Book Review of Missionary Methods

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Allen, Roland. Missionary Methods: St. Paul’s or Ours? Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1962. 179 pp.

Introduction to the Book

The book being discussed is Roland Allen’s Missionary Methods: St. Paul’s or Ours? Allen was an Anglican minister who worked as a missionary in China between the years of 1895 and 1903 and eventually moved his work to Easy Africa. His experience on the foreign mission field developed a keen sense of the Holy Spirit’s place in the ministry of the missionary and his book reflects a desire to awaken others to the same understanding of the Spirit.

Summary of the Book

The overall purpose of the Roland Allen’s book is to convey the dramatic differences between the methods of modern day missionary organizations and those of the Apostle Paul. Through deep personal study of the various teachings, practices, and strategies of Paul, Allen gained an understanding of what made the ministry of the Apostle so successful. Allen spent thirteen chapters discussing the most prominent foundations of Paul’s ministry with the intention of bringing the modern missionary back to the simplistic nature of foreign evangelism.

The topics of discussion covered by Allen are as follows: strategic localization of churches, the role of social class, the moral and social condition of Paul’s audience, Paul’s use of miracles, the role of finance, the substance of Paul’s message, his method of training his converts, the importance of baptism and ordination, Paul’s authority and disciplinary methods, the importance of unity, and the necessity of dependence upon the Holy Spirit. All of these topics were passionately practiced in the missional ministry of the Apostle Paul and can be studied and applied by today’s foreign minister.

Throughout the book, Allen addressed the objections toward Paul’s methods of various theologians and clergymen and showed that the ministry of the Apostle could in no way be undermined, nor cast aside as impractical. He very...
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