Author: David J. Hesselgrave
Not long ago I finished reading this book for a class. I most say that I enjoyed it. It doesn't hurt that the author was a missionary to Japan. Paradigms introduces ten topics that are important to missions. There are of course different side that people take on each topic, hence the "conflict" part of the title. Some of my recent posts have being the direct result of the reading and contemplating the issues in this book. Among the ten topics I found the following chapters to be the strongest restrictivism vs. inclusivism, holism vs. prioritism, incarnational vs. representationalism, and form and meaning. One of the features of the text is the fact that he introduces and concludes each section with a story to make to catch the readers interest.
In the first there is a discussion of whether the gospel include those not following Christ or not. He presents the different views clearly and fairly. The chapter on holism vs. prioritism deals with the message of the gospel to social justice. Which is more important or are they equally important. Incarnationalism and representationalism basically deals with whether the mission of the aposltes is the same as Christ's or if there is a difference between them. Finally, the chapter on form and meaning was really interesting because is deals with gospel translation and presentation. In each chapter he argues for the clear straightforward presentation of the gospel. This is what I really appreciate about his conclusions, because they reveal a high view of scripture and the priopity of the gospel.
The first chapter is probably the weakest in the book. He divides the issue of soverienty and free will into too many sides and confuses the issue. The chapter on the Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of Christ is interesting, but didn't make the different views clear enough. I am not as familiar with the issue which of course makes it harder to understand.
Over all, I would say that the book is a good read that challenges you to think about the difficult issiues involved in missions.
By Samuel Gantt