TC ERT Jan 2016 Vol 40 No 1


Now available
Paternoster Periodicals, c/- 8-9 Vanguard Court, Preston Farm, Stockton-on-Tees TS18 3TR UK

Theme: Mission


  1. China’s Intelligentsia: A Strategic Missional Opportunity by D. Keith Campbell
  2. Samuel Pearce (1766-99): An Example of Missional Spirituality by Peter J. Morden
  3. A Theology of Institutions: A Survey of Global Evangelical Voices by Gregg A. Okesson
  4. The Christian Claim for Universal Human Rights in Relation to the Natural Moral Law by Komárková and Johnson by Pavel Hošek
  5. The Koran’s Denial of Christ’s Crucifixion: A Critique by John J. Johnson
  6. Empowering church planters. Which training system? by Johannes Reimer
  7. The Code ‘Christian Witness in a Multi-Religious World’ – Its Significance and Reception by Thomas Schirrmacher
  8. Reviews

Editorial: Mission

We commence this new volume with an examination of the ‘strategic missional opportunity’ of one of the oldest civilisations of our world. Keith Campbell (USA) draws upon his long acquaintance with Chinese intelligentsia to alert us to a significant trend in which a love for science leads to the attribution of ‘religion-like characteristics’ to that discipline. Although, according to Campbell, this creates an unhealthy schism between science and philosophy, it also opens the way for thoughtful Christians to bear witness to the gospel

We move back in history for Peter Morden (UK) to expound the spirituality of one of the pioneers of the modern missionary movement - Samuel Pierce (1766-1799) which is widely recognised as ‘underpinning a period of great advance for the churches’ and mission. Although his life was short, he exemplified powerfully an evangelical piety focused on ‘conversion, the Bible and the message of the cross; it was also deeply felt with an emphasis on both personal and corporate devotion, and, perhaps above all, it was active, both moulding and being moulded by missional concerns.’

On a practical level, Gregg Okesson (USA) discusses, from personal experience, the importance of understanding social institutions when moving into a new culture, and the dangers for failing to do so. He points out that evangelical theology provides ample resources to understand this situation, and to demonstrate his point, draws upon some historical and current examples – ranging from John Wesley and Dietrich Bonhoeffer to Vinoth Ramachandra and Andrew Walls.

To engage with the values of the secular community also involves a certain theological framework and in our next paper, Pavel Hošek (Czech Republic) takes up the value of natural moral law thinking for this process. He compares the approaches of two scholars writing in this area to show how one approach seems better fitted for the task than the other.

We now turn to two more specialised (although quite different) areas in the work of mission – John Johnson (USA) discusses the approach of the Koran to the resurrection of Jesus Christ in historical and hermeneutical terms, arguing that there are serious shortcomings evident. Johannes Reimer (Germany) deals with the proper training of church planters, assessing different approaches that have been employed, and concluding that a more integrated model is urgently needed.

To round off this valuable collection of papers, our General Editor, Dr Thomas Schirrmacher (Germany) reviews the significance and reception of the important document, ‘Christian Witness in a Multi-Religious World’ which was developed by the World Evangelical Alliance, the World Council of Churches and the Vatican, under the topics of interreligious dialogue, mission studies, ecumenical relations and human rights.

Thomas Schirrmacher, General Editor
David Parker, Executive Editor