Unoccupied Mission Fields by Samuel Zwemer on-line

The Unoccupied Missions Fields by Samuel Zwemer

Samuel Marinus Zwemer (April 12, 1867 – April 2, 1952) is sometimes called “The Apostle to Islam”. As several people have asked me to upload missions books dealing with Islamic countries, so I thought that one of Zwemer’s works would be an appropriate starting point.

Samuel M. Zwemer, The Unoccupied Mission Fields of Africa and Asia. New York: Student Volunteer Movement, 1911. Hbk. pp.260. Click to download in PDF.

This book is in the Public Domain.

Contents

1 – The Heart of Two Continents
2 – Smaller Areas and Unreached Millions
3 – Why Still Unoccupied
4 – Social Conditions
5 – Religious Conditions
6 – Strategic Importance
7 – The Pioneer and is Task
8 – The Glory of the Impossible

Preface

The purpose of this book is to give a survey of the extent and condition of the wholly unoccupied mission fields in Africa and Asia including Malaysia, from the standpoint of Protestant missions, and to consider the questions that bear on their occupation.

The continent of South America has not been included for two reasons: the missionary problem there is so largely bound up with the condition of the Roman Catholic Church and has therefore such special character that it requires specific treatment; and the continent as a whole with its unoccupied sections and large neglected non-Christian population has already received attention in mission study text-books. To include South America would, moreover, have been impracticable if the compass of one volume for use in study classes.

The unoccupied fields of the world are a new subject for consideration and the data for an altogether accurate and all-embracing survey are not yet complete. The entire world-area has not yet been wholly covered·by the tracks of the explorer, much less by the triangulations of the surveyor or the tours of missionaries; nor has any kind of census· been taken in many of the great unoccupied fields of the world. As· long, therefore, as geography and ethnography can only give estimates and probabilities, a. missionary survey. also can only deal with approximate figures. Where statistics are used, they are taken in nearly every case from the “Statesman’s Year-Book” (1910), or where this failed, conservative estimates were· made from recent books of travel and the letters of correspondents. For the rest, the bibliography gives the sources of information and indicates lines of further study. As far as possible all the references and authorities are recent. The book deals with present conditions. It tells of things as they are to-day. [Continue reading]

Japan Rescue Mission Booklet online

"Pulled Out Of The Fire" by Japan Rescue Mission

The first request I received when I announced that I would be uploading books on mission was for something about work in Japan. This little booklet contains “some soul-stirring accounts of God’s grace in Japan”, so I hope that it proves of interest.

G.D., “Pulled out of the Fire”. Birkenhead: The Japan Rescue Mission, [c.1930]. pp.62. Click to download in PDF.

Contents

1 – The Starting Point
2 – Two Things He Knew
3 – A Life Made Luminous by Love
4 – Is Not This A Brand Plucked
5 – A Calvary Product
6 – Made Over Again
7 – Do Not Come Near Me
8 – Save From a Suicide’s Grace
9 – I am Going to Heaven Tomorrow
10 – Apathy or Action

Chapter 1. The Starting Point

Our one and only aim and object in sending out this booklet is to magnify the matchless grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and to extol the efficacy of His precious Blood. In these days of fearful declension, there is a greater need than ever for Christian people to set forth in unmistakable language and with the clearest possible emphasis the greatness of the One Who died on Calvary as a ”propitiation for the sins of the whole world.” It gives us the greatest possible joy to record the fact that since this  work commenced a few years ago, we have had ample opportunity to prove, at least to our own satisfaction, the genuineness and reality of the promises of God. Right from the outset we have had one passion, and that has been to bring the lost to Christ through the preaching of the old time Gospel and through the work of the Holy Spirit in applying that Gospel to their hearts and consciences.

Some people have thought that this work of rescuing the perishing was-to some extent at least-a waste of time. (Their idea was that it was more social than spiritual). We ourselves have never taken time to discuss terms nor to make any attempt to separate the work of God into different compartments. We are out first and last to get at the people’s souls, and to see that they are brought into contact with the cleansing and life-giving efficacy of Christ’s atoning work. [Continue reading]

The Judson Centennial 1814-1914 on-line

The Judson Centennial 1814-1914The first of the 1,000 mission books passed on to me by Redcliffe College features one of my favourite missionaries, Adoniram Judson. Not only was he instrumental in founding no less than two mission societies in the United States but his superb translation of the Bible into Burmese has proved foundational to the growth of the church in Myanmar. This volume reflects on Judson’s legacy.

Howard B. Grose & Fred P. Howard, The Judson Centennial 1814-1914. Philadelphia: The American Baptist Publication Society, 1914. Hbk. pp.305. Click to download.

