The Evangelization of the World in this Generation Book Review by Jeff Bush

The Evangelization of the World in this Generation

By John Mott

 

    • The reality of their (SVM) consecration is proved by the fact that during the past decade over two thousand of them, after completing a thorough college or university preparation, have gone out from North America and Europe under the regular missionary societies of the Church to work in non-Christian lands. A still larger number are equipping themselves for similar service abroad.
  • “There is money enough in the hands of Church-members to sow every acre  of  the  earth  with the  seed of  truth.” — Dr. Josiah  Strong 
  • “The Sunday School is in some respects  the largest undeveloped missionary resource of the Church.” 
  • “The idea of the evangelization of the world in this generation is reasonable. The plan is perfectly feasible. There are men enough and there is money enough in the Protestant churches of Europe and America to do the work. It can be done. And it ought to be done.” — Dr. A. P. Parker
  • “Our responsibility surely is to the men of our own generation. No Christian will venture to say that our Lord ha.a laid upon His Church an im­possible task, or that it is His will and purpose that generation after generation of men should pa.as away into the unseen world without the op­portunity of hearing and embracing the way of salvation, the knowledge of which He ha.a en­ trusted to his Church and for the spread of which He has made His disciples responsible.” — Rev. James Jackson
  • “Our position on the question of possi­bility will be largely determined by our views of its desirability. If we do not think we want  the world evangelized, we will not have to search far before we find it impossible to evangelize it. But if to-night, face to face with our glorified Master, we catch His Spirit, hear His word, and are will­ ing to do His will, and will open our hearts a little to catch that other cry that comes across the seas to-night from every heathen land, I do not think we can refrain from brushing away a great many objec­tions to the possibility of the evangelization of the world in this generation that may now confront our view. This is not a human issue. God is in it. I have said that there is nothing in the world or the church, except its disobedience, to render the evangelization of the world in this generation an impossibility. It  is possible so far as God is concerned. Nay more, it finds its pledge and inspiration in Him. We often talk as though God was not interested in this question. We enumerate our human forces and look over the field to be possessed, and, just as we are hopeful or despondent, say it can or cannot be done. But this leaves out the mightiest force of all. You re­ call the question said to have been asked Luther by his wife in one of his despairing moods,-a question, I believe, alleged to have been addressed to Frederick Douglass also, by Sojourner Truth,­ Is God dead?’  I repeat it to those of you who doubt and hesitate to-night :  ‘Is God dead?’  If we cannot rely on Him I am willing to surrender the whole question.” — Robert E. Speer
  • “The Modern Theory of the Evangelization of the World,” says: The Church would realize her relations to her enthroned Lord, if she would duly awake to her opportunities, responsibilities, and resources, and if her re­ sources were more fully consecrated to the service of the Lord, there would be little difficulty, within one generation, in covering the whole open field of heathendom with centers of evangelization sufficiently near each other to diffuse the gospel over the intervening spaces.” — Dr. George Robson
  • Leading authorities in all the great mission fields have been asked to estimate how many mission­aries, in addition to native assistants, would be required so to lead the missionary enterprise as to accomplish the evangelization of those countries within a generation. The highest number sug­gested by any one is one missionary to every 10,000 of the heathen population. Few gave a lower estimate than one to 100,000. The average number given is one to 50,000. The number most frequently specified is one to 20,000.  If we follow the last proportion, it would call for an increase of the present missionary force from 15,000 to 50,000.
  • The Church in Christian lands is well able to supply the number of missionaries required to evangelize the world. To make up the entire num­ber called for would take but a small fraction of the Christian students who will graduate within this generation. It would require less than one­ fourth as many men as now constitute the Prot­estant clergy and ministry of North America and the British Isles. The present distribution of la­ borers is not only uneven but unfair.
  • The missionaries who are sent out to evangelize the world should be men of the highest qualifica­tions. The success of  the  undertaking  depends even more upon the quality of the workers than upon their number. The  Apostolic  Church  set apart some of her ablest men for this work. Surely an undertaking of  such  difficulty as that involved in extending  the Kingdom  of  Christ  in all the earth calls for the strongest and the best. Well has Professor  Legge  urged   that “missionaries  ought to be the foremost men whom the Christian Church possesses; the men who have inter-meddled most with, and gone deepest into all knowledge ; whose intellectual resources are the largest, whose prac­tical and persuasive ability is the finest, and whose temper is the most under their control ; the most fervent in spirit, the largest in mind, and the most capable in action!’ Generally speaking, the mis­sionary needs a  better all-round preparation than the home pastor.
