The Unique Christ:Dialogue in Missions,
Bangalore: CFCC Studies in the Gospel Interface with Indian Contexts, No.6, 2006, pp.xvi+206, Price: PB - US $15/Rs.200, , HB - $ 20/Rs.300.
Published in Journal of Asian Evangelical Theology, Vol. 14, No. 1 (June 2006) & Indian Journal of Missiology, Vol. 7, No. 1, (August 2006) by Dr. Siga Arles.
This book is of multi-dimensional value. It is a missionary biography of the American Methodist missionary to
Introduction is followed by two parts. Part A describes Stanley Jones as A Missionary to the Indian Intelligentsia through its chapters 1) Jones? Life; 2) Jones? Thought; and 3) Jones? Round Table Conferences. Part B discusses the Implications of Jones? Round Table Conferences to Christian Mission and Dialogue through its chapters 4) Religious Pluralism and Inter-Fatih Dialogue; 5) Centrality of Jesus Christ as Unique and Universal in Christian Mission and Dialogue; 6) A Christocentric Trinitarian Model of Approach in Mission and Dialogue; and 7) The Christian Mission and Dialogue in Praxis. Conclusion is followed by Bibliography and Index of Authors and Subjects.
Mathew Philip attempts to attest the value of Jones' model of evangelism among people of different faiths through his dialogue method in a round table conference setting. He affirms the spirituality and the deep piety and commitment of Jones to the uniqueness of Jesus Christ and the authority of the Bible for Christian faith and practice. He compiles a systematic essay on the topic of
I appreciate the way the author pleads for Biblical Christians to reassess the whole system of their approach, clarify their message and refurbish their commitment to Christ and to this world. And I propose the need of articulating an evangelical theology of inter-faith dialogue for the coming decades. Such a new beginning will prove viable, only if it can join hands with the ecumenical attempts and provide an open forum without repeating old separatist trends.
Published in The Journal of the European Pentecostal Theological Association, Vol.XXVII, No.2 (2007), pp. 199,200 by Anne E Dyer, Mattersey Hall.
This book is a first sally into the world of publishing for the author. Philip is a Pentecostal pastor/bible teacher, graduate of Bangalore?s South Asia institute of Advanced Christian Studies (SAIACS) and is Dean at Kerala?s Gospel For Asia Biblical Seminary. His Masters thesis triggered the book as the author considers the subject of the uniqueness of Christ of utmost importance. Yet he is very aware in his home context of India that he is in a pluralist world and uniqueness is not tolerated. The model he chooses for illustrating how to handle this is the well known missionary to India in the first half of the 20th Century, Stanley Jones. Whereas evangelicals, with crisis conversions prefer to assert themselves dogmatically, Jones developed the ?Round Table? for inter-faith dialogue.
In the early chapters Philip presents us with a summary of the ways dialogue has been used ? exclusivist, inclusivist, and pluralist. By chapter five he presents the centre piece of Christ as unique and universal, as redeemer and healer, obviously presenting the exclusivist model following Harold Netland and indeed John Stott. Then in chapters six and seven he discusses an abundance of global writers on all sides of the debate and how this uniqueness can be related in a missional witness to Christ in this pluralist world. He brings in the Trinitarian perspective of Christology. Philip takes for granted that he is writing for sympathetic hearers rather than arguing for why non-evangelical inclusivists should change their ideas. His book seems to intend to assist the exclusivists in their apologetics, rather than in inter-faith dialogue: perhaps a synthesis is intended ? ?dialogue is part of proclamation? (p.161). As befits an admirer of Stanly Jones, he does emphasise right attitude within dialogue ??a great openness, humility and a spirit of conversion? (my emphasis). It was a way of life for Jones, and advocated by Philip (p.173 & 178-181).
This book in a sense, does not relate anything new, so much as provide a useful summary for those not familiar with the scholars in the theology of religion. Philip makes clear his own sense of urgency for declaring mission as Christocentric and appropriate for global reception. ?Many Stanly Jones? are needed today? (p.184).
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Expository Sermons in 1Thessalonians, Secunderabad, Colorado Spring, London: Authentic Books, 2007. pp. 137. Rs. 69.00/US $ 10.00
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