A close examination of Rader's missionary program and influence reveals three factors that drove the fervor and growth of evangelical missions in the twentieth century: (1) dispensational premillennial eschatology, (2) innovative methodologies and the use of technology, and (3) missionary fund-raising.
Paul Rader and other fundamentalist pastors, driven by dispensational, premillennial eschatology, were early voices calling for missionaries to go to the unreached peoples of the earth.
While the Apocalyptic themes gained currency within certain Protestant movements, they did not receive broad public support until the eighteenth century when a particular version of premillennial eschatology
emerged in England called "futurist premillennialism.
Other authors in this issue evaluate the impact of premillennial eschatology
on twentieth-century American evangelical mission theory and practice.
Premillennial eschatology has deeply influenced the missiology and praxis of evangelicals, particularly from North America, from the nineteenth century to the present.
Although it seems that the issue of the millennium would be at the heart of premillennial eschatology and therefore of its missionary outreach, in fact its adherents are more oriented on a daily basis to the responsibilities of Christ's followers to live holy lives and to witness to the regenerating power of the Gospel while they wait for Christ's return and work in the light of Christ's command to disciple the nations (Matt.
Those who hold to a premillennial eschatology are not a monolithic block.
Johnson shows that social concern, at least in the early days of the premillennial movement, was not inimical to premillennial eschatology.
We are greatly helped in understanding this position and its relation to missionary practice by an article by Michael Pocock entitled "The Influence of Premillennial Eschatology on Evangelical Missionary Theory and Praxis from the Late Nineteenth Century to the Present," printed in this issue.
Pocock shows how premillennial eschatology became the dominant eschatology in the United States in the nineteenth century and played an extremely important role in motivating Christians for mission.
Pocock reminds us that in the nineteenth century there was a wide variety of different kinds of premillennial eschatology, and there were (and still are) significant differences between historical premillennialists and dispensationalist millennialists.
This thesis, however, downplays the emphasis on premillennial eschatology
and speaking in tongues that also prevailed at Azusa, the importance of other contemporary Pentecostal revivals, and the mounting evidence that most early Pentecostals came from the working classes in North America.