It’s been a while since I did a round up of interesting links and I suspect that many of you will have read one some of these already, but I hope there is something new here.
This short article by Michael Prest captures the neccesity of evangelism in mission (he also quotes me, which is nice).
Friends, we need to hold our nerve. To keep evangelism at the heart of our mission is not to narrow our scope, but rather to have confidence that the gospel message has power to change lives.
I’m not a great one for knowing who Christian celebreties are, so news about Michael Chan doesn’t really cross my radar. However, I think this is a helpful reflection on the way in which we need to conduct our mission, whoever is involved. The latest edition of the Lausanne Pulse will have something for anyone who takes an interest in world mission.
My friend Timothy Halls has written a long paper that explores some of the controversies surrounding NT Wright’s work from a global (particularly, Brazilian perspective). It is worth reading for the opening summary of the issues alone, but the full discussion is excellent. The paper originally appeared in Portuguese, but there are English notes here. It may sound like a niche area, but this is very important stuff.
The structure of global theological discussion skews northward and this skewed structuring is not limited to this one set of controversies. The structure assumes theological discussions in the North are pertinent to Brazil and that Brazilian engagements in those controversies are not pertinent to the North.
Think about the implications of that quote for a moment…
Another friend, Peter Rowan has written a much shorter (but well worth reading) article on Multi-Directional mission.
Though I have to declare a personal interest, I think that this TBN video on Bible Translation is well worth watching (you may have to register to watch).
Diversity in the Church
We are living through the most diverse moment in church history.
Today, Christianity is the largest and most diverse belief system in the world, representing the most even racial and cultural spread, with roughly equal numbers of self-identifying Christians living in Europe, North America, Latin America, and sub-Saharan Africa. Over 60 percent of Christians live in the Global South, and the center of gravity for Christianity in the coming decades will likely be increasingly non-Western.
However, although the church is diverse around the world, we still struggle to reflect that diversity in our congregations in the West. This article looks at the USA, but it could also apply to the UK.
This is a fascinating article about how some African countries got their names; it’s well worth a few minutes of your time. As a Bible translator, I’ve spent a lot of time advocating for the use and support of indigenous African languages. However, it is important to realise that, after many generations, European languages are now an authentic part of the scene on the continent. This article about the Oscars of all things, shows how complex this can be.
If you are on Twitter, you should follow James Bejon, who posts some monumental threads on areas of Biblical studies. This is an excellent example which looks at the question of penal substitutionary atonement. Lastly, this article picks up on a book which I reviewed a few weeks ago and gives a list of 20 key points for churches on a mission.