From Every Nation (Chris Howles)
Mission Hits #3 (August 2020)
Welcome to Mission Hits, a fortnightly blog highlighting stimulating and significant recent resources related to world Christianity, world church, and world mission.
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(1) General, (2) Video/Audio, (3) Digging deeper, and (4) Books.
(1) Getting to Know the World Church
British missiological researcher Eddie Arthur asks if it's possible to know what is happening outside of our own Western context, and if so, where can we even start and who do we listen to? A short and rich two-part blog (this link is to the 2nd, which directs you to the 1st)
(2) On Your Knees: Missions Work Thousands of Miles Away
"A man once spent 20 minutes and 20 seconds one day looking at two different emails." I was challenged to pray more for those involved in God's mission worldwide by this ABWE article.
(3) 40 Days of Great Commission-themed devotionals
Starting on 15th August, North American Missions network Missio Nexus are emailing out 40 daily devotionals for prayer based on the theme of the Great Commission. I've signed up.
(4) What Happens to Those Who Never Hear the Gospel?
This Gospel Coalition article is a few years old, but does a good job at briefly explaining the main Biblical arguments for the positions of 'exclusivism' and 'inclusivism' before arguing for the truth of the former. This is an important question in missiology, for "your view of missions, for example—in terms of both its nature and its urgency—will be directly shaped by your view [on this topic]."
(5) Free Course on Missionary Mobilization
The Center for Missionary Mobilization and Retention (which, as Europeans may have guessed from the spelling, is in the States - Trinity Bible College and Graduate School) is offering a free week-long graduate level course on Missionary Mobilization which, as far as I can tell, is a far more established concept than it is in the UK. Takes place the week starting 16th November, 2020. I imagine it'll be good.
(6) Mission Training in the New Normal
Martin Hickey at All Nations Christian College in the UK reflects upon what may need to change in missions training in this era of Covid-19. He suggests greater emphasis on new styles of intercultural team leadership, pastoral care and issues of vulnerability and resilience, online evangelism and discipleship, and diaspora mission and global migration.
(7) Pain-Pleasure: An Emerging Worldview
Traditionally, global worldviews have been categorised into three: 1.) Guilt-innocence (The West), 2.) Honour-Shame (Asia and Arab countries), and 3.) Fear-Power (Africa and animist cultures). It's a broad brush, but there's value to it. However I really enjoyed these 4 blog posts (from 2018) by David Williams arguing that the West is no longer shaped by a 'guilt-innocence' paradigm but by a 'pain-pleasure' one. The inner voice is not a lawyer but a therapist. This has big implications for missional thinking.
(8) When short-term mission gets cancelled…
Tim Herbert gives advice on the Global Connections blog to those whose plans for short-term mission this summer have been cancelled: "If God’s now saying he wants you here, how are you going to get on and do that with as much enthusiasm as you were pouring into your overseas mission?" Is there someone you know who you could pass this on to?
(1) Is all Theology Cultural? Biblical Authority and Contextualization
37-minute audio episode from the excellent 'Missions Podcast' about this important topic: "A missionary’s job is partly to make the transcendents truths of God’s word understandable within human language, context, and culture. But is it possible to know God’s objective truth, or are we always “stuck” within our culture—making modern missions inescapably colonialist?"
(2) From 'Ubuntu' to Koinonia: The Church and Indigenous African Compassion
A 40-min interview of Dr Jerry Ireland (Professor of Missions and Theology in the US) by Dr Harvey Kwiyani (Lecturer in African Christianity and Theology at Liverpool Hope University). Even if you don't want to watch it all (which you should!), it's still worth clicking on this link just for the few quotes that missions blogger Eddie Arthur has picked out here and listed below the video. Quite something.
A 15-minute round table video discussion from 2015 on that important question. It may not solve it for you, but the different perspectives are laid out well. So much of our vocabulary, strategy, and praxis seems to hinge on our perspectives on this issue.
(1) Evangelical Review of Theology
The August 2020 edition of the Evangelical Review of Theology is here, including articles on "World Diasporas: An Opportunity for World Mission" and "Interreligious Dialogue: Towards an Evangelical Approach"
(1) Breaking Through the Boundaries: Biblical Perspectives on Mission from the Outside In (2019)
This looks great, although not cheap: Biblical case studies of Gentiles involved in God's mission purposes, with a view to understanding mission today 'from the margins'. By Paul Hertig, Young Lee Hertig, and Sarita Gallagher Edwards.
(2) The Kingdom of God in Africa: A History of African Christianity (2020)
"African Christianity is not an imported religion but rather one of the oldest forms of Christianity in the world. Mark Shaw and Wanjiru M. Gitau trace the development and spread of African Christianity through its two-thousand year history, demonstrating how the African church has faithfully testified to the power and diversity of God’s kingdom."
(3) Fertility and Faith: The Demographic Revolution and the Transformation of World Religions (2020)
Many readers will know of professor of History and religious scholar Philip Jenkins for his 2002 book 'The Next Christendom: The Rise of Global Christianity. This is his latest offering: "High-fertility societies, like most of contemporary Africa, tend to be fervent and devout. The lower a population's fertility rates, the greater the tendency for people to detach from organized or institutional religion. Thus, fertility rates supply an effective gauge of secularization trends. In Fertility and Faith, Philip Jenkins maps the demographic revolution that has taken hold of many countries around the globe in recent decades and explores the implications for the future development of the world's religions."
(4) Scattered and Gathered: A Global Compendium of Diaspora Missiology (2020)
This looks genuinely epic, and crucially important: "The twenty-first century is marked by mass migration. Massive population movements of the last century have radically challenged our study and practice of mission. In this volume, experts in diaspora missiology from across the globe analyze the development of missions to migrants and add to our understanding of the contemporary church’s opportunities and responsibilities for mission amongst diaspora groups."
Mission hits is a ministry of www.fromeverynation.net
For questions, comments, or suggestions for the next edition, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Please note that I choose links to resources I find stimulating and/or significant. Posting a link does not mean I personally agree with everything there!