller Seminary
“The book vividly retains Professor Walls’s spoken lectures, concepts, emphases, and teachings on the western missionary movements. It embodies his dedication to sound scholarship in the service of church and society.” —Daniel Jeyaraj, Oxford Centre for Religion and Public Life
“The Missionary Movement from the West is vintage Walls, bringing his remarkable perspective on the ebb and flow of Christian history into this fourth collection of his priceless writings. Those of us who studied under him remember his sharing these insights in the courses we had with him. Now they are published and available to all. The insights in this volume are, in many ways, the culmination of the breathtaking career of Walls who, arguably, stands as the pioneer of what is now known as ‘global Christianity.’” —Timothy Tennent, Asbury Theological Seminary
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