Living Forces of the Gospel – a Psychological Study of Missions

This is the first psychological study of missions that I have come across in the books given to me by Redcliffe College for digitisation. This book was written by a German missionary working in the Islands of the Indian Archipelago. This title is in the public domain.

Johannes Gustav Warneck [1867-1946], The Living Forces of the GospelThe Living Forces of the Gospel. Experiences of a Missionary in Animistic Heathenism. Edinburgh & London: Olphant, Anderson & Ferrier, 1909. Hbk. pp.312. [Click to visit the download page]


  • Preface to the English Edition
  • Preface to the Third German Edition
  • Introduction
  1. Animistic Heathenism
  2. First Contact Between Heathenism and Christianity
  3. The Victorious Forces of the Gospel
  • Index

Preface to the English edition

This book is a psychological study based upon the author’s experience as a missionary among the animistic heathen of the Indian Archipelago. There has been much unanimity among German missionaries as to his conclusions, and the author would take advantage of this translation of his work to appeal to all English speaking missionaries, and those interested in the work and literature of missions, for their criticism and observations. He found that the conversion of heathen in Netherland India was effected by stages; it would be extremely valuable to him to know whether the experience of missionaries in Africa, in Oceania, in Central America, in India and China are similar to his own. He would like especially to learn the minds of missionaries on the following questions: Whether the first thing in the Gospel that attracts is deliverance from the fear of demons; whether the sense of sin and the longing for forgiveness is a later growth; whether Christ is accepted first of all as a Deliverer from the devil, then from the state of fear in which their lives are spent, and last of all as the Saviour from sin?…