"The early 1980s marked a sea change in Brazilian evangelical missions. Through a variety of events and key individuals God initiated a movement to send missionaries, not just to 'near neighbors,' as had been happening in some measure for decades, but to peoples who had not been a focus of Brazilian churches, including Muslim Arabs. Edward Smither, through publication of his recent University of Pretoria doctoral dissertation, offers us a helpful look at key factors affecting the fruitfulness of this movement."
I'm grateful for this encouraging review from David Greenlee, an author and missiologist who has served with Operation Mobilization for many years. While reading the review I remembered that I had met Greenlee once about 20 years ago when he gave me a lift from Malaga, Spain to catch a ferry over to Morocco. Small world.
While much of the feedback is positive, I do appreciate Greenlee's critique and call for further research:
"There are three areas in which I would like to see others build on Smither’s important work, items I might consider for project assignments or classroom discus- sion if teaching a course related to this book’s theme. First, he makes no reference to studies published by Project GLOBE, Geert Hofstede, or Fons Trompenaars. Smither’s findings would be enhanced if correspondence was demonstrated between his work and these empirically validated studies on cultural values. Second, I won- der to what extent the factors of cultural proximity affect Brazilians’ fruitfulness in ministry as compared to workers from Korea or the West. Third, two of Smither’s research purposes had to do with promoting self-reflection by Brazilians and consid- eration by others of missiological lessons to be learned and applied (4), something he helpfully launches in his concluding chapter “Toward a Brazilian Theology of Mission.” Whether in the classroom or among a gathering of missionaries and lead- ers, I would encourage readers to take this work further, together considering impli- cations and applications to be drawn from these findings and applied in our own mission structures and ministry settings."
The complete review, published in the respected journal Missiology: An International Review, is available HERE.