Ancient Gospel, Brave New World

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“In Ancient Gospel, Brave New World, E.D. Burns proves conclusively that, as much as culture matters for the missionary task, the unchangeable truths of the gospel matter more. Only by grasping these transcendent realities will we have anything of value to offer the lost and least-reached peoples of the globe. In a world of subjectivity and doubt—attitudes which affect modern missions—this book will renew your delight in God’s revealed Word. Put this book and its companion volume into the hands of everyone you know involved in missions.”

– Alex Kocman | Director of Advancement and Communications, ABWE


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Ancient Gospel, Brave New World: Jesus Still Saves Sinners in Cultures of Shame, Fear, Bondage, and Weakness

by E.D. Burns
©2021 Founders Press
Printed in the United States of America
ISBN: 978-1-943539-27-7

Additional information

Weight 1.1 lbs
Dimensions 6 × 1.5 × 9 in







Ancient Truth vs. Brave New Religion

Chapter 1 – God’s Word Transcends Culture

Chapter 2 – Our Original Problem Is Sin

Chapter 3 – Virtue and Myth Transcend Contextual Values

Chapter 4 – Doctrinal Language Guards Biblical Meaning

Chapter 5 – Christ Our Righteousness: The Gospel Center for All Value Systems

Chapter 6- Christ Our Honor: The Gospel Center for Shame/Honor Value Systems

Chapter 7 – Christ Our Peace: The Gospel Center for Fear/Peace Value Systems

Chapter 8 – Christ Our Freedom: The Gospel Center for Bondage/Freedom Value Systems

Chapter 9 – Christ Our Strength:The Gospel Center for Weakness/Strength Value Systems

Conclusion – “Jesus Receives Sinners and Eats with Them”

Appendix 1 – The Transcultural Gospel Model

Appendix 2 – The Transcultural Gospel Model and Overlapping Cultural Value Systems

Appendix 3 – “Discourse of Christian and Ignorance”

Appendix 4 – “Advanced Discussion of Divine Authorial Intent”



After reading this excellent work by E.D. Burns, we can hear the great Reformer Martin Luther say, “Justification is the doctrine upon which missions stands or falls.” When we abandon doctrine under the guise of cultural contextualization, we surrender the only truth, empowered by the Holy Spirit, that can transform hearts from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of light. Ancient Gospel, Brave New World is a clarion call to return to the sole foundation of all biblical missionary efforts—Scripture. Without doctrine—rightly understood and fervently articulated—all other ground is sinking sand.

  • Dustin Benge | Associate Professor of Biblical Spirituality and Historical Theology, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, KY


We are not short on books about missions. We are not short on books about the gospel. We are (sadly) short on books that view the missionary enterprise through a thorough-going theological lens. Enter Ancient Gospel, Brave New World—clear, thorough, and unashamedly rooted in orthodox Bible doctrine. Refusing to go down the route of tailor-made pragmatism, this book charts a clear course for gospel proclamation to the nations that is both practical and biblical. This will be a book I return to regularly.

  • Kofi Adu-Boahen | Lead Pastor, Redeemer Bible Fellowship, Medford, OR


There is a famine of books about Jesus Christ. In Ancient Gospel, Brave New World, above every vital missiological insight there is the incessant drumbeat of the centrality of the risen Savior and the implications of trusting in the Lord. If I could be so bold as to speak for Thomas Boston: “The Marrow Men heartily applaud the contents of this book!” Burns clearly explains some of the most essential doctrines of our day and every era, such as faith/faithfulness, sanctification, assurance, sola fide, and the law/gospel distinction. He burns with a passion to exalt the Lord Jesus Christ. Pro tip: read the great footnotes!

  • Pastor Mike Abendroth | Bethlehem Bible Church, West Boylston, MA


The gospel’s core message must be protected against the temptation of over-contextualization, especially when evangelizing beyond the Western world. Unfortunately, while the evangelist’s intentions may be sincere, such contextualization efforts can often produce a false gospel that cannot save.

E.D. Burns tackles this widespread issue in Ancient Gospel, Brave New World with theological clarity and precision, proving that the biblical gospel transcends cultural boundaries. Burns also shows why the gospel must be communicated faithfully through the biblical paradigm of guilt and righteousness, as undergirded by penal substitutionary atonement and justification by faith alone. By combining biblical and systematic theology with many supporting witnesses from church history, Burns effectively undresses many of the deceptive attacks being waged against the true gospel. In the process, Burns reminds us that the power of God for salvation rests not on the ingenuity of man but on the faithfulness of God.

Ancient Gospel, Brave New World should be required reading for all missiologists and missionaries, not just for the sake of theology but also to provide guidance toward a missiological philosophy of ministry that is both faithful and practical.

  • Ekkie Tepsupornchai | Senior Pastor, Western Avenue Baptist Church, Brawley, CA


In this timely seminal work, Dr. Burns takes us back to the core of the gospel’s message—that we are saved by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone to God’s glory alone. With a clarity and conviction rarely seen today in the world of missions, Dr. Burns proves his case that evangelism can only be effective and glorifying to God when it is anchored in the sovereign moorings of the finished work of Christ. Building on this premise and with the precision of a skilled theologian, Dr. Burns debunks many of the myths plaguing modern evangelicalism’s pragmatic and unbiblical approach to missions and cultural engagement. This book is a clarion call to not only missionaries and missiologists to return to the gospel’s essential message of Christ alone but also to anyone involved in ministry, whether they be a pastor, elder, deacon, or teacher. Truly the work of a pastor’s heart, this is Christ-centered theology as it ought to be written. No true evangelist should be without this book. 

  • John A. Tucker, Esq. | Pastor, Community Bible Church,Beloit, OH


Do trendy contextualization methods based on sociology hold more promise for missionary success than the core doctrines recovered at the Reformation? In Ancient Gospel, Brave New World, author and missionary E.D. Burns responds to popular theories on cultural orientations and calls missionary ambassadors to return to the core of the gospel. Grounded in solid theological reflection and conversant with practical missiology, Burns demonstrates how various cultural orientations such as honor/shame and fear/power all point to the problem of “enoughness,” which is answered in the biblical paradigm of guilt/righteousness that overarches all other ways of understanding man’s central problem and its solution. This book will help both missionaries and those who support them navigate the shifting seas of missionary methodology and cast their anchor on the solid rock of the person and work of Jesus Christ.

  • Karl Dahlfred (PhD, University of Edinburgh)OMF International – Theological Education & Church PlantingAdjunct Professor, DMin advisor, Bangkok Bible Seminary, Bangkok, Thailand


The field of missiology is fraught with a lack of theological and pastoral oversight, clarity, and precision. This has created space for what is known as contextualization—in many ways the result of the seeker-sensitive movement, sociology, and often well-intentioned pragmatism. In this book, E.D. Burns does something long been needed: he’s grounded missiology in the sound doctrine found in the pages of Scripture. Without compromise, Burns presents a biblical missiology without the pop sociology that has muddied the waters of missiology for too long. Burns establishes the simplicity and purity of gospel-orthodoxy first and then slays the errors and heresies that permeate many missionary approaches. This book is a must-read for churches that are thinking through how to be more missional, and any believer who is considering spending his life on the field.

  • Peter Sammons, PhD Director of Academic PublicationsFaculty Associate in Systematic TheologyThe Master’s Seminary
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