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3. Missiology or Missiologies?

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No one can fail to be impressed by Professor Spindler's informed and judicious position paper on a new focus for the theology of mission. His survey of recent developments in biblical scholarship and missiological reflection is a model of perceptiveness and clarity, and the case he makes for a shift from 'mission' to 'witness' as the new focus for missiological reflection is persuasive. The paper is well-informed, clear, insightful and thought-provoking. There is little in what it says that I would quarrel with. It is with what it does not say that my questions begin. For Professor Spindler's paper, it seems to me, neglects two related elements which I believe to be important for the discussion of any biblical and missiological issue: (1) sociological context, and (2) hermeneutical method. I shall say a few words about each.

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