  • On the spirituality of the missionary more than upon any other one factor on the mission field depends the evangelization of the world.  Far more vital than the physical, social and intellectual equipment of the missionary is his spiritual fur­nishing. It is supremely and indispensably im­portant that he be a man filled with the spirit of Christ. This point is being emphasized to-day by missionaries on every field. They maintain that unless the missionary be under the sway of the Holy Spirit he will, in the midst of deadening heathen influences, become cold and indifferent, his preaching will be fruitless, the example of his own life will be powerless and he will be unable properly to lead and to energize the native workers. Dr. Griffith John in dwelling on the last consid­eration says: “The quality of  the  native agent will very much depend upon the quality of the foreign  missionary. An unspiritual, self-indul­gent missionary is not likely to surround himself with capable, spiritual, earnest, and devoted native helpers.” 
  • Too much stress, therefore, cannot be placed on having missionary candidates form the habit of thorough and devotional Bible study be­ fore they go to the field, because a man mighty in the Scriptures is almost sure to be mighty in Chris­tian work. The enterprise of world-wide evangel­ization calls also for missionaries of spiritual vision and of victorious faith in God and in His message.
  • One of the most difficult problems on the mis­ sion field is that of raising np and training this force of suitable native workers. They should be men with clear knowledge of the truths essential to salvation, men of true piety, men earnest and effective in service.    That it is not an easy matter to secure them, every missionary can testify. The unreliability, the lack of spirituality, the want of resourcefulness and the low ideals and motives which characterize so many native agents is a source of much discouragement. So while there should be due regard to obtaining large numbers of workers and to distributing them wisely, the main concern must be to enlist and build np workers who will be really efficient.   This calls for thorough and prolonged training. Strongly manned theological seminaries are greatly needed on the mission field. Without doubt the greatest work of the missionary is to make missionaries. In no other way can he so multiply himself. Some missionaries claim that each missionary should aim to train a band of at least ten native workers.
  • There must be a great increase in voluntary Christian work by the rank and file of  the membership of the native Church, if the Gospel is to be diffused throughout all lands in our day. 
  • What characterizes a missionary church? It is a church whose members are intelligent concerning the enterprise of world-wide missions, and who recognize and accept their responsibility to help extend Christ’s Kingdom throughout the earth. Christians will not earnestly eet about the work of evangelizing the world until they have a deep con­viction that this is their duty and an ardent desire to perform it. The basis of such conviction and desire is knowledge.   Among the rank and file of the Church membership there is at present great ignorance and consequent indifference concern­ ing missions. As a result only a comparatively small fraction of the Church members are doing anything in an aggressive or whole-souled way to evangelize the world. Surely God never intended that only a few earnest and devoted men and women, here and there, should have a vision of the unevangelized world and be possessed by an in­ tense longing for the salvation of the heathen.
  • “The evangelization of the world in this gen­eration depends first of all upon a revival of prayer. Deeper than the need for men; deeper, far, than the need for money ; aye, deep down at the bottom of our spiritless life is the need for the forgotten secret of prevailing, world-wide prayer.      • The condition and consequence of such prayers as this is a new outpouring of the Holy Ghost. Noth­ing short of His own suggestion will prompt the necessary prayer to bring Him back again in power. Nothing short of His new outpouring will ever solve the missionary problems of our day.” —  “Prayer and Missions” by Robert E. Speer
  • Pastors should be taught to look on their churches, not only as a field to be cultivated, but also as a force to be wielded on behalf of the world’s evangelization. No student should be counted worthy to assume the duties of the ministry who has not acquired a world-wide horizon and who has not caught the real mission­ary spirit, that is, the spirit of Christ.
  • In actual use the Watchword (The evangelization of the world in this gen­eration) has proved to be remarkably effective. This is due to the fact that it is at once concise, comprehensive, definite, instructive, Scriptural, striking and inspiring.
  • It is impossible to measure what might be done by a few men who, catching a vision of the world evangelized, yield themselves wholly to God to be used by Him to realize the vision. …  So to-day, let not one, or a few, but many of those in all lands and among all races who acknowledge Christ as King arise and resolve, at whatever cost, to devote their lives to leading forward the hosts of God to fill the whole world with a knowledge of Christ in this generation.

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