James S Stewart on Missions

I recently read an old out of print book I had found in a used book sale. I had picked up the book because I saw the author was James S. Stewart- the famous Scottish preacher and New Testament scholar, not the American actor! Stewart has been well known for his book on preaching amongst other things. So, when I found a little hardback book by him on the biblical basis for missions I picked it up. Having now read it, I must say that I think it is a gold mine! Stewart is great with his words and here he is communicating powerful truths as much applicable to our day as the 1950’s in which he first delivered them. In fact, in some of his statements you could say he is a prequel to Piper. Here is one quote just to start with:

“One reason,” wrote P.T. Forsyth, “why the Church is too little missionary is that it is established on good terms with its world instead of being a foreign mission from another.” The powers of darkness will never be scattered by a Christendom infiltrated by the enemy… for only to a Church radically different from the world will the world consent to listen; and the whole cause of the Kingdom of God, now as then, is at stake in that appeal.” (pg.19-20)

This connects with so much I have sought to say (not nearly as well) over the years. The labor for the purity of the church is not separate from the work of missions and is not a drain on the work of missions. It is vitally linked to the work of missions! This also speaks to the desire to look and sound like the culture. While of course we should work to remove unnecessary barriers, we must remember that the church was never supposed to look just like the world. It is the difference which makes a difference.

The title of the book is Thine is the Kingdom. It has been out of print for some time though you can find old copies on the web. I have initiated contact with some publishers and will be having further conversations about getting this book reprinted. I plan to post some more quotes soon, If you think you would be interested in this book being available let me know, and I’ll let these publishers know of grass roots interest.

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