For the Gospel's Sake
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More About This Title For the Gospel's Sake


Informed take on the amazing growth of a very unusual missionary organization

The two-sided mission organization comprising Wycliffe Bible Translators and the Summer Institute of Linguistics is a paradox that begs explanation. The scientific Summer Institute of Linguistics has worked in many countries around the world to translate the New Testament, develop unwritten languages, and educate indigenous communities. At the same time, Wycliffe Bible Translators has been one of the largest, fastest growing, and most controversial evangelical Christian movements during the last century.

In this wide-ranging study Boone Aldridge—a religious historian and twenty-year insider at WBT-SIL—looks back at the organization’s early years, from its inception in 1934 to the death of its visionary founder, William Cameron Townsend, in 1982. He situates the iconic institution within the evolving landscape of mid-twentieth-century evangelicalism, examines its complex and occasionally confusing strategies and policies, and investi­gates the factors that led, despite persistent criticism from many sides, to its remarkable rise to prominence.


Boone Aldridge has served with Wycliffe Bible Translators and SIL International in both Africa and the United States since 1996. He holds a PhD in history from the University of Stirling in Scotland. This is his first book.