For decades, missiologists have assumed the priority of the “unreached”—and for good reason—building entire organizational strategies around it. But do we need to redefine this term? Matthew Bennett, Ph.D., former IMB missionary and current Assistant Professor of Missions and Theology at Cedarville University, weighs in.
In a recent article, Matthew argues that we’ve taken the arbitrary 2-percent definition of “unreached” too far, countering that we need to consider both unreached people groups and unreached places. He also argues in another piece that we must shift our focus from “finishing the task” to being faithful in the constant disciple-making mandate. In this interview, we ask Matthew about the history of UPG emphasis and talk about Ralph Winter, Donald McGavran, and how the homogeneous unit principle morphed from description into prescription. Finally, we discuss the importance of unhitching our missiology from a narrow conception of eschatology so that we can focus on our present callings. Nerds, this episode is for you. (And everyone else too, of course. We promise.)
Dr. Matthew Bennett joined the faculty at Cedarville University in fall 2017 after serving and living in North Africa and the Middle East since 2011. He currently teaches The Bible and the Gospel, Theology I, Urban Missiology, Contemporary World Missions, Global Theology, and World Religions. You can listen to our preview interview with Matthew here.
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