A bibliography of works on Adoniram Judson and his wives is available on the main Missiology.org.uk website.

I – Historical Introduction

One Hundred Years of American Baptist Missions

Adoniram and Ann Judson landed in Rangoon, July 13, 1813. Nearly a year later, on May 21, 1814, the General Missionary Convention was formed and, assuming the support of the Judsons and Luther Rice, accepted Burma as the foreign mission field of American Baptists, the English Baptists having headquarters at Serampore near Calcutta across the Bay of Bengal. Within the next five or six years two other missionary enterprises were undertaken cooperation with American Negro Baptists in work on the west coast of Africa in the region of Sierra Leone and Liberia, and work among the American Indians in what is now the middle West. Active participation in the work in Africa ceased about 1840, while work among the Indians was continued until about the time of the opening of the Civil War.

The first twenty years of the work in Burma were marked by the laying of foundations slowly but surely. The intense opposition of the Burman Government prevented large expansion. By the year 1833, however, three important centers-Rangoon, Moulmein, and Tavoy, had been occupied, with several outposts at Mergui, Amherst, and in Arrakan. The report of that year records twenty-two missionaries and 371 church-members.

The period of four or five years, beginning with 1833, marked a distinct era in Baptist foreign missionary work. A strong missionary interest prevailed among the churches. The Convention met at Richmond in 1835 with all obligations provided for and a substantial balance in the treasury, and enthusiastically adopted the following resolution: [Continue reading…]

1,000 Missions Books for Digitisation from Redcliffe College

In March I had  a ‘phone call from Dr Tim Davy from Redcliffe College in Gloucester. Redcliffe is a Bible College with a specialism in preparing candidates for overseas mission. Having moved to a smaller building Redcliffe was having to down-size its holdings of mission-related books, especially older biographical titles which are still of value – in fact, exactly the material I had been looking for.

Tim writes:

“I know for some it may seem counterintuitive but by passing these books on to you to digitise it actually means they are more accessible to our students than before. The vast majority of our students are not based near the college all year round so being able to access them online is better. Plus, we get to share them with everyone else.”

Mission books from Redcliffe College

Tim asked if would like to take some of the books with a view to scanning those in the public domain and putting them online so that students around the world could access them for free. Naturally I accepted this wonderful offer and so this week 1,000 books in 28 boxes landed on my doorstep.

So now the important initial task of working through the boxes to establish copyright has begun. Those that are in copyright will go straight to Book Aid where they will be sold to raise funds to send Christian Books to Africa. Public domain titles will go into short-term storage before being scanned and uploaded to the Missiology.org.uk website. After this the scanned books will go to Book Aid if they are still in a saleable condition. Please subscribe to the Book Aid news updates if you are interested in buying some of them.

I would like to thank Redcliffe College for this opportunity to make this wonderful and unique resource available. Below is a short video in which I share a peek into some of the boxes.  Remember to subscribe to my Missiology blog so that I can let you know when the books go on-line.

Progress is expected to be fairly slow, given my family and work commitments and may take up to five years to complete. I am hoping that interest in the project will lead to an increase in support for the websites I might be able to go part-time on my day-job and devote more time to working on them.

 

James Gilmour of Mongolia

 

James Gilmour of Mongolia by Richard LovettRichard Lovett’s biography of James Gilmour [1843-1891], missionary to Mongolia is now available on-line as a pdf. Note that there are several errors in the pagination of this book, giving the (incorrect) impression that there are pages missing. The text is complete as originally published.

Richard Lovett [1851-1904], James Gilmour of Mongolia. London: Religious Tract Society, n.d. pp.312. Click to download.

Contents

I. Early Years and Education
II. Beginning Work
III. Mongolian Apprenticeship
IV. The First Campaign in Mongolia
V. Marriage
VI. ‘In Journeyings Often, In Perils of Rivers’
VII. The Visit to England In I882
VIII. Sunshine and Shadow
IX. A Change of Field
X. Personal Characteristics as Illustrated by Letters to Relatives and Friends
XI. Closing Labours
XII. The Last Days

Preface

This book in its more expensive forms has been before the public for several years. It has been very widely read, and it has received extraordinary attention from many sections of the press. The author has received from all parts of the world most striking testimonies as to the way in which this record of James Gilmour’s heroic self-sacrifice for the Lord Jesus and on behalf of his beloved Mongols ·for the Master’s sake has touched the hearts of Christian workers. It has deepened their faith, strengthened their zeal, nerved them for whole-hearted consecration to the same Master, and cheered many a solitary and lonely heart.

