It may seem strange to speak of the need for liberating theology. But such was the case. Theology may become ensnared, yea, imprisoned in scholastic shackles which make it impossible for certain truths to break forth. This is what had happened in the course of history following the Reformation. It made the breakthrough of a missionary theology practically impossible. These shackles were broken in the evangelical restoration.
The world owes much to the Protestant Reformation. It can be said with great delight that the Reformers discovered the missionary message without which missions would be purposeless.
However, it is evident that the immediate successors of the great Reformers did not advocate world evangelization. A new orthodox Protestant scholasticism soon captured Protestant theology, which was interested mainly in theological rigid confessionalism. Theology became enshrined but not incarnated. Therefore, it became a lifeless skeleton of speculative dogmatics and not the dynamic of God unto salvation and missions.
George W. Peters, “Missions in Historical Perspective: Perspectives on the Church’s Mission Part 2,” Bibliotheca Sacra 136 (1979): 100.