Baker Academic has a brand new website! Click Here To Visit:

Encountering Theology of Mission

Biblical Foundations, Historical Developments, and Contemporary Issues

series: Encountering Mission

Cover Art Request Exam Copy

Where to Purchase


Named an Outstanding Mission Book of 2010, International Bulletin of Missionary Research

"An essential resource for mission educators and students alike. Filled with real life case studies and practical discussion questions, the text is ideal for undergraduate, graduate, and Bible School mission courses."--Missiology
This fresh, comprehensive text fills a need for an up-to-date theology of mission. The authors, who are leading mission experts, discuss biblical theology of mission, provide historical overviews of the development of various viewpoints, and address current theological issues in global mission from an evangelical perspective. They offer creative approaches to answering some of the most pressing questions in theology of mission and missionary practice today.
Readable yet thorough, Encountering Theology of Mission integrates current views of the kingdom of God and holistic mission with traditional views of evangelism and church planting. It also brings theology of mission into conversation with ecclesiology. Topics covered include contextualization, the missionary vocation, church and mission, and theology of religions. Sidebars and case studies enable readers to see how theology of mission touches real-life mission practice. This unique text will benefit mission leaders, missionaries, and professors and students.
Part One: Biblical Foundations of Mission
1. God and the Nations in the Old Testament
2. God and the Nations in the New Testament
3. The Justification of Mission: Missio Dei
4. The Purpose and Nature of Mission
5. The Task of Missions: Convictions and Controversy
6. The Task of Missions: Convergence and Conclusions
Part Two: Motives and Means for Mission
7. The Motivation for Missions
8. Church and Mission
9. The Missionary Vocation
10. Spiritual Dynamics and Mission
Part Three: Mission in Local and Global Context
11. Contextualization and Mission
12. Christian Encounter with Other Religions: Toward an Evangelical Theology of Religions
13. The Necessity of Mission: Three Uncomfortable Questions


"Good maps can be hard to find. Thankfully Craig Ott, Stephen Strauss, and Timothy Tennent have drawn up a comprehensive yet easy-to-navigate guide to the complex terrain of theologizing about Christian mission. It is hard to imagine a more careful presentation of this vast subject."--J. Nelson Jennings, mission pastor and consultant, Onnuri Community Church, Seoul, South Korea

"This globalized world needs a relevant theology of mission that articulates a cogent 'biblical direction for the church's fulfillment of its missionary mandate.' This excellent book by Ott, Strauss, and Tennent moves us from a paternalistic mind-set to a fraternal one that seeks to proclaim Christ from everywhere, to everywhere. I would strongly commend this book not only to professors and students in seminaries but also to practitioners and missions committees in local churches so that our understanding and practice of mission remains cutting edge as we seek to fulfill the Great Commission in our generation."--Junias Venugopal, provost and dean of education, Moody Bible Institute

"Deep gratitude to our three writers for a rich and textured work! It is rooted in Scripture, history, and context; it is challenging yet very readable; it is antiphonal--moving from theology and theory to the highly practical and engaging--with some excellent sidebars and case studies. Although the book will be seen as a text by some, I would highly recommend this book to my global colleagues, the reflective practitioners of mission today."--William D. Taylor, global ambassador, World Evangelical Alliance

The Authors

  1. Craig Ott

    Craig Ott

    Craig Ott (PhD, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School) is professor of mission and intercultural studies at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois, where he also directs the PhD program in intercultural studies. He has written or edited...

    Continue reading about Craig Ott

  2. Stephen J. Strauss

    Stephen J. Strauss

    Stephen J. Strauss (1955-2013; PhD, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School) was professor of world missions and intercultural studies at Dallas Theological Seminary. He previously served with Serving in Mission (SIM) for over twenty-seven years.

    Continue reading about Stephen J. Strauss

  3. Timothy C. Tennent

    Timothy C. Tennent

    Timothy C. Tennent (PhD, University of Edinburgh) is professor of world Christianity in the E. Stanley Jones School of Mission and Ministry at Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Kentucky. He previously served as the president of Asbury.

    Continue reading about Timothy C. Tennent


Named an Outstanding Mission Book of 2010, International Bulletin of Missionary Research

"There is much to commend here. The authors demonstrate a strong Trinitarian emphasis and helpfully elaborate on the Trinitarian foundation of the Christian mission. . . . The section on globalized theology . . . is quite encouraging. . . . One excellent feature that runs throughout the entire book is the inclusion of numerous sidebars and case studies for further reflection to assist in distilling the material. . . . Those who are looking for a solidly evangelical, informed, theological elaboration of mission need look no further than this volume."--Christopher Flanders, Evangelical Missions Quarterly

"The authors have offered a fresh, well-written theology of mission for our times. In addition to college and seminary students, I think that pastors, missions pastors, and lay people will also benefit from this fine book."--Edward L. Smither, Criswell Theological Review

"A valuable addition to the Encountering Mission series edited by A. Scott Moreau, Encountering Theology of Mission is an essential resource for mission educators and students alike. Filled with real life case studies and practical discussion questions, the text is ideal for undergraduate, graduate, and Bible School mission courses, in addition to church groups interested in understanding God's mission to the world."--Missiology

"An excellent introduction and resource for students, teachers, missionaries, and church leaders."--Transformation

"Ott, Strauss, and Tennent are obviously conversant with the main issues in mission theology and understand the various streams of thought within the various subjects. They interact with a broad range of perspectives. . . . The book shows in a helpful way the influence of each author's field of cross-cultural ministry, making this contribution more globally applicable than its North American origins might suggest. . . . The authors demonstrate a comprehensive grasp of a very broad subject. They grapple with and explain fairly a wide diversity of viewpoints in each chapter. . . . This work would be useful as a main or supplemental textbook in an upper level undergraduate or introductory graduate level course on biblical foundations for mission . . . or more appropriately, a course on theology of mission."--Scott Klingsmith, Dharma Deepika

"As a book designed for students or teachers, many points are easily followed. Case studies for reflection and discussion in each chapter and sidebar topics sprinkled throughout facilitate deeper considerations with key authors or ideas. . . . Encountering Theology of Mission excellently covers areas of mission theology vital to evangelicalism while keeping readers abreast of the latest and important areas in mission studies. Written in a clear and accessible manner, it allows a wide readership and is user-friendly even for nonnative English speakers."--John Cheong, Trinity Journal

"An admirably usable text. . . . Two key strengths of the text as a whole deserve immediate recognition: (1) the writers are unapologetically evangelical in holding biblical authority as 'the North Star' by which they navigate the contemporary missiological scene; (2) the book is designed as a teacher/student-friendly classroom textbook. . . . [It is] recommend[ed] for introductory classes in theology of mission. . . . Examples of its user-friendliness include highlighted quotes [and] distinctively laid-out sidebars on discrete themes, many of which suggest questions for 'reflection and discussion.'. . . There are diagrams and tables aplenty. Most suggestive and fruitful are the four case studies which could excellently guide classroom discussion, situating the theological discussion in real-life contexts yielding empathetic exploration for testing and applying the material being learned. . . . Necessarily for this type of book, controversies are more surveyed than settled. This enables teachers and students handling the text to draw their own conclusions. . . . [An] important survey of a vital theological locus."--Andy Draycott, Themelios