Many requests have been received for an edition at a price which will place the book within the reach of Sunday School teachers, of those Christian workers who have but little to spend upon books, and of the elder scholars in our schools. The Committee of the Religious Tract Society have gladly met this request at the earliest possible moment. In this new form their hope and prayer is that James Gilmour, being dead, may yet speak to many hearts, arousing them to diligent, and faithful, and self-denying service for Jesus Christ

James Gilmour died in 1891, and some years later the London Missionary Society handed over the Mission to the Irish Presbyterian Church. In February 1907, sixteen years after Gilmour’s death, a remarkable testimony to the consistent life, effective preaching, and influence of this beloved missionary reached England in the shape of a communication from Liu Yi, one of his early converts, in which he speaks of the great debt which he feels he owes to the faithful ministry of James Gilmour. ‘Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.’

14 Years of Theology on the Web!

14 Years of Theology on the Web
14 Years of Theology on the Web!

Theology on the Web was launched 14 years ago this month. It is exciting to note that this anniversary coincides with three other major milestones in the development of the ministry.

  • There are now over 25,000 free-to-download theological articles hosted on Theology on the Web.
  • 2.3 terabytes of data was downloaded worldwide over the last 12 months. If, like me, you have no idea what that means, it is the data equivalent of downloading 2,300 sets of the Encyclopaedia Britannica!
  • Theology on the Web has now moved to its own Virtual Webserver with greatly increasing speed and capacity as the visitor numbers climb to around 2 million in 2015.

To mark these events, I have prepared a Press Release which I am sending to Christian News services in the UK and posting online. Please feel free to download and share this document as widely as possible.

Finally, thank you all for making this possible by your ongoing support and encouragement!

Edinburgh Centenary Series Papers online

Regnum Edinburgh Centenary Series

One of the fruits of the Edinburgh 2010 Conference on World Missions is a monumental 25 volume series of papers on all aspects of World Mission, written by some of the world’s top missiologists. Working with the publisher I am now hosting a table of contents to the Edinburgh Centenary Series in order to make the extraordinary content more widely known.

Links are provided at the end of each entry to the full-text which is provided free of charge for individual private study and research. The series in ecumenical and wide-ranging, so I am sure that everyone will find material in this collection that will be of value to them in their studies.

Click here to access the table of contents.

Mission lessons from Nigeria

Dr John Apeh, President of the Grace Christian Mission of Nigeria
Dr John E. Apeh, President of the Grace Christian Mission of Nigeria

I am very pleased to be able to announce that the following Ph.D. Thesis is now available for free download in PDF:

John Enejo Apeh, Igala World Views and Contextualization: A Diachronic and Holistic Study of Cultural Themes as a Vehicle for Evangelizing and Theologizing. D.Miss. Dissertation. Biola University, School of Intercultural Studies, 1988.

My thanks to Dr John E. Apeh for his kind permission to host this work.

Abstract

Working on the assumption that the Igala culture was not suitable and conducive for evangelization, the Western missionaries came to evangelize the Igala and imposed their own culture on the people. This Western cultural imperialism led to the situation where the present form of Christianity among the Igala is labelled a “White man’s religion” by unbelievers.

The Igala Christians’ reactions against this cultural ethnocentrism have led to a conflict where some Christians advocate a complete deWesternization of the gospel. Others who are conservative are afraid that cultural renaissance might result in syncretism. This problem has generated hostilities among Igala Christians and no attempt has been made to deWesternize Christianity of the seeming Western cultures in which the gospel came wrapped in.

This dissertation is a diachronic and holistic study of Igala cultural themes. The dissertation presupposes that Igala world views when used as frames of reference for contextualization will enhance the communication process of the gospel message. The process of contextualization which involves the study and adoption of cultural themes is a de-culturalization of Western culture from biblical Christianity and theology.

The dissertation is divided into three parts. Part one examines the social organization of the lgala and especially analyzes social festivals and ceremonies and the institution of marriage and the entire kinship system. In this section, the influence and power of the ancestors are examined in relation to the activities of the living. The issue of political leadership in relation to kinship, authority, legitimacy, support and decision-making processes are also investigated. Furthermore, the analysis of social organization shows the dynamics of contemporary Igala society and cultural change. These structural changes affecting the family and social structures indicate that world view change are largely compelled by economic factors.

Part two of the dissertation takes a look at the religious beliefs and practices of the Igala. In these, the nature of sin, sacrifice, spirit world, salvation and death, are examined together with cases of Christians facing problems of traditionalism. Examined too are the nature of the traditional problems and how the Igala church responds to them. Analysis of data relating to the religious practices and beliefs of the !gala provides evidence for the religious content of their culture. Moreover, moral order in Igala society is taught by the use of myths, proverbs and stories which are used predominantly by the older people; the Igala believe that morality is not only a religious issue but social and cultural.

