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The Reform of the Ministry

The Reform of the Ministry: A Study in the Work of Roland Allen

Roland Allen
David M. Paton
Copyright Date: 1968
Published by: Lutterworth Press
Pages: 236
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    The Reform of the Ministry
    Book Description:

    No one was more radically critical of the ministry and the inherited Church policy that surrounds it than Roland Allen (1868-1949), whose prophetic writings constantly challenge the whole mission of the Christian Church, and many of his most important essays are collected here along with contributions about him. After studying at Oxford, his clerical training was in Leeds. He went as a missionary to China for the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel (SPG), where he stayed for twenty years. His experience convinced him that missionary methods needed changing, and that St Paul had more to offer than contemporary practice, and in particular that ministry should be centred in the laity. These ideas, unpopular at the time, have grown in importance, and Roland Allen's influence is now greater than at any time. In this volume, Paton, with the co-operation of Grubb and King, has written on the central concerns of Allen's life and how his witness gave rise to many fruitful enterprises in different parts of the world. Many new writings of Allen's are included in the volume, and Grubb tells the story of the Survey Application Trust which, for over half a century played a formative and pioneering part in the mission of the church. This title adds a lot of new information and throws fresh light on the modern history of many Christian enterprises, and extends current debate over the role of the laity.

    eISBN: 978-0-7188-4012-9
    Subjects: Religion
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Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter (pp. 1-4)
  2. Table of Contents (pp. 5-6)
  3. PREFACE (pp. 7-8)
  4. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS (pp. 9-10)
    D.M.P., K.G.G. and N.Q.K.
  5. 1 ROLAND ALLEN: A Biographical and Theological Essay (pp. 11-46)

    Roland Allen began the life of his friend, Sidney Clark, with the following characteristic words:

    ‘Where no vision is,’ said the prophet, ‘the people perish.’ The subject of this little book saw visions, and it is with the visions of Sidney James Wells Clark that I am concerned, rather than with his life. This is not a biography, nor a book of travels. I am not concerned with physical adventures but with spiritual. I do not care that as a boy he fought a big bully in a warehouse, or that a snake got on to his bed and that...


    At this moment the Anglican Church is proposing to enlarge her action in China by the foundation of a new bishopric in Shantung. It seems, therefore, a fit opportunity to review the situation and to attempt to define what should be the policy of the Church in that country. It is unnecessary here to discuss whether the Church has any right to send missionaries to China at all. That question was decided by the authorities of the Church when they first consecrated bishops for the Christians in those parts, and that decision has now been reaffirmed by the determination to...


    I have been asked to write a chapter on the Survey Application Trust (World Dominion Press) for this work, and do so with gratitude to the Editor of the volume. For the Trust-and the Press its publishing branch-have been a venture on a modest scale, the story of which is worth a brief record. It is not too much to say that the thinking of the Churches in the West about their mission in the world has been influenced to an unsuspected degree by the publications of the Press, and the views originally advanced by its ‘founding fathers’ have passed...

  8. 4 THE VOLUNTARY CLERGY: (pp. 85-164)

    Hood River, Oregon

    January 23, 1922

    My dear Dr Allen,

    Forgive a stranger for addressing you, but I am so pleased with your article in the present number ofThe Churchman, ‘Spontaneous Expansion’, that I felt I must send you this word of appreciation and encouragement.

    Though you specifically refer to the heathen fields, what you say seems to me to apply equally to the domestic frontiers of western America.

    For fourteen years it has been my privilege to try to establish the Kingdom in Eastern Oregon, without any financial assistance from outside and with the help of only one...

  9. 5 LAST YEARS IN EAST AFRICA (pp. 165-178)

    Even so assiduous a researcher as van Heerden could remark in 1957 that the work of Roland Allen after 1933 lay hidden in darkness, though he quotes a letter from Mrs Allen which states, ‘My husband was writing up to the end.’¹ In fact there is a great quantity of material available. Roland Allen was fortunate in leaving a widow, a son, and a daughter, who had the wisdom to preserve his written works dating from this time. They also kept copies of much of his correspondence with the Kenya newspapers and with the circle of people all over the...

  10. 6 VOCES POPULI DE PARABOLIS CHRISTI: Preface and ‘The Good Samaritan’ (pp. 179-188)

    I have written this book, but I do not find it easy reading. It is too full of hints, suggestions, unresolved questions, sentences condensed into one word. I sat down to write what men in the crowd who heard the Parables of Christ said about them, and the issue seems to me an amazing jumble. Some spoke as I imagine that a Jew of Christ’s day might conceivably have spoken: one, for instance, applied the parable of the unjust judge strictly to the conditions of that age, others spoke familiarly of ‘the Law’, and one said definitely that he was...

  11. 7 THE FAMILY RITE (pp. 189-220)
    Roland Allen

    I always prefer writing to talking.¹ If I speak I am always afraid that I may disturb someone’s faith, and I hate that sort of negative effect: when I write, I hope to escape in some sort that responsibility.² When an old man talks, especially to younger men, a certain decent respect prevents the other from saying ‘Shut up’, or going away abruptly; but no one has any compunction in shutting up a writing, or in refusing to glance at it, or in making rude comments as he reads. When I talk, I have never found any difficulty in answering...

  12. 8. List of publications of the World Dominion Press (pp. 221-228)
  13. Back Matter (pp. 229-229)