The theologian David Hesselgrave writing just at the end of the 20th century wrote an article which looked forward to the future of missions. In his piece entitled “Third Millennium Missiology and the Use of Egyptian Gold” he wrote what could well have been the marching orders for Biblical Missiology.
“The future of mission depends upon what conservatives make, not only of the authority, but also of the function of Scripture. Christian mission must be undergirded with biblical authority but it must be guided by biblical theology. The most hopeful future for mission and missiology depends on the “re-missionizing of theology” on the one hand, and the “re-theologizing of missiology” on the other.”[i]
Hesselgrave echoed the sentiments of Don Carson who wrote some twenty years earlier as he reflected on the critical need of missionaries who had solid theological backgrounds. He stated:
“Missionary training must include substantive courses in biblical theology; for, although the study of contextualization may help the missionary free himself from the cultural accretions of his own society, there is a growing danger that contextualization will be used as a new tool to pervert the gospel into something unrecognizable. Nothing will provide a better safeguard than the constant study of the Word of God.”[ii]
Biblical Missiology would like to recommend these two resources to help you to deepen your biblical theology knowledge and help you to re-theologize your missiology.
R.W. Glenn and “Condensed Theology”
R.W. Glenn is Pastor at Redeemer Bible Church in Minnetonka, Minnesota and he presented this series in 2005. It is described as:
Condensed Theology is a simplified treatment of systematic theology aimed at all believers: from newborn babes in Christ through mature and seasoned saints. The goal of the study is to provide Christians with a topical, orderly, and biblical framework for comprehending the entire teaching of Scripture. Forty-eight lectures covering the traditional foci of systematic theology.”
You can listen to the series here and you can download all of the lecture notes in one condescended Pdf file: (9MB zip file) here.
Wayne Grudem teaches systematic theology to his Sunday School class in 117 lessons.
Dr. Wayne Grudem took his renowned Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine and taught it to a group of adults in the Christian Essentials Enrichment class at Scottsdale Bible Church. He has an engaging style and the ability to take difficult theological concepts and make them very accessible to his audience.[iii]
You can listen to the series in mp3 format here. You can listen to the series on iTunes here
- The Canon of Scripture: Old Testament Canon Download Here
- The Canon of Scripture: New Testament Canon Download Here
- The Four Characteristics of Scripture: #1 – Authority (1 of 2) Download Here
It is our prayer at Biblical Missiology that these two valuable resources will help you to truly fulfill Dr. Hesselgrave’s desire to “re-theologizing your missiology” and help you to “re-missionize your theology” and Dr. Carson’s desire to see any attempts at contextualization deeply rooted in a solid biblical theology and in the Word of God.
Patterns,'” in New Horizons in World Mission: Evangelicals and the Christian Mission in the 1980s, ed. David J. Hesselgrave (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1979), 231-32.
Interesting. I totally agree with the need for biblical theology here. However, while I haven’t read Carson’s article, you probably should not confuse the biblical theology training he is referencing with mere systematic theology. He contrasts the two in other writings. Biblical theology is essential and neglected. Systematic theology is somewhat helpful, but could actually be harmful in the task of “biblical” contextualization.