The Gospel and Pluralism Today: Reassessing Lesslie Newbigin in the 21st Century, Edited by Scott W. Sunquist and Amos Yong

The Gospel and Pluralism Today

Reassessing Lesslie Newbigin in the 21st Century

Missiological Engagements

Edited by Scott W. Sunquist and Amos Yong

The Gospel and Pluralism Today
  • Length: 240 pages
  • Dimensions: 6 × 9 in
  • Published: October 06, 2015
  • Imprint: IVP Academic
  • Item Code: 5094
  • ISBN: 9780830850945

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Hearts Minds Bookstore's Best Books of 2015, Theology

Toward the end of the twentieth century, Lesslie Newbigin offered a penetrating analysis of the challenges of pluralism that confronted a Western culture and society reeling from the dissolution of Christendom. His enormous influence has been felt ever since. Newbigin (1909-1998) was a longtime Church of Scotland missionary to India and later General Secretary of the International Missionary Council and Associate General Secretary of the World Council of Churches.

The first installment in the Missiological Engagements series, the essays in this volume explore three aspects of Newbigin?s legacy. First, they assess the impact of his 1989 book, Gospel in a Pluralist Society, on Christian mission and evangelism in the West. Second, they critically analyze the nature of Western pluralism in its many dimensions to discern how Christianity can proclaim good news for today. Finally, the contributors discuss the influence of Newbigin's work on the field of missiology. By looking backward, this volume recommends and advances a vision for Christian witness in the pluralistic world of the twenty-first century.

Contributions from leading missiologists and theologians, including:

  • William Burrows
  • John Flett
  • Veli-Matti Kärkkäinen
  • Esther Meek
  • Wilbert Shenk

Missiological Engagements charts interdisciplinary and innovative trajectories in the history, theology, and practice of Christian mission, featuring contributions by leading thinkers from both the Euro-American West and the majority world whose missiological scholarship bridges church, academy, and society.

"After a quarter century, Lesslie Newbigin's testimony to 'the gospel in a pluralist society' still feels strikingly relevant, penetrating in its analysis and winsome in its pastoral encouragement of Christian discipleship and witness. Such is the testimony of the authors of this volume, who rehearse, interpret, receive and build upon Newbigin's missional wisdom. They have done us the great service of calling us to do likewise!"

George R. Hunsberger, professor emeritus of missiology, Western Theological Seminary

"This book offers the best available reflection on Newbigin's deep understanding of Christ's gospel and human pluralisms with their merits, challenges and enduring relevance for missional thinking, living and service at all levels."

Daniel Jeyaraj, professor of world Christianity, Liverpool Hope University

"As I write this, I'm sitting in a coffee shop in Winson Green, Birmingham, where Lesslie Newbigin pastored after returning from India. Newbigin loved this community, with all its cultural and religious diversity. He was always a pastor. But he was also a scholar who studied cultures theologically and philosophically. In The Gospel and Pluralism Today, Scott W. Sunquist and Amos Yong bring together a remarkable collection of papers that reveal the ongoing value and contribution of Newbigin's work. But Sunquist and Yong's book doesn't stop at Newbigin's contribution. It builds on Newbigin's thought, and it explores critical cultural and missionary issues that have emerged in the twenty-first century. In brief, this book is an invaluable addition to missiology and to the study of Newbigin's pastoral-missionary paradigm."

Graham Hill, Morling College, author of GlobalChurch


Abbreviation Note

1. Introduction: The Legacy of Newbigin for Mission to the West
Scott W. Sunquist
2. Newbigin in His Time
Wilbert R. Shenk
3. Newbigin?s Theology of Mission and Culture After Twenty-Five Years: Attending to the "Subject" of Mission
William R. Burrows
4. Community and Witness in Transition: Newbigin?s Missional Ecclesiology Between Modernity and Postmodernity
Veli-Matti Kärkkäinen and Michael Karim
5. Holistic Theological Method and Theological Epistemology: Performing Newbigin?s Plurality of Sources in the Pluralist Context
Steven B. Sherman
6. Honoring True Otherness in a Still-Antipluralist Culture
Esther L. Meek
7. Pluralism, Secularism and Pentecost: Newbigin-ings for Missio Trinitatis in a New Century
Amos Yong
8. Evangelism in a Pluralistic Society: The Newbigin Vision
Carrie Boren Headington
9. What Does It Mean for a Congregation to Be a Hermeneutic?
John G. Flett
10. Asian Perspectives on Twenty-First-Century Pluralism
Allen Yeh



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Scott W. Sunquist

Scott W. Sunquist (PhD, Princeton Theological Seminary) is president of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. Previously, he was a professor and dean of the School of Intercultural Studies at Fuller Theological Seminary, taught missiology and Christian history at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, and lectured at Trinity Theological College in Singapore. Sunquist is the author of Explorations in Asian Christianity, Understanding Christian Mission, and The Unexpected Christian Century. He is also the editor of A Dictionary of Asian Christianity and coauthor of A History of the World Christian Movement, Volume I and Volume II.

Amos Yong

Amos Yong (PhD, Boston University) is professor of theology and mission and director of the Center for Missiological Research at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California. He is the author or editor of over two dozen books, including Spirit of Love: A Trinitarian Theology of Grace, Afro-Pentecostalism: Black Pentecostal and Charismatic Christianity in History and Culture (coedited with Estrelda Alexander), Science and the Spirit: A Pentecostal Engagement with the Sciences (coedited with James K. A. Smith), and The Spirit Poured Out on All Flesh: Pentecostalism and the Possibility of Global Theology.