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9Marks Explained : A Letter From Mark Dever

Doug Coleman

Blog posts by Doug Coleman:

A Missiological Chicken-Egg Debate?

In light of Andy’s desire to start a conversation, I’m
going to follow Greg’s lead and ask a question—actually a few questions. Mine
isn’t exactly a trap either. I really do want to hear from others. But I also
won’t pretend that I have no thoughts on the topic, even if they are still
evolving and maybe somewhat muddled at the moment.The big question is this:
What is the ultimate goal and motivation for missions? I have in mind here
especially cross-cultural missions, or international missions.For those who
have read Piper’s Let the Nations be Glad, you know that he says it’s worship.
I think he makes a strong argument, but I want to limit us to two different
options here:

1. The salvation of as many humans as possible

2. The glory of GodThis raises all kinds of questions and
potential objections. Can these two be legitimately juxtaposed or is this a false
dilemma? Do we always have to choose between the two or can the answer be
“both”? Is there ever a time when we really have to choose? Do we always know
what glorifies God? Can we know what will result in the salvation of as many
humans as possible? Does Scripture answer this or are we too far into the realm
of speculation? And perhaps one of the biggest: What does this really matter,
or does our answer to this question really affect our missiology?I hope to
follow up with more thoughts later, but in the meantime, what do you think?