The past five to ten years have seen a massive increase in discussion around not only what the Gospel is but how the Church should live out and proclaim the Gospel in the culture. At the heart of that discussion is often a confusion by some who think that those who want to reach the culture dismiss the need for Christians to be holy. While I understand that reaction and it is in my estimation a fair critique given the literature out there tends to major on “reaching culture” to the exclusion of being in the world but not of the world. With that said a new book Reformed Means Missional Following Jesus Into The World Edited by Samuel T. Logan, Jr. with a foreword by Christopher J.H. Wright has come out.
Reformed Means Missional has two parts. In part one the contributors (Martin Allen, Samuel T. Logan, and Thomas Schirrmacher set forth what a Missional church looks like, the correlation between orthodox belief and moral behavior, and finally Thomas Schirrmacher tackles The Book of Romans and the Missional Mandate. The first section is very strong and sets the way for understanding why this issue is important not just to the broader evangelical community but specifically to the Reformed community. It is often thought that Reformed people care more about doctrinal precision to the neglect of missions and evangelism. This volume will go a long way to alleviate that perception by showing how biblical doctrine informs our mission for God in order to spread His fame to the nations.
Part two explores how the Church reaches the world. Here P.J Buys, Timothy Keller, Susan M. Post, Diane Langberg, Basyle Tchividjian, Elias Medeiros, Robert Calvert, John Leonard, John Nicholls, John Freeman, A.T.B. McGowan and Frank A. James examine topics ranging from poverty, urban mission, health care, abuse against woman, child sexual abuse, immigration, secularism, homosexuals and the gay community and concludes by an evangelical, reformed and Missional theology for the 21st century.
Given the range of topics this book discusses it is highly likely that many people whether they are inside the Reformed community or outside in the broader evangelical church will disagree with some of the points of this book. At the heart of this book though is the Word of God and the Gospel of Jesus Christ which provides the fuel for the Church’s mission in the world. In an time when “Missional” and “Reformed” are in vogue what I appreciate about this book is the care the contributors take to define what they mean by Missional and Reformed. By taking this approach the authors take the readers first to the Word of God and the Reformed tradition to help explain what Reformed theology has said about these topics. In addition to this the contributors make contributions of their own to the various topics they examine.
Reformed Means Missional is a very helpful book that defines the issue along biblical categories all with a view to ground its thinking in the old paths of Reformed orthodoxy. Reformed Means Missional would be good for those who are not just interested in the topics the book examines but for those who have no knowledge about these topics. Whether you are new to Reformed theology and wondering what Reformed theologians think about these topics or you are a seasoned in Reformed theology Reformed Means Missional has something for you. By taking its readers to the Word of God, by grounding itself in the rich tradition of Reformed theology and by seeking to help people understand how God calls His people to be in the world but not of the world, the authors have helped their readers to not just understand the issues they examine but to take up and proclaim the Gospel to a lost and dying world. I encourage those who are interested in missions or evangelism to pick up this book. You may not agree with everything in Reformed Means Missional, but you will be challenged to think through the issues from a biblical worldview for the purpose of knowing and making known the God who sends us on a mission to be in the world but not of the world in order to proclaim a message in the Gospel that calls sinners out of darkness and into the Kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ. Reformed Means Missional will equip reader to understand missions and evangelism in fresh ways while remaining faithful to the Word of God, to the Gospel of God and to Reformed orthodoxy. This outstanding book will move readers to action because of the Gospel which is the fuel for missions. My prayer is that God would give Reformed Means Missional a wide reading in not just the Reformed world but in the broader evangelical world.
Author: Edited by Samuel T. Logan, Jr.
Publisher: New Growth Press (2013)
I received this for free from New Growth Press book review program for this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Dave Jenkins is happily married to Sarah Jenkins. He is a writer, editor, and speaker living in beautiful Southern Oregon. Dave is a lover of Christ, His people, the Church, and sound theology. He serves as the Executive Director of Servants of Grace Ministries, the Executive Editor of Theology for Life Magazine, and is the Host for the Equipping You in Grace Podcast. He is the author of The Word Explored: The Problem of Biblical Illiteracy and What To Do About It (House to House, 2021). You can find him on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Parler, Youtube, or read his newsletter. Dave loves to spend time with his wife, going to movies, eating at a nice restaurant, or going out for a round of golf with a good friend. He is also a voracious reader, in particular of Reformed theology, and the Puritans. You will often find him when he’s not busy with ministry reading a pile of the latest books from a wide variety of Christian publishers. Dave received his M.A.R. and M.Div through Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary.