From Every Nation (Chris Howles)
Mission Hits #13 (Jan 2021)
Welcome to Mission Hits, a twice-monthly blog highlighting stimulating and significant recent resources related to world Christianity, world church, and world mission.
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Before you read Mission Hits #13, let me introduce to you a new resource I've set up on www.fromeverynation.net
It's called 'Mission Hits Journals' and is a quarterly email (once-every-three-months) with links to recent editions from mission-related journals and periodicals such as Evangelical Missions Quarterly, International Review of Mission, Mission Frontiers and many more (31 in total!)
To find out more and to sign up, please visit
It's aimed at:
(1) Those involved in the teaching or study of world mission/world Christianity,
(2) Theologians who want to keep a mission-focus in their work,
(3) Thoughtful mission leaders and missionaries wanting to keep on top of contemporary trends and thinking in the field.
So again, if you want to receive 'Mission Hits Journals' (4 emails a year) go to https://www.fromeverynation.net/mission-hits-journals
(if you don't know if you have signed up, feel free to try again - it's not a problem even if you've already done it)
CONTENTS: (click to go straight to each section below)
Essentials (if you only have time for 3 clicks, make it these)
And Finally... (unrelated things I found interesting this week)
British evangelical missiologist Eddie Arthur reflects on his own history and attitudes in light of the global nature of the church and current recent debates about nationalism: "When we allow Christianity to get tied up with nationalism (whichever nation we belong to) it takes us into some dark places because it denies the fundamental nature of Christ’s church. This is not who we are…"
(2) Uncovering discrimination in missions: Toward a ‘third culture’ of oneness in Christ
Kirst Rievan (pseudonym), a European missionary working in Asia, writes helpfully here about making an organization (including a church) truly multicultural: "Mission organizations are often placing more people from different cultures in leadership with the expectation that this will automatically make the organization multicultural. By doing that, we fail to understand that much more is needed. In many cases, it tends to lead to an unequal playing field…The organizational culture is in effect ‘discriminating’ against this leader as it may hamper him or her from flourishing, while feeling ‘suffocated’."
(3) Lambs among wolves: re-reading Luke 10
This is short but fascinating. Have you too felt a little uncomfortable by the sudden and serious 'wipe the dust from your feet' judgment of Jesus when sending out the 70/72 in Luke 10. Well, maybe that reveals a little about how we unknowingly view these 'sent ones' through the lens of modern mission? "The 70 aren’t the powerful church, the 70 are the ragamuffin group, the lambs among wolves, who have taken Jesus’ message seriously and have come to remind the powerful that there is a different way. This would suggest that mission is about recognising and receiving the surprise messengers that Jesus sent."
(1) Together on mission with God: principles and practices of healthy partnerships
Many Western churches enjoy partnerships with churches or groups from other cultures. It is easy to make mistakes in such relationships. And even easier to not realise we're doing so! This article from Missiology professor Joshua Bowman gives a helpful framework for thinking through some common issues.
(2) 2020 Gospel Advances in Afghanistan
Afghanistan, as I'm sure you're aware, is a country with many difficulties for local Christians and outside missionaries when they live as Christians and seek to share their faith. And that's an understatement. And so this description of some of the evangelistic work and fruit going Afghanistan in 2020 was moving and prayer-motivating. From HeartCry Missionary Society.
(3) What does Spirit-empowered Christianity look like around the world?
Pneuma Review speaks with Todd Johnson and Gina Zurlo, directors of the Center for the Study of Global Christianity and editors of the third edition of the World Christian Encyclopaedia, about 'Spirit-Empowered Christianity' which is a trendy term but one that, simply-put, corresponds broadly with Pentecostal/charismatic Christianity. The interview is typed up here, and has some fascinating statistics and insights about this form of Christianity (that represents over a quarter of all Christians in the world today).
(1) Why not teach everyone English?
Many people have thought this at times no doubt. Why invest such huge amounts of time and finance and effort into Bible translation into 'little-known' languages? Would it be easier to teach everyone English? 3-minute video from former CEO of Wycliffe Bible Translators Eddie Arthur pulls no punches and is clear and compelling, convincing and convicting.
Michael Prest, Director of British mission agency UFM, interviews David Platt, former head of the IMB and founder of the large radical.net ministry in the States. A really helpful hour-long chat around the role of churches, agencies and missionaries in the task of sharing the gospel to all peoples worldwide.
(3) The Resiliency of the African Church
Dr. Gladys Mwiti is the Founder and CEO of Oasis Africa – a pan-African professional counseling and behavioral health care organization. She is a global authority on trauma counseling, work that has put her on the front lines of tragedies such as the Rwandan genocide and the Westgate mall attack. Chris Wright talks with Gladys about both the resiliency and the struggles of the African church, and the context in which she launched her career as a clinical psychologist. 31-min podcast, with a 2nd part also.
