Thrive
Article

This article is part of a series of book summaries written by current students or alumni of Asbury Seminary intended to provide insight into recently released works from our faculty.

Paying homage to those who have come prior in the conversation about a theology of mission, Dr. Lalsangkima Pachuau, Asbury Theological Seminary professor and the author of God at Work in the World, humbly approaches this topic with respect and intentionality. He begins the book by arguing that any proper theology must deal with God’s mission. This is to say, that God’s mission is an essential aspect of theology and must be kept at the forefront of theological reflection. Rooting his understanding of mission in the Triune nature of God, Dr. Pachuau explains that the theology of mission is found in the theological idea of the economic Trinity, which focuses on the actions and works of the Godhead. In this vein, he talks about “God’s work of restoring life”, also known as salvation (169). In doing so, Dr. Pachuau skillfully parses through differing theories about salvation, keeping in mind demographic changes and the global church context. The main idea of his work is supported by his understanding of ecclesiology as a vital aspect of God’s mission being carried out through His people. Striking a middle ground in the theology-culture debate, the conversation continues by arguing that Christianity should be both owned by a people group and shared so that others can have it as their own. As the argument comes full circle, Dr. Pachuau concludes that a proper theology of mission is one that fully embraces God’s work in the world.

In reflecting on this work, I admire both the heart of Dr. Pachuau’s message and the depth of his knowledge on the subject. First, I am particularly drawn to the author’s comprehensive understanding and acknowledgment of prominent figures and theories regarding this subject. Although Dr. Pachuau claims this to not be an exhaustive study or guide on this subject, he does an exceptional job at giving an interdisciplinary approach to this topic. Second, this text proves to provide an excellent understanding of how the missio Dei connects to the life of the Church. That is, Dr. Pachuau makes this text accessible and palatable for the average person, marketing this book to a wide variety of people. Lastly, this book positions itself to be a valuable resource for any person interested in understanding a theology of mission at an introductory level or beyond. The way Dr. Pachuau approaches topics and explains his argument provides the reader with the ability to interact with the text on many different levels. In short, God at Work in the World stands out among other books regarding the theology of mission because of its comprehensive yet accessible nature, making it more than a worthwhile read.