Propempo and this web-site is dedicated to explaining the Biblical missionary task (Matthew 28:18-20; Romans 15:20-24; Acts 13:1-4; 14:21-23), and all that that entails; and the nuts and bolts of how a local church can truly be Biblical and send out its own missionaries. For anyone who has been involved in church planting, learning another language, evangelism, missions, for a good length of time, this task necessarily will confront the missionary-evangelist with issues of deeper theological concern, apologetics, church history, Greek and Hebrew issues, such as issues over the text of the Bible and the canon of Scripture, and the Doctrine of the Trinity. This is especially true if someone is dealing with areas in the world or peoples such as Muslims and other religions, and skeptics/atheists/agnostic/secularists; and also knowledgeable Roman Catholics and cults like Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons. Dr. James White is one of the few Evangelicals who holds to Inerrancy that has actually been addressing all of these crucial areas in his ministry for the past 25 + years. See his ministry at Alpha and Omega Ministries. A missionary who is going to learn another language should avail themselves of his material, books, articles, and on-line debates with atheists, Muslims, and Roman Catholics. But not every one can be an excellent debater and quick thinking as Dr. White is.
In my dealings with Muslims and Roman Catholics, atheists, Jehovah’s Witnesses (but mostly with Muslims and former Muslims), it is very crucial to have a good grasp of apologetics, Greek and Hebrew, Church History, and the doctrine of Scripture and the Canon. Not just the bare facts of the history of the NT canon, but also the theological justification for the canon from a Reformed Protestant perspective. This, the doctrine of the Canon of Scripture, is one of the greatest challenges that Muslims, Unitarians, Jehovah’s Witnesses, atheists, secular skeptics, and Roman Catholics make against the Christian Faith. I don’t think I got enough of this type of training in seminary. I got the basics, but the need has been great for some time for a thorough course on this subject of the Canon of Scripture. This great need for a thorough, Biblical and consistent course and training on the Canon of Scripture has been truly met by Dr. Michael Kruger of Reformed Theological Seminary in Charlotte, NC.
Here is the link for the entire course. One can listen to his lectures for free; or pay for a guided on-line distance course where one can get the full value out of the course, accountability, and get academic credit. I have 3 of his books, which are excellent, and am working through one of his books (again, more thoroughly), that goes with his lectures. I think one of his other books also provides a lot of historical background to the liberal Bauer-Ehrman-Pagels thesis, called “The Heresy of Orthodoxy” (co-written with Andreas Kostenberger), but “Canon Revisited” is the main book that goes with these lectures.
I highly recommend this book and course for all missionaries and Christians who want to be equipped to deal with the issues than many atheists, secularists, skeptics, Muslims, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormons, etc. bring against the Christian faith. Also Roman Catholics try to cause doubt on how we know the 27 book NT canon is right (The OT Canon is also another issue; but that is for another time); by using purely historical arguments, combined with heavy doses of philosophy and radical skepticism (they ask, “how do you know the early church got it right?, without an infallible church?” the Roman Catholic asks), and claim there is a need for their Roman Church to be infallible (and have an Infallible Pope, which did not even exist in the early centuries) and for them to infallibly define the canon. They see the Church and Pope over the Scriptures and ruling over the Canon. (though they would deny this; this is what their view amounts to) This is not right either, and Dr. Kruger’s course and books are helpful training to be able to also handle Roman Catholics polemics and arguments on the canon.
Growth in this area and theology is part of the equipping task of “making disciples” (Matthew 28:19)and being ready to answer questions that unbelievers make (1 Peter 3:15; Jude 3), and equipping the new believers in a church planting and discipleship context. (Ephesians 4:11-12)
I will be doing more articles on this issue as time allows.