I’ve been asked to draw up a list of blogs which I feel are essential reading for anyone who is interested in missiology; rather than do so in an email, I decided to post my thoughts here for public consumption. The problem with a job like this is that (as I have said elsewhere) missiology is a term which gets used in so many different ways it is more or less meaningless. So, I decided I would need some sort of criteria to define what I mean by missiology (at least in this context).
- These blogs are not missionary story blogs. They may sometimes tell stories, but that is not their central theme. There are plenty of good story blogs out there which will tell you about preaching in out of the way places, eating termites and such like, but that is not what I am after here.
- These blogs are reflective. They are written by mission practitioners who think through what it is they do and why they do it. Most of them ask some uncomfortable questions and none of them know think they know all of the answers.
- They are not necessarily academic blogs. Yes, some of them quote Newbiggin and Bosch, but that isn’t essential to being a good missiology blogger.
- All of them write in human. I don’t have the time to plough through complex blog posts which are written in jargon. Each of these writers deals with complex issues, but they do so in an accessible and interesting way.
- Just because I have said that these are good blogs does not mean I agree with everything they say – or even most of what they say for that matter! The point is to make you think.
- Not everything in these blogs is about mission or missiology; these are real people and they also write about the mundane from time to time.
Jamie the VWM. This blog might surprise you, I suspect it wouldn’t be the top of most people’s missiology list. However, Jamie’s reflections on short-term missions and her achingly beautiful meditations on her desire to see people come to know Christ are worth anyone’s reading time. Most bloggers would give their right arms to have the number of people commenting on her blog that Jamie has and this adds to the richness of her work. Some people might find the language a bit strong at times.
Every Tongue. Mark Woodward’s blog is essential reading for anyone who is interested in mission and the Bible, particularly in an African context. He just gets better and better.
Simon’s Blog. Simon Cozens is a missionary to Japan who does a great job of reflecting on his experience and commenting on wider mission issues. He is an iconoclast and not afraid of airing controversial opinions. In my view his blog should be much more widely known and commented upon.
Bible and Mission Blog. This blog, produced at Redcliffe College, tends to concentrate on quotes from the literature and reflections emerging from interactions with mission students. It is a wonderful source of links and further information.
God Directed Deviations. Another iconoclastic blog, this time with lots of good comments. It doesn’t overlap with my interests as much as the others I have mentioned, so it doesn’t turn up in my Bible and Mission Links series, however, Miguel is well worth reading and you should point your RSS reader here.
This is not an exhaustive list, but it will do for now. Please feel free to add your own recommendations in the comments section.