Vincent Donovan is best known as the author of the influential bestseller, Christianity Rediscovered (1978). This new book contains the monthly letters he wrote home from Tanzania between 1957 and 1973. These letters give us previously unknown stories: how Donovan met Julius Nyerere, first prime minister of Tanzania; how a group of Protestants attempted to kill him; of his early disastrous attempt to hear confession in Swahili; of the relationship between Donovan's work and Vatican II; and much about the mysterious Sonjo tribe, among whom Donovan spent his last years in Tanzania. They also give insights, from the hilarious to the poignant, into Donovan the man in relationship to his family, his missionary colleagues, and the Maasai. Copies of original photographs are also included. Most significantly, the letters show Donovan's evolution over the years from a young missionary who was passionate about acquiring land for church buildings, into a mature visionary convinced that the only job of the missionary is to preach the gospel. A concluding essay looks at the legacy of Donovan, thirty-five years later, with contributions from three Spiritan missionaries who continue to live out his legacy in Tanzania and elsewhere today. Finally, the essay looks at Donovan's continuing influence on contemporary renewal movements in North America and in Britain. Those who have been inspired by Christianity Rediscovered--missiologists, church renewal leaders, and students of Gospel and culture--will find much here to delight and to challenge. ""When John Bowen let me know that he was editing Vincent Donovan's letters, I was thrilled because Christianity Rediscovered left me wishing for more: more of Donovan's insight into Christian faith and mission, and more insight into Donovan himself. As I read the letters, my curiosity was at once satisfied and intensified. The more I felt I was getting to know this fascinating man, the more I wanted to know . . . Thank God for the example--now more fully available to us, thanks to John Bowen--of that amazing missionary pioneer, Fr. Vincent Donovan."" --Brian D. McLaren author and activist ""The 1950s, when Vincent Donovan began his missionary service, marked the onset of the old age of the missionary movement from the West, and ushered in a new age for the Church. Donovan's book Christianity Rediscovered was one of the seminal works from that era, opening the issues of Gospel and Culture more vividly, perhaps, than any missionary testament had previously done. These letters to family, friends, supporters, and colleagues show the evolution of Donovan's thought; we see the ideas in the book being hammered out in daily personal encounters. The collection forms a splendid commentary on a splendid text and provides a compelling record of the period; more, it leads the reader not only the meaning of mission but into the meaning of the Incarnation itself."" --Andrew F. Walls University of Edinburgh John P. Bowen is Associate Professor of Evangelism at Wycliffe College at the University of Toronto. He is the author of Evangelism for 'Normal' People (2002), The Spirituality of Narnia (2007) and Growing Up Christian (2009).
John P. Bowen is Emeritus Professor of Evangelism at Wycliffe College, Toronto. He worked for InterVarsity Christian Fellowship of Canada for twenty years, and then taught at Wycliffe until retirement in 2016. He is the author of Evangelism for Normal People (2002), The Spirituality of Narnia (2007), and Growing Up Christian (2010). He is also the editor of The Missionary Letters of Vincent Donovan (2011), Green Shoots out of Dry Ground (2013), and (with Michael Knowles) Good News Church (2018).
Brian D. McLaren (MA, University of Maryland) is an author, speaker, activist and public theologian. After teaching college English, Brian pastored Cedar Ridge Community Church in the Baltimore-Washington, DC area. Brain has been active in networking and mentoring church planters and pastors for over 20 years. He is a popular conference speaker and a frequent guest lecturer for denominational and ecumenical leadership gatherings in the US and internationally.