The new issue of International Review of Mission includes a variety of articles, ranging from post-colonialism to public theology, and from mission models to Pope Francis’s apostolic exhortation. Two of the articles are specifically concerned with healing, which is a pertinent theme at this current period of the coronavirus. These two articles clearly indicate that the biblical concept of health consists as it does of the welfare, health, and prosperity of the individual person as well as of communities as a whole. Individuals are always part of the communities they belong to.
The mission statement of the World Council of Churches, Together towards Life: Mission and Evangelism in Changing Landscapes (2012, #53), acknowledges the same holistic approach in the mission of the church: “There are many ways in which churches can be, and are, involved in health and healing in a comprehensive sense. They create or support clinics and mission hospitals; they offer counselling services, care groups, and health programmes; local churches can create groups to visit sick congregation members. Healing processes could include praying with and for the sick, confession and forgiveness, the laying on of hands, anointing with oil, and the use of charismatic spiritual gifts (1 Cor. 12).”
In the context of healing in mission, the theme of the forthcoming World Council of Churches Assembly, “Christ’s love moves the world to reconciliation and unity”, insists that the world is broken and vulnerable. Two of the articles in this issue of International Review of Mission deal specifically with vulnerability, one of them from the perspective of the theology of Martin Luther, the great reformer. His teaching can be seen to offer the wounded “a realistic perspective and hopeful word” in a world where so many people are searching for hope. These insights of Luther’s are inspiring and bring hope today in a world afflicted with COVID-19. The other article concerning vulnerability contains an analysis of the marginalized in the light of Pope Francis’s apostolic exhortation Evangelii Gaudium (2013).
Two other articles deal specifically with two important Asian countries with different histories of Christianity, namely China and India, from the point view of Christian mission. In addition, two book reviews in this issue deal specifically with Christianity in China and India.
The other articles in this issue are concerned with various aspects of the changing concept of Christian mission in the 20th and at the start of the 21st century.
International Review of Mission is published twice yearly by Wiley on behalf of the World Council of Churches.
Contents of the latest issue (May 2020): "Mission Miscellany"
(All articles may be freely downloaded)