Mission from the Perspective of the Other: Drawing Together on Holy Ground
Tim Noble, Pickwick Publications, Eugene, 2018.
Tim Noble is a missiologist, based at Charles University in Prague and also a member of faculty at the International Baptist Theological Study Centre, in Amsterdam.
Luke 10.6 is a text often cited in contemporary mission theory, in advocating the practice of looking for the ‘person of peace’: the man or woman who is willing to welcome those who come in Jesus’ name. But what do we do with and to that person of peace? How are we to interact with them and what does the track record of Christian mission reveal to us?
Noble explores what it is to undertake mission, not simply as a bearer of the Gospel and a servant of God, but in terms of how we might meaningfully and respectfully engage with people to whom we carry the Gospel. Beginning with an exploration of Old Testament patterns of engagement with the ‘outsider’, Noble’s clear grasp of the Scriptures carries us into an able and revealing study of Jesus’ encounter with people and patterns that emerge in the Gospels. From there, he goes on to reflect how later patterns of mission reflected, or otherwise, these paradigms.
The novelty of this work lies in Noble’s subsequent analysis, appealing also to contemporary understandings of ‘the other’, in looking to the careers of three mission practitioners from distinctively different parts of the Christian tradition: Ignatius Loyola, William Carey and Orthodox Bishop Innocent Veniaminov.
Noble’s analysis is both telling and illuminating. It draws the reader to reflect on both motive and method in looking for and in relating to the person of peace as ‘the other’. This reviewer found the work both challenging and stimulating. Well worth a read.
Rev Dr Jim Purves
Mission and Ministry Advisor Baptist Union of Scotland