“Missiology is the area of practical theology that investigate the mandate, message, and mission of the Christian church, especially the nature of missionary work.” Christians who are commissioned to implement Christ’s Great Commission must understand not only the message of the gospel they preach, but also the environment the message is to be preached and how they have engaged in the missionary work. King Solomon wrote: “All who are prudent act with knowledge. . ..” (Prov. 13:16). He also wrote: “Desire without knowledge is not good, how much more will hasty feet miss the way.” (Prov. 19:2). In order to carry on the missionary responsibility successfully, missionaries must understand the challenges in mission in the past and present.
The theme for the 65th issue of the Asian Missions Advance is “Challenges in Mission Past and Present.” There have been stories of success and failures in Western churches, engaged in missionary work for centuries. What are some of the shared challenges in mission history and today? The mission scholars and practitioners who wrote articles for the 65th issue of AMA give us ideas on how to face challenges.
John Edmiston, challenges us to have a solution-focused mindset over a problem-focused mindset when we have problems. He says, “A problem-focused mindset focuses on everything that has gone wrong and amplifies and multiplies problems. By contrast, a solution-focused mindset focuses on finding a solution and is open to creative possibilities.”(p. 2).
Daniel Shaw, concludes his article with the following words: “…Asian Christians should be encouraged to experiment by applying Scripture to the commonality of Asian life and develop hybrid expressions that reflect their Asian interface with the Bible without inhibitions.” (p. 15)
Juliet Lee Uytanlet, tells us about Matteo Ricci’s education, calling, his achievements and accomplishments in China, and controversies he created in his effort to contextualize the message of the gospel in the Chinese setting. (pp. 19-20).
Lauren J. Kim tries to recover the importance of Reformed missions by highlighting important events and people.
David S. Lim presents the past and present challenges of the Korean mission in the Philippines. While thankful to the Korean missionary works, he cautiously points out that these efforts have not been totally appreciated by the Filipinos. He suggested 4 areas that can respond to these challenges.
Thanks to the article contributors for sharing invaluable insights to the readers. May the readers learn lessons from the writers of the articles and better serve the Lord by avoiding problems and by wisely solving problems we have faced and are facing.
– Timothy K. Park, Editor