The journal Methodist Review recently published an article and a response that may be of interest to UM & Global's readers. Both concern the relationship between evangelism and mission. Mark Teasdale wrote "Extending the Metaphor: Evangelism as the Heart of Mission Twenty-Five Years Later," in which he commented on Dana L. Robert's 1997 essay, "Evangelism as the Heart of Mission." Dana Robert then wrote a response to Teasdale's essay. Both pieces can be found for free, with registration, on Methodist Review's website. Full abstracts for both pieces are below.
Mark Teasdale, "Extending the Metaphor: Evangelism as the Heart of Mission Twenty-Five Years Later"
In 1997, Dana Robert published “Evangelism as the Heart of Mission” to provide a conceptual framework to resolve the theological debate within The United Methodist Church about the relationship of evangelism to mission. She did this by using a heart-and-body metaphor that demonstrated that each was distinct from yet interdependent with the other, appealing to the example of John Wesley’s holistic ministry. Drawing on developments in the field of evangelism and in scholarship related to Wesley’s understanding of inspiration that have taken place in the twenty-five years since Robert’s work was published, her metaphor can be clarified and extended in ways that will allow it to remain a helpful missiological framework for Methodists to think about both their evangelistic outreach and their life together as a community of believers in Jesus Christ.
Dana L. Robert, Response to Mark Teasdale
In a recent issue of Methodist Review, Mark Teasdale revisited
Dana L. Robert’s image of “evangelism as the heart of mission.” In this
response, Robert reflects on the historical setting in which she
proposed the idea, focusing on events within The United Methodist Church
and academic associations of professors of evangelism and mission. She
then interacts appreciatively with aspects of Teasdale’s reframing,
specifically his rejection of narrowing evangelism to a practice of the
church, and his call to focus more strongly on the Holy Spirit. She
concludes by exploring Methodist D. T. Niles’s reflections on the Spirit