President Harrison has just sent out a link to the latest edition of the LCMS Missions magazine. You can download the pdf here. There are three great things, actually four, about the magazine.
First, notice the title. It doesn’t use that confusing, harmful, modern, liberal phrase “Missio Dei.” Furthermore, that obnoxious term does not show up in the title of a single article of this edition. If you want more on “Missio Dei.” here is a good place to start. Missio Dei turns mission work into a theological ideology and removes it from the straight-forward, too simple for the modern LCMS minds like DP’s Linemann and Newton, preaching of the Gospel to pagans.
Secondly and related to the first point is my encouragement to you to read Al Collver’s article on the history of missions in the LCMS. Included in his sweeping article is a bit on missio Dei. It is quite good and very instructive. Al is the Assistant to the President for international work. Having just returned from Africa I am very interested in the notion of LCMS mission work and will be writing several posts to follow up on my introductory post from last week. Al’s paper has been very helpful as I continue to think through the way we do missions.
Third, the line up of authors is stellar including my own doctor-father, Dr. Carl Fickenscher from Fort Wayne. There won’t be a wasted word.
The bonus goodie is a book review by Pr. Lucas Woodford from Mayer, Minnesota. He is a fellow Lutherans in Africa enthusiast and rising theological star in the LCMS. He is a former contemporary worship fan who has seen the light and is now practicing and promoting the historic liturgy.
The iffy part of the magazine is the connection between mercy and missions. Feel free to throw tomatoes at me and other various bombs as I question this sacred cow. I shall simply retreat into the Scriptures for protection. I read the Scriptures from cover to cover several years back just looking for texts on mercy and found that the primary and dominant injunction of Holy Writ on this matter is that our mercy duty is to take care of the widows and orphans in the local parish. Because it is a sacred cow I don’t expect anyone to agree. I plan on unpacking this notion over the next few years or so.
Back to the main point, the article by Collver is excellent and overall the magazine looks well done and worth your time. More to come…