Monday, August 8, 2011

Lutero Y La Mision

It may seem strange to give this review in English, but I do so for a couple reasons. 1. though I read Spanish fairly well, I'm not practiced enough to write in it. 2. The subject matter of this book is of great importance to many who speak and read only English.
I wish this book, "Lutero Y La Mision" or one like it were in English. It is actually quite a phenomenal book of great interest to the Lutheran world in which English is edging out German as the Lingua Franca. In fact if I didn't know any better, I'd say the publishing of this book in Spanish is a calvnist plot to keep the myths of Luther concerning mission persistent in the English Speaking world. I would think CPH would have the book translated into English to boost sales, but then it might run heady competition against "Luther and WorldMission" by Ingemar Oberg, as this particular book is much cheaper and shorter.
In any case "Lutero Y La Mision" dispels many of the myths concerning Luther and Missions that are still prevalent among even Lutheran Missiologists. Rooy does a wonderful job showing how far from popular opinion Luther had much to say about missions, even in those writings that have attained "confessional" status such as Luther's Small Catechism. However, Luther's concept of Mission work is radically different from the ideas that circulate today concerning mission, and yet are far superior to those common to missiologists of the 19th and 20th centuries that seem to only think of missions as pertaining to foreign "missionfields" done by highly specialized men, or these days, women. Rooy shows how for Luther, missions was a natural out growth of the Gospel, and is the church's constant and on going duty, for no place can every be considered not a mission field. Wherever the Gospel is being proclaimed and the sacraments administered, there missions are happening, no matter the language, for the mission of the church is to evangelize all cultures including our own.
The only draw back to this book that really nags me, is that Rooy betrays his Calvinist roots as he tackles the question of "Why Do Missions" and places at the top of the list, "For the Glory of God" while for the "love of man" comes much later. Sure "The Glory of God" was just as important to Luther as it was for Calvin, Perhaps even more so. Which is why it doesn't occupy the same place in Lutheran Theology as it does in Calvinist Theology. Luther, to the Glory of God, was much more concerned with the things God is concerned with, like the salvation of man, than giving God a bunch of empty praise.

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