Christians who are engaged in missions regularly face ethical challenges. But the approaches and standards of modern missions often further complicate, rather than alleviate, matters. Modern missiology debates what actions constitute mission work, how to measure growth, and the difference between persuasion and coercion.
In Virtuous Persuasion, Michael Niebauer casts a holistic vision for Christian mission that is rooted in theological ethics and moral philosophy. Niebauer proposes a theology of mission grounded in virtue. Becoming a skilled missionary is more about following Christ than mastering techniques. Christian mission is best understood as specific activities that develop virtue in its practitioners and move them toward their ultimate goal of partaking in the glory of God. With Virtuous Persuasion, you can rethink the essence of Jesus’s Great Commission and how we seek to fulfill it.
Virtuous Persuasion is the most important work on moral theology and missions that currently exists. It should be in the hands of everyone, scholar, clergy or lay, involved in missions.
–D. Stephen Long, Cary M. Maguire University Professor of Ethics, Southern Methodist University
This book should be read by anyone interested in thinking well about Christian mission.
–C. Kavin Rowe, George Washington Ivey Distinguished Professor of New Testament, Duke Divinity School
Virtuous Persuasion offers a compelling vision of Christian mission informed by theological ethics and grounded in virtuous practice. Take and read—and live—the vision of this book. Highly recommended!
–Todd Wilson, cofounder and president, Center for Pastor Theologians
Studies in Historical and Systematic Theology is a peer-reviewed series of contemporary monographs exploring key figures, themes, and issues in historical and systematic theology from an evangelical perspective.
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Michael Niebauer is pastor of Incarnation Church in State College, Pennsylvania, and a teaching fellow at Trinity School for Ministry. He is an ecclesial fellow in the Center for Pastor Theologians and hosts the Christian catechesis podcast This We Believe.