What an honor!
"In Ephesiology, Michael Cooper looks to connect his expertise in religious movements with the church movement in Ephesus during the first century. The book focuses on building a missional theology, a theology focused on finding a way to connect a community’s story with God’s story (36). Each step in the movement is connected to a particular book of the Bible: Acts for how the movement of Ephesus was launched, Ephesians for Paul’s theology of God and how it grounded the movement, 1 Timothy for how Paul called Timothy to lead the movement in Ephesus, 2 Timothy for the vision to multiply, and Revelation for how to sustain the movement. The book uses figures and tables throughout, then uses these to discuss the implications, thereby contextualizing the information for modern readers.
Paul’s ministry and theology are front and center in this work, looking at him as an example of a missiological theologian. Paul’s ability to dialogue, observe, and use historical study to learn about people before presenting the gospel to them was one of the keys to his success as a missiologist (47).
A strength of this book is its wide array of additional material available for those interested in taking their study of the topic deeper, including a website that is connected directly to the book. Each chapter of the book contains QR codes so the reader can easily access this additional material. The book also focuses on contextualizing the gospel rather than presenting a culturally conditioned gospel. The figures and graphs allow for implementation into one’s own context, making it very practical. Cooper does seem to get off track with theological questions that do not pertain to his central thesis; however, this book is a solid presentation of the inner workings of a movement and will be beneficial in helping Christians work towards starting a movement in their context. This book should be a “must have” for missiology and cultural studies students."
vol. 49, 4: pp. 419-420. Published September 29, 2021
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