I’ve found compiling a list of the top ten missionary books or the top missiology books to be quite frustrating. Firstly, people keep writing new books which means that the list needs updating and secondly because the topic is so broad that there are always good books which have to be left out.
If I were ever to compile a list of the best books which explore current issues that missionaries must face up to, David Smith’s Against the stream would have to be included amongst them. The book has been produced from lectures and talks given in various settings across the globe which rather robs it of a single, coherent theme. However, each chapter is excellent in and of itself and should be read by anyone with a serious interest in Christian mission across the world today.
Particularly important, in my estimation, is Smith’s critique of ‘managerial missiology’ and the long hard look which he takes at the theology of revival, but there is much other good stuff in here which warrents close study. I’ll conclude with a paragraph taken from the publisher’s blurb.
At the same time, he affirms that now is a great time to be alive. The church of Christ now looks more like the multi-ethnic crowd without number of John’s vision in the book of Revelation than at any previous point in history. However, there is an urgent need, particularly within Western Christianity, for an openness to new perspectives in theology and mission. This valuable contribution stimulates us to refocus on the missionary calling of the whole people of God.