J.D.Payne has put together a very fine collection of links to blogs, books, and podcasts about Allen: "Roland Allen (1868-1947) was an Anglican, priest, missionary, author, and provocateur. While his influence was felt in the latter twentieth and twenty-first centuries, his views were often disregarded during his lifetime. Books such as 'Missionary Methods: St. Paul’s or Ours?' (1912) and 'The Spontaneous Expansion of the Church' (1927) caused friction and frustration when published. However, today’s church planters are encased in Allen’s missiology, often without knowing it."
(2) Interview with Dr Harold Netland
Dr. Harold A. Netland is Professor of Philosophy of Religion and Intercultural Studies at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. Netland is a multidisciplinary scholar in missiology and philosophy of religion, and is currently writing about religious experience and epistemology. This 38-minute long podcast interview covers some of those topics, as well as his reflections on the discipline of missiology today (esp. in the US).
Cheating slightly here as this one is mine! ‘Mission Hits Journals’ is a free quarterly email linking readers to all recent articles in (the 32 and counting…) journals/periodicals related to World Mission and World Christianity. This enables you to keep thoroughly up to date with contemporary missiological trends and ideas, and means you don't need to spend time searching many different journal websites or risk missing out on something relevant to you and your studies. See advert at the top of this blog/email for more.
(1) Relentless Love: Living Out Integral Mission to Combat Poverty, Injustice and Conflict (2020)
Graham Joseph Hill (editor)
"How does the church’s calling to take the whole gospel to the whole world manifest in contexts of poverty, injustice, and conflict? In this collection of essays, drawn from the 7th Micah Global Triennial Consultation in the Philippines, Christians from across the globe reflect on the church’s role in alleviating suffering and developing transformed communities. At the heart of these reflections is the topic of resilience and its role in Christian community, integral mission, and faith-based development work."
(2) Transcending the Modern Mission Tradition (2020)
In 2017 Missions professor Michael Stoope (Baylor University, USA) wrote a 400+ page epic 'Transcending Mission' which challenged some key foundations and concept of modern mission as it is often presented and practised. It's an important book, but not an accessible one. He has now simplified it to 160 pages - more digestible for readers with less time! "The urgent task of our day is to reimagine the church’s witness to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Yet, a mere attempt to rehabilitate or revise the modern mission tradition will not do [as] the modern mental model undermines faithful witness and service. Now is the time to transcend the modern mission tradition – to become pilgrim witnesses."
(3) Against Principalities and Powers: Spiritual Beings in Relation to Communal Identity and the Moral Discourse of Ephesians (2020)
"Drawing parallels with contemporary contexts across the globe, especially in Africa, Professor Darko critiques the limited lens of Western interpretation, encouraging the church to embrace a broader array of worldviews in its pursuit of deep biblical understanding and sound application. Ultimately, Darko demonstrates that salvation in Ephesians is about deliverance from sin and the end of control by evil powers so we can flourish under the reign of God."
(1) Creation Care: An optional Extra?
A one-day Global Connections virtual conference to explore the theology and practice of caring for creation. Speakers include Rev. Dr. Chris Wright (International Director, Langham Partnership International), Dr. Rosalee V Ewell (Director of Church Relations for the United Bible Societies), and Seth Appiah-Kubi (Director, A Rocha Ghana). For mission agencies and churches supporting missions. 10am-4pm UK time, 4th February 2021.
(2) The Countries Where It’s Most Dangerous to Be a Christian in 2021
A short reminder of what many brothers and sisters around the world endure as they profess allegiance to Jesus Christ.
(1) "You are not called to the mission of God; you are made for the mission of God"
(2) “A materialistic world will not be won to Christ by a materialistic church”
(3) "Every time God expresses his missionary focus on all the nations he cuts the nerve of ethnocentric pride"
(1) Fall of Civilizations: Byzantium - Last of the Romans
At 3h 27mins this is an audiobook more than a podcast, but I thought it was excellent indeed. How fortunate we are to be able to get such things for free. The story of the Byzantium Empire, and particularly Constantinople, from ancient times to its fall in 1453. Expertly told, and with good sound effects too, including a choir from the Greek Orthodox Cathedral in London. This isn't just for history nuts:"Find out how this civilization suffered the loss of its Western half, and continued the unbroken legacy of Rome right through the middle ages. Hear about how it formed a bridge between two continents, and two ages, and learn how the impregnable walls of Constantinople were finally brought crashing to the ground."
(2) The Epic Hunt for One of the World’s Most Wanted Men
Brilliant long-form journalism from GQ magazine, combining thrilling descriptions of intelligence work with the harrowing story of the 1994 Rwandan genocide. "He was one of Africa’s richest moguls and helped unleash the Rwandan genocide of 1994. Then Félicien Kabuga vanished and stayed hidden for more than two decades—until recently, when the United Nations’ war crimes detectives picked up his trail and began to close in".
(3) 100 Tips for a better life
Terrible title, but I'm a sucker for these sort of lists. There's some good ones here e.g. #33: "Cultivate a reputation for being dependable. Good reputations are valuable because they’re rare (easily destroyed and hard to rebuild). You don’t have to brew the most amazing coffee if your customers know the coffee will always be hot."
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