Two of the nations respected missiologists have teamed together combining pastoral insight with missional fervency in their book Spiritual Warfare and Missions: The Battle for God’s Glory Among the Nations. Ed Stetzer, director of LifeWay Research and current church planter in Hendersonville, TN, and Jerry Rankin, president of the International Mission Board (IMB) and missionary to Asia for twenty-three years unashamedly heed the church to not lose sight of reaching the nations for God’s glory, while keeping an eye open to how Satan operates. “Christians,” they note, “have been given the full responsibility for the proclamation of the forgiveness of sin for everybody in the world” (219). But too often, our churches operate like resorts. We don’t see the seriousness of the task and the significance of God’s mission to reach all. Rather than resorts, our churches must be like airports. We cannot afford to play it safe. “To play it safe,” they write, “is the most risky decision we could make. To risk is the safest decision we can make with God. No matter the short-term implications, we must obey God with reckless abandon” (245).
Spiritual Warfare and Missions was such a blessing to read. Chapter 6 on persecution will be ingrained in my mind forever. The stories of those suffering globally for the advancement of the Gospel is both encouraging and challenging. Each chapter of the book concludes with “Going Deeper” questions. Contrary to most post-chapter questions I’ve seen, these were thorough and thought-provoking. I starred a number of them to look at more in-depth. While several of the chapters were startling, as I found myself underling ferociously, others were repetitive. Several of the chapters had word-for-word points repeated. I guess that’s the tricky part of dual authorship.
Overall, this book has made me much more aware of the world around me. You cannot read Spiritual Warfare and Missions and remain apathetic about God’s glory and His desire to reach the unreached. Stetzer and Rankin’s heart to see the church own mission was powerful, compelling, and unmistakable (see pp. 300-305).
You won’t be able to read this book and remain apathetic about reaching all peoples with the Gospel.
GET IT NOW:
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from LifeWay by request in order to review its material. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.