I just received the newest issue of JETS and it includes several important book reviews (including Denny Burk's review of God's Indwelling Presence and Mark Karlberg's reviews of Jesus' Blood and Righteousness: Paul's Theology of Imputation and The Way of Salvation). The review I found most intriguing, however, was Don Howell's review of Robert Plummer's new book, Paul's Understanding of the Church's Mission: Did the Apostle Paul Expect the Early Christian Communities to Evangelize? (Paternoster Biblical Monographs).
Howell introduces his review this way:
Did the apostle Paul expect the early Christian communities to evangelize? This is the subtitle of the book and also the central question that Plummer seeks to answer. Framed in another way, did Paul command the churches that he addresses in his epistles to imitate him in centrifugal missionary outreach? His answer, supported by lexical, exegetical, and logical argumentation, is a resounding affirmative. To some, Plummer's conclusion may seem obvious and thus the question hardly worth asking. However, the history of interpretation on this issue has been divided, and therefore a fresh look at the evidence is justified. Plummer makes the disturbing observation from his survey of the research that few books written by missiologists are informed by sound methods of biblical theology and, conversely, biblical scholars rarely interact with insights from missiologists. Surely this is a call to both groups for better integration of their respective disciplines.
This book has immense potential-- not only to model for us an exegetical foundation for missiology-- but also to redirect trajectories among certain veins of missional ecclesiology that discriminate against evangelistic proclamation and conversionist models.
I ordered the book last night.