Olav Guttorm Myklebust Dear IAMS Friends, ' First of all, a word of thanks for the opportunity so generously " given to me to send you this message. I deeply regret that for reasons of age (83) I shall not be able to be with you on this occasion. You may rest assured, however, that you will have my prayers and presence in spirit. The meeting, I know, has been carefully prepared, and I have every confidence that our expectations for it will be fulfilled. The theme selected could hardly have been more appropriate. The Gospel of Hope is the hope of the world! . - . ' Looking back upon the last few decades, I recall with much pleasure the years 1968 - 1974 during which the idea of establishing a world-wide fellowship of missiologists came to fruition. It was a great privilege, along with Professor H.-W. Gensichen (the first president) and other colleagues and friends, to serve the IAMS through its early years, when the foundations were laid and the objectives defined. It has been deeply gratifying to witness the developments which have taken place since then. The results achieved have been impressive. The Association has become truly global in scope, and new vistas have been opened up. The variety and quality of the studies undertaken deserve much praise. In particular, I wish to congratulate our fellowship on its journal, which in the course of few years has become a full-fledged missiological publication, - scholarly, informative, comprehensive and stimulating. The necessity of engaging in mission studies was never more urgent than to-day. Ours is a revolutionary world. Traditional beliefs, values and patterns of existence are being seriously challenged. The validity of the Christian faith, too, is being questioned. It is not possible, we are told, in this age of pluralism and relativism to maintain the conception of the Gospel as the authoritative, unique and final revelation of God in Christ. Missiology is much more than an academic exercise. It is, essentially and fundamentally, a venture pro vita mundi. In my own thinking and teaching concerning mission for more than five decades I have again and again been reminded of these words of Karl Heim, the distinguished German theologian, in his address to the Jerusalem Meeting of the International Missionary Council in 1928: "Golgotha is for us all the only immovable point outside the world, standing on which we have the power to move the whole world." The supreme task of the Church is precisely to move the whole world by communicating to men everywhere the unspeakable gift of reconciliation. Ave crux, spes unica! My wish for the conference can best be expressed in the words of the apostle to. the first Christians of the city in which at this very moment you are gathered: "And may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace by your faith in him, until, by the power of the Holy Spirit, you overflow with hope" (Romans 15,13). Sincerely in Christ Olav Guttorm Myklebust
Mission Studies – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 1988
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