Mission Hits #26 (August 2021)
Welcome to Mission Hits, a twice-monthly blog highlighting stimulating and significant recent resources related to world Christianity, world church, and world mission.
To receive each posting by email, sign up here
PLEASE PASS ON TO INTERESTED FRIENDS, COLLEAGUES & CHURCH MEMBERS
Please note there will only be one 'Mission Hits' in September.
Normal twice-monthly service will resume from October onwards.
PROFESSOR ANDREW WALLS (1928-2021)
Andrew Walls, a monumental figure in the study of World Christianity and Mission History, passed away this month. This edition of Mission Hits contains this extra section of links highlighting some of the tributes and articles pouring in for the man Christianity Today magazine once described as 'Probably the most important person you don't know…'.
(1) This selection of tributes from scholars and colleagues worldwide who knew and loved him is a good summary of the character, work, and legacy of Andrew Walls.
(2) I've long appreciated the books of Timothy Tennent, and I appreciated his considered description of the role of Andrew Walls in his life and writing.
(3) This article was originally published in 2005, and helpfully summarizes three of the key missiological themes that run through the ministry of Andrew Walls.
ESSENTIALS (must reads)
This is so important. We have (rightly) many people calling and mobilising and inviting Christians in the West to go into global missionary service. But what about those who don't? "It’s likely that very few of us (relatively speaking) will be called to be full-time missionaries, and that’s a good thing….Instead of lamenting where God didn’t send us, let’s ask him to show us why he sovereignly and specifically planted us where he did, [and to see] the fantastic kingdom opportunities he’s already set before us."
You don't get many blog posts honest enough to acknowledge that anger is a very common attribute, and downfall, of many missionaries. This post (from the 'A Life Overseas' blog) acknowledges the reality and rawness of anger and seeks to help missionaries understand and work through this emotion.
I've been preaching from 3 John all over the UK this past month. It's a fascinating glimpse into the motivations and dynamics of supporting and sending ministry partners. This article gives a helpful summary of this short and oft-ignored NT book, and its implications for church involvement in mission today.
GENERAL (worth your time)
Article from David Baldwin (Oak Hill College, London) about why cross-cultural training is essential for British theological students in light of globalisation and the diversity they will find in their future ministry settings. Some great real-life practical stories of what the joys and challenges in this might be!
OMF missionaries write about different ways their supporters have blessed and helped them. Useful for churches looking for ways to serve mission partners.
"What if I stopped asking God to use me? What if, instead, I asked God to prune me or to grow others with me in community?" Let's think carefully before we build a missionary identity based simply on our perceived significance…
AUDIO/VISUAL (podcasts, videos)
Dr. Femi Adeleye is an internationally renowned New Testament scholar, teacher, author and leader for the global church, and I greatly benefitted from his wisdom and conversation during this 2-part, hour-long podcast conversation with Chris Wright.
9-minute video from JD Payne: This week in 1732 the early Moravians commissioned and sent their first team to the West Indies. Who were the Moravians? What did they do? What can we learn from them? A nice little introduction to this important facet of the development of the modern European missions movement
DIGGING DEEPER (challenging but rewarding)
Some of you will be interested to see the online study program for the coming academic year, 2021-2022, at the Overseas Ministries Study Center at Princeton Theological Seminary. Free for doctoral/postdoctoral students in Mission Studies, World Christianity, & Intercultural Theology ($15 for others). Topics include 'What is Intercultural Theology?', 'What is World Christianity?', and many other conversations with leading authors/scholars.
The recent edition of Themelios journal published this critical review of Amos Young's important 2019 book 'Mission After Pentecost'. I include it here not to push one perspective or other, but to encourage you to read it and recognise some of the major fault lines that exist within modern evangelical missiology. Unwittingly, this article exposes them in a clear, coherent and systematic manner. You won't easily find answers here, but you'll see the questions.
Princeton Theological Seminary’s Department of History and Ecumenics hosted its third World Christianity Conference virtually on March 3-6, 2021, and have released some of the plenary sessions on video, including Andrew Walls on 'The Breakup of Early World Christianity and the Great Ecumenical Failure'.
BOOKS (best recent releases)
Links are to Amazon for best info/reviews. Other outlets are available...
Jerry M. Ireland
“Ireland revisits the much-debated question regarding the primacy of evangelism and social action in Pentecostalism. Using a missiological lens, he elaborates on the work of the Holy Spirit in mission as related to proclamation and church planting. A holistic concept of God's heart contrasts with the binary argument of evangelism versus social action.”
Jr. Herbert F. Lamp
"Exploring over fifteen ancient spiritual graces—such as Lectio Divina, rule of life, silence and solitude, and prayer of Examen, [this book] invites us to prioritize soul care, rather than treating ministry as a replacement for intimacy. After almost four decades of missionary service, Lamp has experienced the joys and potential pitfalls of serving Christ cross-culturally… and invites you to journey with our Father intimately as you cross your cultural, linguistic, ethnic, and geographic borders, serving him wholeheartedly and passionately."
John Massey, Mike Morris, W Madison Grace II (eds)
"A contemporary evaluation of the history and present status of Southern Baptist Missions…Besides recounting its historical development, the contributors to this volume critically evaluate the IMB's strategies and methods, as well as examine its controversies, regional developments, and organizational changes. The concluding chapter explores how Southern Baptist missions can best adapt to an era of global Christianity."
MISCELLANEOUS (varied but valuable)
(In which I invoke author's privilege to highlight my own work in Mission Hits. Again.)
I wrote a short piece for the Crosslinks (UK) website describing seven mission-related books which I think are instructive and inspiring to Christians for growing in their passion for and participation in God's global mission.
Amidst so many words written from secular and Christian perspectives about recent events in Afghanistan, I found this prayer from Upstream Collective important: "Give us eyes to see the rapid movements of mercy rushing to fill these newly wounded spaces. Let us see in this the echoes of your own mercy and compassion".
I was interested to read this Christianity Today article about the recent gathering of the Korean World Missionary Fellowship last month - a useful overview of some of the encouragements and challenges to this important part of the global missionary movement: "There was a tone of urgency among senior missionaries at the decline of a Korean missions movement that once sent the second-highest number of missionaries in the world."
MISSIONS QUOTES (thought-provoking one-liners)
(1) "Mission begins with a kind of explosion of joy. The news that the rejected and crucified Jesus is alive is something that cannot possibly be suppressed."
(2) "The right question, you see, is not if God has called you to His mission, only where."
(3) "The completion of the Great Commission will include great suffering, but eternity will prove it is worth the price."
AND FINALLY (unrelated but interesting!)
Fascinating infographic beautifully displaying not just the most-spoken languages globally, but how they connect and relate to one another. Suspect many Mission Hits readers will be captivated by this.
Driving from New York to Los Angeles in 25 hours? 2020's lockdowns and empty roads meant new attempts on the 'Cannonball' cross-country USA record: "Driving cross-country is about the most American thing you can do. Driving it at speed, I feel, is just the embodiment of the American outlaw spirit, kind of civil disobedience at its finest, albeit its most immature and selfish state.” GQ longform article about this terrifying, horrifying, and fascinating race, "the only race in America that could be happening any day, at any time, with almost no one on the planet being any the wiser".,
When you want to buy me a birthday present, this would be a good place to start. I'm sure many of you would feel the same way.
Full searchable archives of all Mission Hits resources from edition #1
Questions, comments, or suggestions for the next edition?
Find out more about fromeverynation.net