Thursday, July 28, 2011
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
Three Reasons the Church in Iran is Growing
Pray for Farshid and our Iranian Brothers and Sisters
Here is yet another post and a video from the blog Biblical Missiology that is extremely anti “insider” and anti C4/5. Unfortunately, the video picks on a few extreme examples and misunderstands, misrepresents, and over-generalizes the C4/5 position.
Biblical Missiology may have some serious concerns and valid points, but it doesn’t help create dialogue and understanding to label those who disagree with them “heretical.” Imagine if all the Calvinists/Arminians, Presbyterians/Baptists, Cessationists/Charismatics called the other a “heretic!”
A couple questions:
- Do you think polarizing videos and posts like this from traditionalists help their cause, or hurt it?
- Can you provide any examples of someone who embraces the Insider or C5 position presenting the traditionalist position in such a mean-spirited fashion? Why do you think that is?
Monday, July 25, 2011
Thursday, July 21, 2011
Josh Reeves has a summary of the book here. "The main purpose of the book is to outline what Addison sees as the five key elements present in movements that possess the capacity to spread the Gospel. The five elements identified in the book are White-Hot Faith, Commitment to a Cause, Contagious Relationships, Rapid Mobilization, and Adaptive Methods..."
Speaking of movements, you've GOT to watch this video.
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
"The spirit of Christ is the spirit of missions. The nearer we get to Him, the more intensely missionary we become.”
Martyn was educated at Oxford, and he was deeply affected by the commitment of William Carey and the devotion of David Brainerd. He fell in love with his cousin’s sister in law, but he considered marriage an earthly joy that would distract him from missions. When he arrived in India in 1806, Carey recognized his brilliance, and encouraged him in translation work. In the next four years he was able to translate the New Testament into Urdu, Persian, and Arabic. Martyn died at the age of 31, having only one convert, and before seeing his translations make it to print. “He was one of the first Protestant workers to direct his energies almost entirely towards Muslims.”
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Monday, July 11, 2011
Wednesday, July 6, 2011
Warren Larson posts his thoughts on the June 2011 “Bridging the Divide” conference here. “Last week in the northeastern United States, “Bridging the Divide” brought together a group of about fifty people who have invested much of their lives in seeing Muslims come to Christ. The consultation, including five former Muslims, represented a wide spectrum of views on appropriate ways to reach Muslims…”
Tuesday, July 5, 2011
In the very influential article by Paul Hiebert “The Flaw of the Excluded Middle,” Hiebert uses a case study of an Indian pastor named Yellayya in Muchintala whose village had an epidemic of smallpox. The village elders decided a water buffalo should be sacrificed to appease the angry Goddess of Smallpox. A crisis developed when the Christians in the village refused to chip in for the cost of this sacrifice and when a Christian girl became sick herself. Hiebert reflects on his prayers for healing for this little girl:
Church and mission must guard against Christianity itself becoming a new form of magic. Magic is based on a mechanistic view — a formula approach to reality that allows humans to control their own destiny. Worship, on the other hand, is rooted in a relational view of life. Worshipers place themselves in the power and mercy of a greater being.
The difference is not one of form, but of attitude. What begins as a prayer of request may turn into a formula or chant to force God to do one's will by saying or doing the right thing. In religion, we want the will of God for we trust in his omniscience. In magic we seek our own wills, confident that we know what is best for ourselves.
The line dividing them is a subtle one as I learned in the case of Muchintala. A week after our prayer meeting, Yellayya returned to say that the child had died. I felt thoroughly defeated. Who was I to be a missionary if I could not pray for healing and receive a positive answer? A few weeks later Yellayya returned with a sense of triumph. "How can you be so happy after the child died?" I asked.
"The village would have acknowledged the power of our God had he healed the child," Yellayya said, "but they knew in the end she would have to die. When they saw in the funeral our hope of resurrection and reunion in heaven, they saw an even greater victory, over death itself, and they have begun to ask about the Christian way."
In a new way I began to realize that true answers to prayer are those that bring the greatest glory to God, not those that satisfy my immediate desires. It is all too easy to make Christianity a new magic in which we as gods can make God do our bidding.
Sunday, July 3, 2011
From Ahram Online:
In a document that read more as a short constitutional declaration, Al-Azhar defends universal human rights and rejects 'the theocratic state' as un-Islamic and autocratic by nature.
Read the whole article. Al Azhar is the leading Islamic school in the world today.
I’m most interested in this statement by the Imam, “Islam has never, throughout its history, experienced such a thing as a religious or a theocratic state.” That certainly challenges my understanding of Islam and Islamic history!