Roland Allen: A Theology of Mission

By Steven Richard Rutt

The development of the missionary theology of Roland Allen, from its critique of colonial paternalism to its practical agenda for the renewal of the Church.

ISBN: 9780718894764


In Roland Allen: A Theology of Mission, a companion work to Roland Allen: A Missionary Life, Steven Richard Rutt completes a portrait of Roland Allen (1868-1947) in this intellectual biography. Extensive archival evidence discloses how apostolic principles formed the basis for Allen’s missionary theology.

Although it is well-known that Allen’s hermeneutical ideas were born of Pauline principles, Steven Richard Rutt expounds the ways in which Allen’s missionary experiences had profoundly impacted Allen’s theological beliefs. Allen wrote about his findings in letters, sermons, articles and books, some of which were never published. Allen’s writings tenaciously challenged the methodology of colonial missionary societies and exposed the causes hindering Church expansion: failures occurred in missions due to the imposition of Western missionary paternalism and institutional devolution. Allen advocated the empowerment of indigenous churches to apply the principles of self-government and self-support. He asserted the importance of the Pauline concept of ‘Spirit and order’, which encompasses both the doctrine of the Holy Spirit as well as that of the Church.

Allen’s diagnosis of the missionary situation and the proposed ways to restore apostolic order presented contemporary controversy but since his death, we have seen the importance of Allen’s ideas in Mission studies grow steadily. With an expert evaluation of Allen’s theological insight, Roland Allen: A Theology of Mission also offers a superb contribution to the discipline of historical theology and historical missiology as Rutt delves into a contextual assay of the missionary landscape of the nineteenth and the twentieth centuries.

Additional information

Dimensions 234 × 156 mm
Pages 258

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Trade Information LPOD

About the Author

Rev. Dr Steven Richard Rutt is assistant professor of Biblical Studies at Arizona Christian University. He is a priest in the Reformed Episcopal Church (Anglican Church of North America) and is a visiting Professor of Missiology at the Reformed Episcopal Seminary (PA). He also serves as president for Covenant Renewal Ministries, Inc., and represents this organization as an international missionary teacher. In 2014, he completed his doctoral work on the missiology of Roland Allen, and subsequently, earned his PhD in Religious Studies from Lancaster University, UK.


A Legacy and Dedication
Foreword by Hubert J.B. Allen
Foreword by Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali


1. The Problem: Allen’s Assessment of Western Missions
2. Roland Allen’s Missiological Remedy
3. Unpacking Roland Allen’s Missionary Theology
4. Roland Allen’s Theology of ‘Spirit and Order’
5. Roland Allen’s Charismatic Missiology
6. The Influence of Roland Allen’s Missiology in India
7. Spontaneous Church Growth
8. Roland Allen’s Apostolic Principles
9. The Church as ‘The Family Rite’
10. Epilogue

Scripture Index


Endorsements and Reviews

Dr Rutt’s magisterial study is an important and wide-ranging contribution. … I … express admiration and gratitude for such a very learned and painstaking tribute to the Rev. Roland Allen.
Hubert J.B. Allen, from the Foreword

Steven Richard Rutt has put us all in his debt by bringing Allen’s thought and practice, once again, to our attention.
Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali, from the Foreword