1. “Builders of the Chinese Church: Pioneer Protestant Missionaries and Chinese Church Leaders,” edited by Wright Doyle and Carol Hamrin. Reviewed. Looks like a book I’d like in my library, given that I’m presently hunting for histories of the church in restricted-access areas. This is especially interesting as it tells a bit of the story of the Chinese church during the “hidden years” when ‘everyone’ thought the church was dead – and then later on found out it most assuredly was not.
2. “Understanding Insider Movements: Disciples of Jesus within diverse religious communities.” Harley Talman, John Jay Travis, ed. This was a lovely gift on my table this morning from the William Carey Library. I have not really kept up with the Insider Movement too much – I know that they exist, I know that there are strong proponents and opponents of it. This is a serious book – 679 pages, including the bibliography and index – broken into 7 parts (Setting the Stage; Examples, Testimonies and Analysis; Biblical and Theological Perspectives; Contextualization, Religion and Syncretism; Approaches in Witness; Concerns and Misunderstandings; and Identity), each of which features up to a dozen essays by different authors: 64 essays in all. Authors like Travis, Bartlotti and Higgins are featured, but also authors from (I’m guessing) the majority world, whom I’ve never heard of before (and that’s a good thing: to hear their voices on the subject). I haven’t read the book – barely cracked it – but I can already estimate its usefulness to be high.
3. “Diaspora Missiology: Reflections on reaching the scattered peoples of the world.” Michael Pocock & Enoch Wan, editors. This is another book from William Carey Library. It, too, is a collection of essays, but it’s a far shorter book: 13 essays in all. They are broken into several parts: The current phenomenon of global diasporas; theology and models of diaspora missiology; Biblical and theological guidelines; Strategy and models; Case studies in diaspora missions; The way forward. The burgeoning movement to reach diaspora peoples will no doubt find this book to be useful in critiquing strategic models.
4. “Guardians of the Great Commission: the story of women in modern missions.” Ruth A. Tucker. This is not a new book: it’s an old classic that I just discovered in a library book sale. I was thrilled to find this particularly because most of the “mission saint” stories we have are of men: here are two dozen or so biographies of women. Tucker is also the author of the classic “From Jerusalem to Irian Jaya.” Picking this up was a no brainer. There are 26 copies on Amazon right now.