Dr. Ralph Winter served as the Vice-President of the Southwest Region of the Evangelical Missiological Society (EMS), and he wrote a letter in the summer of 1996 addressed, “Dear Member or Friend of the Evangelical Missiological Society.” He starts off excitedly by saying “Let’s do it again!” The EMS regional meeting in April of 1996 had the highest attendance to date—175 people! Of greater importance, the presentations were insightful, the discussions stimulating, and there was much personal interaction. It is time to pull it together again—a rousing gathering of people who are all interested in missiology!
The theme is “Reaching the Resistant: Theology, Models and Cases.” Winter believes this theme, which is both significant and timely, embraces the most essential “front” in missions. He writes, “Probably 80% of all remaining unreached peoples fall into the category of those major socio-religious systems (such as Hinduism and Islam) which have seemed ‘resistant.’ But are they really ‘resistant?’” Years ago Biola professor David Liao raised the question. Winter asks whether the time has come to finally look at this more carefully taking into account all sides. EMS gives people a superb opportunity to together bring theological reflections, conceptual models and actual case studies so as to confront the challenge of the resistant.
Next Winter goes over the logistics of the meeting. He requests regarding papers that as soon as possible presenters send in a brief description of a paper they would like to present. The EMS welcomes theological and Biblical points of view, suggested and existing models, and case studies of breakthroughs. He asks that potential attendees check their calendars and decide their availability for proposed 1997 meeting dates. Fridays in March and April are listed with the options of F for first choice, P for possible and I for impossible. “Now, call my office, fax this page or send an email note. This will be a 9 am to 5 pm meeting.” EMS will mail a letter in December announcing the date. The hope is that this will be timely for faculty members to plan for their students in spring classes to take advantage of this fine opportunity to be in the company of others interested in missiology like they are. The U.S. Center for World Mission in Pasadena, CA will host and $10 will cover registration, copies of papers that are presented and lunch. Winter concludes by mentioning that EMS looks forward to hearing from people soon and to seeing them the following spring.