Wednesday, April 19, 2017


1. “ The volume surveys 788 most important evangelizing Plans produced by Christianity during its career of over 19 hundred years. All these Plans relate to the Great Commission- the command that Jehovah gave through the mouth of His only Begotten Son, Jesus, to the believers ‘go and make disciples of all nations (Mt. 28.19, 20). If there was also a command to improve their morals, it was neglected, but the one to preach and recruit more followers for their God was rather taken in earnest. They promised Him to make “all the peoples of the earth know Him and fear Him.” (2 Chr. 6.33)
2. “ The survey is a statistical marvel, a worthy sequel to the WORLD CHRISTIAN ENCYCLOPAEDIA (reviewed in the TIMES OF INDIA, JULY 14, 1985), by David Barrett, an outstanding statician-evangelist and senior author of this volume under review. Quite in the spirit of the book, the two authors are introduced as Missionaries who ‘have been involved in some 36 (10%) of all the 358 global plans between 1953 and 1988’.”
3. “ The book is divided into 4 parts and 28 Chapters: it includes 10 Appendices, 27 Tables and Diagrams and a Bibliography, a selection of original and significant writings, classics and other benchmark items on the subject of world evangelization.”
4. ” The book does not include all the plans, but only a fraction of them representing merely ‘the tip of the iceberg’. It however includes plans best known for their global significance and, as we approach modern times, most central plans of major Christian denominations or missions or parachurch agencies which each has over 5000 foreign missionary personnel. The authors analyze these plans using 15 variables.”
5. “ The biblical story that God created the world out of Chaos proves to the authors that He is a ‘God of order, of planning, of strategy’. Similarly, the biblical observation that the ‘very hairs of your head are numbered’ proves that God is also a great enumerator, and numberer. The authors do no more than imitate their God’s skill and audit for us how His Great Commission has been followed by the believers.”
6. “ Christianity has passed through 66 generations but for the best part of its life the Great Command has been neglected. ‘Disobeying the Great Commission: 59 Neglected Generations’, has a separate Chapter on it. During this while, there were only 2.6 plans per generation. But with the 19th century began the era of ‘five aware generations’. During this time which also coincides with the heydays of Western Imperialism, the number of global plans per generation rose to 28. But the most ‘aware’ and the richest in planning is the present century (20th century). During its first decade, the figure was 69 plans per generation, 321 during the 1970s and the going rate is 1200 global plans per generation.”
7. “ In earlier centuries most global plans came from countries bordering on the Mediterranean. Then the shift took place to Europe, Russia and North America. Since A.D. 1900, the U.S. has alone provided 247 global plans.”
8. “ But while the plans have been abundant, their failures have been no less impressive. The book includes a Chapter, ‘A Catalogue of Woes’, which enumerates ‘340 reasons for 534 failed global plans’. The reasons include such items as ‘ecclesiastical crime’, ‘ecclesiastical gangsterism’, ‘offering tempting inducements’, the ‘use of laundered money’, ‘mass religious espionage’, ‘imperialism’, ‘terrorism’, etc.”
9. “ Such reasons suggest as if these plans depended for their success on Christians being better than they were. But this is pure assumption. In fact, the reasons cited for their failure are often also reasons for their success. There could easily be a Chapter on ‘X-NUMBER OF REASONS FOR SUCCESSFUL Y-NUMBER OF PLANS’, and these would have rightly included imperialism, terrorism, coups, arrogance etc. These indeed are cited when the authors discuss ‘Evolution of a Global Evangelical Movement’ and name individually 304 years of evangelical significance. For example, they mention A.D. 323 for ‘attempts to spread the Gospel by Law and Authority’ by Constantine; or cite C 780 for ‘forced baptism of Saxon race by Charlemagne, 4500 executed in one day for resisting, thousands more deported’; or A.D. 1523, when the ‘Spanish monarch orders Cortes to enforce mass conversion of American Indians – – – in Mexico, Franciscans baptize over a million in 7 years, with at times 14,000 a day – – -C 1550, 800,00 Peruvian Amerindians confirmed by one Archbishop of Lima.”
10. “ Next to political power in importance are money and propaganda. The authors tell us about the resources at the command of Christian Churches. They tell us that today it costs ‘145 billion dollars to operate global Christianity’; it commands 4.1 million full-time Christian workers, runs 13,000 major libraries, publishes 22,000 periodicals, issues 4 billion tracts a year, operates 1,800 Christian Radio/T.V. Stations. WE ARE ALSO TOLD THAT THERE ARE 3 MILLION COMPUTERS AND THE ‘CHRISTIAN COMPUTER SPECIALISTS’ ARE DESCRIBED AS ‘A NEW KIND OF CHRISTIAN ARMY’.”
11. “Missionary activity is a major plank of organized Christianity. At present 4,000 Mission Agencies operate a huge apparatus of Christian world mission manned by 262,300 missionaries costing 8 billion dollars annually. Every year, there are 10,000 new books/articles on foreign evangelization alone. The authors give an interesting estimate and tell us that Christianity has expended on its missionary activities a ‘total of 160 million-worker years on earth over these 20 centuries’. But since a missionary does not live by God alone, it has cost the Church exchequer ‘somewhere in the neighbourhood of 350 billion dollars’, or about 2,200 dollars per year per missionary.”
12. “ From time to time special plans have also been drawn for evangelizing the world. On 788 of them surveyed here, 10 million worker-years and 45 billion dollars have already been expended. Right away there are 387 global plans at work and 254 of them are making progress. One hundred fifty-five of these plans are called ‘massive’, defined as those which each expends ’10,000 worker-years, or over 10 million dollars a year, for an average of 10 years’. There are still bigger plans, 33 of them called gigantic ‘gigaplan’, each with over 100,000 worker-years, or 100 million dollars a year, or a total of 1 billion dollars over the years of the plan’s life’. The biggest current ‘gigaplan’ is spending 550 million dollars a year on its missionary work.”
13. “We are told that though the Church had ‘always had enormous resources’, they did not always avail. Sometimes even well-endowed plans came to nothing. For example, in 1918, 336 million dollars were raised and then the plan was destroyed within a week. More recently, a gigaplan which raised 150 million dollars a year collapse (did it?) in 1988 in a sex and management scandal which involved top evangelists. The reference is to Bakker and Jimmy Swaggart of the Asse

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