Without reaching for one of those words which tend to litter our descriptions nowadays (‘exciting’, ‘unbelievable’, ‘amazing’) I can certainly say that this edition of Encounters has been one of the most interesting and thought-provoking that I have had to do with. I am genuinely grateful to all those who responded to my request for a critique of Encounters Issues 1-25 and who added suggestions about future possible topics. Some of you went a long way beyond the call of duty and I appreciate your generosity.
The result of this interaction, something which I had not quite anticipated, is a sort of ‘issues and trends’ survey. The list of all the various matters that people think we should be exploring and discussing could be used to design several lecture courses, plan a number of conferences and provide a very wide choice of subject matter (as was hoped) for the editors of Encounters when considering future editions.
Obviously some themes emerged as more prominent than others. This may reflect the range of the respondents (not everybody who ought to have been was asked to contribute, and not everybody who was asked did so) or it may give undue emphasis to current as against long-term concerns, but in any case it does tell us what is on the agenda of many mission leaders and thinkers. I have tried to summarise these prominent themes in the opening survey while also at least listing some of the minor concerns. Where the theme seems to be a major one I have included contributors’ comments as appropriate and sometimes added comments of my own. The remaining contributions are virtually word for word accounts of responses from individuals that were so full that they deserve to stand alone. My special thanks to Ida Glaser, Jonathan Rowe, Martin Lee, Rose Dowsett and Paul Thaxter.
Finally, I am sure that this ‘conversation’ is not over. If you want to respond to any of the suggestions already made or make new suggestions of your own, please do get in touch through the usual channels. Something along the lines of ‘Surely, what we ought to be discussing is… I was really surprised that nobody thought to mention it.’ We’ll try to make sure that your concerns are reflected in Encounters.
Emerging Themes in Mission: A survey and summary
(Jonathan Ingleby, 1921 words) PDF -:- Abstract & Discussion
Notes from Ida Glaser
(Ida Glaser, 370 words) PDF -:- Abstract & Discussion
Notes from Jonathan Rowe
(Jonathan Rowe, 321 words) PDF -:- Abstract & Discussion
Notes from Martin Lee
(Martin Lee, 876 words) PDF -:- Abstract & Discussion
Notes from Paul Thaxter
(Paul Thaxter, 674 words) PDF -:- Abstract & Discussion
Notes from Rose Dowsett
(Rose Dowsett, 999 words) PDF -:- Abstract & Discussion
Book Review 1: Christian Theology in Asia
(edited by Sebastian Kim; Cambridge University Press)
Book Review 2: The Day is Yours: Slow Spirituality in a Fast-Moving World
(by Ian Stackhouse; Paternoster Press)
And finally, a single PDF of the whole issue. Ideal for using offline or to make printing easier.
Issue 26: Single Document Version (in full)
(pdf 202 KB)