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Antioch Agenda: Essays on the Restorative Church in Honor of Orlando E. Costas 

Editors: Daniel Jeyaraj, Robert W. Pazmiño and Rodney L. Petersen

Published by "Indian Society for the Promotion of Christian Knowledge" New Delhi, 2007 (ISBN: 978-8172149727)

"A most important and stimulating study of world mission which provides a real intellectual undergirding for the work of the Church today." by Lord Carey of Clifton, Archbishop of Canterbury (1991-2002)  


Table of Contents, Acknowledgments & Introduction by Daniel Jeyaraj

I. GLOBAL REALITIES AND THE NEW ANTIOCH: Section Introduction by Rodney Petersen
Chapter 1. “The Great Commission in an Age of Globalization” by Dana Robert
Chapter 2. “The Changing Face of Global Christianity” by Todd Johnson & Sandra S. Kim
Chapter 3. “Theology and Scholarship in a Global Church” by Andrew Walls

Chapter 4. “Listening to Voices Outside Our Gate” by Charles Onyango Oduke, SJ.
Chapter 5. “Listening to Voices Outside the North American Gate: Trinity and Saccidananda in the Writings of Brahmabandhav Upadhyay” by Timothy Tennent
Chapter 6. “Beyond Huntington.s Gate: Orthodox Social Thinking for a Borderless Europe: Preliminary Reflections” by Marian Gh. Simion
Chapter 7. “Is North America a Mission Field? What Does the World Church Say? The Challenges of Evangelization in America: Contextual Factors” by John Kauta
Chapter 8. “Outside Many Gates: Orlando E. Costas and the Ecumenical Church” by S. Mark Heim
Chapter 9. “Between the Gates: A Hispanic Perspective on the Person and Contribution of Orlando E. Costas” by Samuel Solivan

“III. STRATEGIES FOR HOLISTIC MISSION: Section Introduction” by Rodney Petersen
Chapter 10. “The Challenges of Evangelization in America: Theological Ambiguities” by Darrell L. Guder
Chapter 11. “Antioch Revisited: Educational Implications” by Elizabeth Conde-Frazier & Robert W. Pazmiño
Chapter 12. “Five Theses on the Globalization of Thug Life and 21st Century Missions” by Kenneth D. Johnson
Chapter 13. “Life Beyond the Gates: Seeing Ourselves in the Other” by Ruth Bersin
Chapter 14. “From Outside the Gate Into the Gate: An Indian Protestant Experience” by Daniel Jeyaraj
Chapter 15. “Mission in the Context of Racism, Restorative Justice and Reconciliation” by Rodney L. Petersen
Chapter 16. “The Context of Group Identifications and their Conflicts: A Four-Factor Theory of the Dynamic of Conflict” by Raymond Helmick, SJ
Chapter 17. “Contemporary Missiology and the Biosphere” by Calvin B. DeWitt
Chapter 18. “From the Ends of the Earth: International Minister or Missionary? Vocational Identity and the Changing Face of Mission in the USA: A Roman Catholic Perspective” by Margaret Eletta Guider, O.S.F.

APPENDIX A: Works by and on Orlando E. Costas” by Elizabeth Conde-Frazier
APPENDIX B: Documentary Films: Religion and Conflict Transformation” by Raymond G. Helmick, S.J., John J. Michalczyk & Rodney L. Petersen
Contributors: Biographical Information
General Index


II. Selected Book Review

Daniel Jeyaraj, Robert Pazmino, Rodney Petersen (eds), Antioch Agenda: Essays on the Restorative Church in honor of Orlando E Costas.(Book review)
International Review of Mission - January 1, 2008
Gale Reference Team

Word count: 890.

Daniel Jeyaraj, Robert Pazmino, Rodney Petersen (eds), Antioch Agenda: Essays on the Restorative Church in honor of Orlando E Costas, Indian Society for the Promotion of Christian Knowledge for Andover Newton Theological School, New Delhi. 346pp.

