A Great Presbyterian Book Turns 60

In an hour I am speaking to some students at the Presbyterian Seminary in Austin, Texas. A great Presbyterian, Dr John Mackay, published a book 60 years ago called “Christianity on the Frontier” Its a good read if you can find it.

“True to the central meaning of “theology”, Reformed doctrine is a doctrine of God, begun and pursued in the light of God. The sovereign God, whose redemptive purpose constitutes the scarlet thread of Holy Scripture, whose Son is the saviour and lord of life, and whose church is the true bearer of history, is the theme of Reformed theology, in the same way that the concept of His sovereignty is its organizing principle.” (John Mackay, Christianity on the Frontier, 1950,page 88)”

Here’s John Mackay three years later in another book.

“When the Christian Church as a whole recovers a sense of of missionary responsibility, and is imbued throughout its ranks with missionary ardour, certain things will happen. Christian thought will become concerned not merely with a theology of missions, but with a theology of mission. The role of the missionary society, and the meaning of missionary vocation will be re-thought. The spontaneous expansion of the church will be regarded as a natural thing to hope for and promote.” (John Mackay, Missions Under The Cross, pg 141)

Interested in the role of Reformed theology in the missional conversation? Then read more on my post “The Missional Church: Reformed Heritage?”

Thanks Mike Clawson for the invite to the Seminary and for making today happen. See you soon.


Andrew Jones has been blogging since 1997. He is based in San Francisco with his two daughters but also travels the globe to find compelling stories of early stage entrepreneurs changing their world. Sometimes he talks in the third person. Sometimes he even talks to himself and has been heard uttering the name "Precious" :-)


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