The Flying Man Pt 5: New Insights From Three Eras of Mission History by Robby Butler

(Read the original article published in the Nov/Dec edition of Mission Frontiers magazine)

This article is about the Perspectives course revision. The beginning paragraphs go over some of the milestones reached and influences of the course. The new revision is due January 2009. We were around when they were working 60-80 hour weeks editing and revision the reader. Also beginning in 2009, we as a staff will methodically go through the articles one by one and discuss their content. If you can’t tell we are excited about this.

The majority of Butler’s article covers concepts in the revision Dr. Winter’s article on the Eras of Protestant Missions. (NOTE: I have not read Dr. Winter’s revised article, I am simply reviewing this MF article.) Butler reviews the addition of a section comparing these eras with “kingdom mission” or “church mission.” You can read for your self the summary he gave of what kingdom and church mission are and how they apply to the three ears in missions.

Butler then takes Dr. Winter’s article and its kingdom/church mission definitions and critics each of them objectively. Butler says church mission often transforms individuals instead of communities and concentrates on salvation of the individual rather than the society. He says kingdom mission can be done without Christ (social action) and it is easy to get caught into just doing good things.

I think there is a need for the two to complement each other in order for mission strategy to be effective. The church, evangelism, development and society level change are all necessary for the true gospel to be preached.

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