The Missionary Spirit
By: Jerry M. Ireland
“Brings a much-needed articulation of an understanding of global mission as consisting of both a broad and narrow sense, by showing ‘the biblical witness that manages to uphold the importance of social justice even while prioritizing evangelism especially among the nations, and cares simultaneously about the present and the future.’ Ireland’s emphasis on the complexities of cross-cultural mission and use of Pentecostal theologizing to show clear local and global mandates is a critical argument in the current environment, where all activity is conflated to become missional or missionary.”—Alan R. Johnson, author, Apostolic Function in 21st Century Missions
“Ireland revisits the much-debated question regarding the primacy of evangelism and social action in Pentecostalism. Using a missiological lens, he elaborates on the work of the Holy Spirit in mission as related to proclamation and church planting. A holistic concept of God's heart contrasts with the binary argument of evangelism versus social action.”—Young Lee Hertig, author, The Tao of Asian American Belonging: A Yinist Spirituality
“Is it possible to keep the priority of missions on evangelism and church planting without neglecting the broader horizon of social concern? Ireland answers in the affirmative and persuasively shows that Pentecostalism has historically offered us valuable resources for doing so.”—Frank D. Macchia, author, Jesus the Spirit Baptizer: Christology in Light of Pentecost
“While there have been some theologically sound works on the intersection of proclamation and social concern, relatively few have engaged in a robust dialogue on this intersection from a Pentecostal lens. Highlighting the biblical foundations and organic embodiment of early Pentecostals, Ireland forges the conversation forward into the twenty-first century context.”—Paul W. Lewis, co-editor, Missiological Research: Interdisciplinary Foundations, Methods, and Integration
Argues for a return to the early emphasis in Pentecostal missiology on the need for cross-cultural evangelism, as opposed to the current trend that focuses on a broader, more amorphous understanding of Pentecostal missiology (as “everything that God is doing in the world”). Instead of separating “mission from missions, or the broad sense of mission from the narrow sense,” Ireland says that both senses of mission “should be held together in tension and in fact were in early Pentecostalism.”
Jerry M. Ireland is associate professor of theology and missions at the University of Valley Forge in Phoenixville, PA. He is author of Evangelism and Social Concern in the Theology of Carl F. H. Henry (Pickwick, 2015) and co-editor of Dictionary of Pentecostal Missions (T&T Clark, forthcoming).