In May 2009, thirty-five theologians from Asia, Africa, and Europe met in Wuppertal, Germany, for a consultation on mission theology organized by the United Evangelical Mission: Communion of Thirty-five Churches in Three Continents. The aim was to participate in the 100th anniversary of the Edinburgh conference through a study process and reflect on the challenges for mission in the twenty-first century. We decided not to invite renowned experts, but to have an open invitation through a call for papers, so that practicing mission experts not yet well known would have an opportunity to share their expertise.
We decided not to predetermine a theme or motto for the consultation but to allow various themes on mission to emerge from the papers themselves and thus to allow wide-ranging discussions. Indeed the papers were varied; each drew strong reactions, lively and even controversial debates. We were able to discover common concerns transcending very different contexts.
The collection of papers in this book has been taken from the papers delivered at the Wuppertal consultation. In some cases, short responses by one or two of the consultation participants were added to highlight the discussions that followed. The very varied voices collected in this anthology nevertheless have much in common: Even where they are most theoretical it is obvious that all contributors come from missionary practice and bring in their contextual experiences.
Claudia Wahrisch-Oblau Fidon Mwombeki
Claudia Wahrisch-Oblau is an ordained minister of the Evangelical Church in the Rhineland and holds a doctorate in theology from Heidelberg University. She currently serves as Executive Secretary Evangelism of the United Evangelical Mission. Her research interests focus on global Pentecostalism and its theological challenges to Reformation Protestantism.
Fidon Mwombeki is currently the General Secretary of the United Evangelical Mission. He is an ordained minister of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Tanzania. He received his MTh from Trinity Lutheran Seminary, Ohio, and his theological doctorate from Luther Seminary in Minnesota, and served as General Secretary of the Northwestern Diocese of the ELCT from 2000 to 2004.