In part three, the cultural themes identified in parts one and two are applied to evangelism and contextualization of theology. The relevance of the cultural themes to evangelism and theological education are shown and highlighted. The application of selected cultural themes, having been biblically screened, shows justification for their use in evangelism and theological education.

The dissertation, while establishing the relevance and importance of cultural themes, reveals that there are cultural questions of significant theological importance and concern to the Igala that Western theology does not anticipate. Furthermore, this dissertation contributes to our knowledge of Igala culture in the followings ways, namely:

1) The threat of syncretism could be minimized as people are made aware of the dangers of complete reliance on culture for theologizing.

2) That contextualization can give credibility to the gospel message as people will relate better to the gospel that is not wrapped in Western culture.

3) There are significant volitional changes taking place in Igala society and most of these changes are economic in nature.

4) The process of theologizing will effectively replace the Western philosophical basis and premises upon which the present Christian theology was built.

Click here to continue reading.

Goforth of China on-line

Dr Jonathan Goforth
Dr Jonathan Goforth, missionary to China

The following Public Domain biography of Jonathan Goforth is now available for download in PDF:

Rosalind Goforth, Goforth of China. London & Edinburgh: Marshall, Morgan & Scott, Ltd., 1937. Hbk. pp.364.

Goforth of China

Introduction

Dr. Goforth was one of the most radiant, dynamic personalities that ever enriched my life. God’s missionary program of the past half-century would not have been complete without him; the literature of missionary biography would be sadly lacking without this story of his life and work. He towers as a spiritual giant among God’s missionary heroes of his generation.

He was an electric, radiant personality, flooding his immediate environment – wherever he might be – with the sunlight that was deep in his heart and shone on his face because his life was “hid with Christ in God.” For some twenty years I had the privilege of knowing this man of God intimately – at conferences in America, in the mission field in China, in his home in Toronto, and in my home in Philadelphia. In all these places the rare sunshine of his presence abides as an undying memory.

With the sunshine of God’s love in his heart there was an irresistible enthusiasm and a tireless energy. Nothing could stop his dynamic drive in that to which God had commissioned him. It was the same when he was seventy-seven as when he was fifty-seven. The loss of his eyesight during the last three years of his life did not halt the energy-it seemed only to heighten it. When this providence of God was permitted, after forty-eight years of missionary service, the undaunted apostle of the Gospel said to a newspaper reporter: “Bless you my boy, I’d go back for another forty-eight years if my sight were only good.”

But Dr. Goforth’s radiant smile and brilliant spirit did not mean indifference to the dark side of life, its stern realities and the sinister attacks of the Adversary. With his warmth and love there was also keenest discernment of the falsehood of Modernism, and an unswerving, undying intolerance of all that sets itself against the Word of God. The sharply defined issue between Modernism and Fundamentalism in the foreign mission field was coming to the front in the summer of 1920, when Mrs. Trumhull and I had an unforgettable visit with Dr. and Mrs. Goforth in their home at Kikungshan. Dr. Goforth told me, with fire in his eye and his heart, of the inroads on missionary testimony being made by missionaries who were betraying the faith and substituting eternally fatal poison for the Gospel and the Word. Always he stood like Gibraltar, steadfast and uncompromising for the old faith which is ever new; and that is another reason why God so abundantly

Click here to continue reading.

Letters of Edward Petter

Edward Petter [1832-1910]
Edward Petter [1832-1910] missionary salesman
Over the last few years as part of my “day job” I have been transcribing around 500 handwritten letters written by a Mr Edward Petter of Barnstaple to his beloved wife, Angee, dating between 1885 and 1901. Mr Petter was a sales representative for the Peek Freans biscuit company and in that capacity undertook no less that fourteen overseas tours, many of which took him around the globe. As a result he was one of the most travelled men in an age when travelling was still a very hazardous occupation. He was also a committed member of the Exclusive Brethren and used every opportunity to preach the Gospel to his fellow passengers on board ship, train or stage-coach. Although there were many of these brethren “Missionary Salesmen” at that time as far as I know this only set of letters written by one of them to survive and it gives a fascinating incite into his thoughts as well as recording many of the significant events of his day. On his travels he met members of Parliament, members of the British Royal family, Diplomats, Naval spies and missionaries of various denominations, including several encounters with Hudson Taylor and other CIM missionaries.

I hope that others enjoy reading these letters as much as I have enjoyed working on them. Click here to visit the website.