Wednesday, October 11, 2006

In which I claim relationship to "a missionary statesman"

My husband's uncle writes a well-received book on missions

Well, Bob Bixby beat me to the punch.

After receiving in yesterday's mail Paradigms in Conflict: Ten Key Questions in Christian Missions Today, I was all set to blog about the author, Dr. David J. Hesselgrave, who happens to be my husband's uncle. But I notice that Box Bixby of Pensees blogged about Dr. Hesselgrave just yesterday, and in very glowing terms.

Writes Bob: "We were delightfully refreshed by his passion for truth, his vigorous explanations and critiques of the emergent church, his opinion on all things world missions, and his old-fashioned views of missions. By 'old-fashioned' I mean a yearning to turn the eyes of young pastors away from the allure of extra-biblical methodology and toward a recommitment to straight-forward, propositional evangelism and church-planting."

I've talked with "Uncle Dave" occasionally throughout my 28-year marriage to his nephew, and I always knew he was very intelligent, intellectual and erudite. I knew also that he and his wife Gertrude had been missionaries to Japan (Gertrude is older sister to my husband's dad).

I also knew that books he authored are used as textbooks on missiology for Christian colleges; in fact, my own son Jonathan used one of his books while at Cedarville University.

But I must admit that, until reading some of the reviews for his new book, I didn't quite grasp just how respected and reknowned Uncle Dave is in the world of missions. One reviewer writes: "David Hesselgrave has been the leading spokesman for evangelical missions for decades." That's a pretty big statement!

I'm just a few pages into the book right now, but already I'm impressed with how reader-friendly it is. No high-flown uber-intellectual literary prose here--this is practical, down-to-earth stuff.

And obviously very needed, if we are to understand our role as Christians in fulfilling the Great Commission.

As I commented on Bob's blog, I'm happy to claim even a non-blood family relationship with this man.

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