Roland Allen’s The Ministry of Expansion

The Priesthood of the Laity
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Description

Roland Allen was one of the most influential mission thinkers of the twentieth century. As a High Church Anglican, he had great respect and value for Church tradition, but was quick to confront cultural preferences when they appeared to contradict biblical prescriptions.The Ministry of Expansion: The Priesthood of the Laity reflects his thoughts that dealt with Communion-related activities in the Majority World where the Anglican Church did not have well-developed church structures and priests. In this work, Allen argues that there are times and circumstances when non-clergy must take the lead in the administration of Holy Communion. Written around 1938, The Ministry of Expansion: The Priesthood of the Laity has remained unpublished until now. The work you hold represents one of the last book-length manuscripts written by Allen and includes a collection of articles by contemporary Allen scholars. Though nearly eighty years since he first put pen to paper, Allen’s principles and convictions still speak to the Church with great gravitas. What should be the response when the Church’s cultural preferences are unable to keep up with the work of the Spirit on the mission field? This was a not only a question in Allen’s day, but one for every generation of believers.

  • ISBN: 9780878083008
  • Pages: 176
  • Binding: Paperback
  • Published: 2017
  • Publisher: William Carey Library

Endorsements

Roland Allen saw clearly in the first half of the twentieth century what few over the last two millennia have seen and even today see: that there is an essential interrelationship between the charismatic working of the Holy Spirit, the dynamic nature of the church as the body of Christ and the fellowship of the Spirit, and the mission of the triune God. Although here applied to the very specific question of sacramental and eucharistic practice, the implications and applications of Allen’s vision are extensive for all committed to participating in the work of the Spirit to and from the ends of the earth. While always respecting the role of the institutional dimensions of the church, Allen here prompts us to wrestle again and again with apostolic life in the Spirit as normative for engaging the ongoing missio Dei, however difficult such may be to discern at times.
 

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WCL, J.D. Payne, and the contributors are to be congratulated on the release of this previously unpublished work by Roland Allen. We hear much today about the importance of empowering and mobilizing ordinary Christians for the cause of multiplying and growing healthy churches. This little book demonstrates how Roland Allen on this important principle—particularly as it relates to celebration of the Lord’s Supper—was once again ahead of his time. Readers familiar with Allen’s biblically reasoned challenges to unhelpful traditions will not be disappointed by this work.
 

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I still remember first encountering Roland Allen’s writings as a student. His prose was lively. His insights were relevant. His thoughts were imbued with Scripture. Since Allen died in 1947, surely everything of significance the man wrote has been published by now. But no! New treasures await you. J. D. Payne has done us a great service by bringing to light a previously unpublished manuscript by Allen. Readers of Allen will feel that they are sitting down with an old friend to revisit some common themes from slightly different angles (and new anecdotes). Payne himself has written a helpful introductory chapter and lined up other scholars (Hubert Allen, Robert Schmidt, Steven Rutt, Robert Banks) to provide essays related to Roland Allen’s thought or life. What a treasure this little book is!
 

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Sixty years ago Donald McGavran reintroduced Roland Allen to evangelicals. McGavran often spoke and wrote about how much Roland Allen had influenced his own missiology. McGavran required his students to read Allen’s books and revived interest in Allen’s approach to missions strategy. J. D. Payne and his collaborators have performed a similar service for a new generation of evangelicals. In this volume they have provided missiologists, missionaries, and missions students with a long unpublished Allen manuscript. The manuscript revisits common themes in Allen’s writings: the role of the Holy Spirit in missions, the spontaneous growth of new churches, and the importance of lay ministry. The essays by Allen scholars enhance the value of the book, and the chapter by Hubert Allen, Roland’s grandson, is most welcome.
 

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Table of Contents

CONTRIBUTORS
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS


PART I
Background
ROLAND ALLEN: MISSIOLOGY AND THE MINISTRY OF EXPANSION
J. D. Payne
ROLAND ALLEN: A BIOGRAPHICAL NOTE
Hubert Allen
THE MINISTRY OF EXPANSION AND CONTEMPORARY CRISES
Robert Schmidt
BACKGROUND AND OVERVIEW OF THE MINISTRY OF EXPANSION
Steven Rutt


PART II
Roland Allen’s The Ministry of Expansion:
The Priesthood of the Laity
PREFACE
1 | THE FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES
2 | HABIT AND TRADITION
3 | CHARISMATIC MINISTRY
4 | THE PRACTICE OF THE EARLY CHURCH
5 | WE CANNOT GO BACK
6 | THE PRIESTHOOD OF THE LAITY
7 | PRESUMPTION


POSTSCRIPT
THE FAMILY RITE: AN INTRODUCTION
Robert Banks
BIBLIOGRAPHY

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