From this wide-ranging set of essays, learned readers of this journal will still have much to learn about what Christian mission means today. The range covers reflection and response to the tragedy and shock of 9/11, debates about whether the "Great Commission" still applies and, if so, how it does so, constant reminders in various essays that most Christians now live in the so-called global South and we need to hear their voices and appreciate their different perspectives, discussion of Europe's reluctance to acknowledge its religious roots, and how the influx of Orthodox Christians from countries like Romania might free us from old resentments of all religion because of the wars of religion, etc. For anyone in a hurry to be up to date, there is much information packed into many lively essays by scholars who are experts in conflict resolution, Barthian studies, and mission in different contexts, including the United States, the Middle East, India and what one biographical note delightfully embraces as, "the Non Western World". There is something here for all of us!

The curious will be intrigued by the title. The Antioch Agenda describes the place where Christians were first named as Christians (Acts 11:26), and a mission strategy that did not require these converts to adopt the customs of Jewish culture: circumcision; food laws; the keeping of the Sabbath. The book is a tribute to Orlando Enrique Costas (1942-1987). Unlike too many Festschrifts, where the person being honoured is rarely mentioned, one does actually learn much about Costas from many of the essayists, as well as from a helpful introduction. Costas's own life story, short though it was, illustrates the scope of the book. He, too, was concerned about the gospel in different cultures. He, too, interacted with people of different traditions, and was genuinely ecumenical, just like this volume's various authors, who are Baptists, Episcopalians, Reformed, Roman Catholics, Assemblies of God, Roman Orthodox, etc. Costas shared in those evangelical and ecumenical movements that led to the Lausanne Covenant, church growth, and the integration of mission into the life of the church, as in the World Council of Churches after New Delhi, and the Roman Catholic Church after Vatican II. He is acknowledged as the author of an outstanding book, Christ Outside the Gate (1982), and not least as a professor of missiology at Andover Newton Theological School in Massachusetts. The book is intended as a celebration of the school's 200th anniversary.

One of the essays, viz. that by Darrell Guder, reminds us that Protestant missionary thinking is not that old. Guder repeats a point that, as a Barth scholar, he could have learned from Barth. It is that, "We look in vain for any mention of mission in the theologies that emerge from the Reformation in the 16th century", and that for some Reformed churches, mission only became a confessional theme in 1905. Other essays, though, challenge the common assumption that Christianity is new to Africa or Asia. Philip Jenkins makes the same points in his books on global Christianity. There have been churches in Africa for 2000 years, and in much of Asia for 1500 years.

The essay on 9/11 is both kind and firm about how much of the rest of the world views the United States. Charles Oduke is, to my mind, too gentle with government reactions that turned a rare moment of global sympathy with how even the most powerful are also the most vulnerable, into an excuse for revenge. However, he does suggest that money spent on implementing the Millennium Development Goals would do more good than the billions now needed to rebuild Afghanistan and Iraq. Military action, he declares, is not the best way of defeating terrorism. True, but how many of these essays really confront the so called Christian Right, who think war is still the answer?

Costas, had he lived longer, would have done so. This is made obvious in the way S. Mark Helm writes of, "Orlando E. Costas and the Ecumenical Church". The big division that has to be confronted is the one between the more evangelical and more liberal strands in the church. Our hero once viewed Orthodox Christians with suspicion until he came to hear at first hand a Syrian Orthodox priest in India tell of his love for Jesus, and his stand for the poor. Costas throughout his life was constantly being converted. This is the path for all in a truly ecumenical church.

One great feature of this book is an excellent index, often missing in sets of essay by different authors. So, you can look up the United Nations, or the World Council of Churches, war, Gutierrez, Hagar and John Eliot, and learn a lot in an afternoon. You can also be inspired to read more by the commendation from a former archbishop of Canterbury, George Carey: "... a most important and stimulating study of world mission which provides a real intellectual undergirding for the work of the church today." I agree.


Citation Details

Title: Daniel Jeyaraj, Robert Pazmino, Rodney Petersen (eds), Antioch Agenda: Essays on the Restorative Church in honor of Orlando E Costas.(Book review)
Author: Gale Reference Team
Publication: International Review of Mission (Magazine/Journal)
Date: January 1, 2008
Publisher: World Council of Churches
Volume: 97    Issue: 384-385    Page: 155(2)

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