Orthodox and Evangelicals Engaged in Missional Dialogue – Communique of 2014 LOI Meeting

Cathedral-Visit

Relationships between Evangelicals and Orthodox engaged in mission have not always been positive, but the Lausanne-Orthodox Initiative is working towards increased mutual understanding and a healing of wounds, in order to collaborate more effectively in God’s mission. Sixty senior church and mission leaders, ecumenists and theologians from many parts of the world came together for the initiative’s second consultation. Gathering from 15-19 September at the Orthodox monastery of St Vlash in Albania, and hosted by His Beatitude Archbishop Anastasios and the Orthodox Autocephalous Church of Albania, the consultation was chaired by Bishop Angaelos of the Coptic Orthodox Church and Mrs Grace Mathews of the Lausanne Movement. Continue reading “Orthodox and Evangelicals Engaged in Missional Dialogue – Communique of 2014 LOI Meeting”

Curtis Sergeant via Justin Long – Recognizing who to watch and learn from

Here is a ‘list of characteristics by which you might recognize someone to watch and learn from’:

  1. They practice what they preach.
  2. They pass on what they learn.
  3. They are as excited to see fruitfulness from others as they are from themselves.
  4. They are concerned with building the Kingdom rather than their kingdom.
  5. They concern themselves with the depth of their ministry and let God determine the breadth of their ministry.
  6. They invest heavily in a few fruitful people.

See HERE the next ten characteristics.

YWAM Iasi – Mission Training Program 2014-2015

YWAM Iasi poster

If you are someone who seeks to know the truth, desires to live abundant life and dares to be challenged in order to become the person God intended for you to be, then…

Come and join us this fall!

University of the Nations and Youth With A Mission Iasi invite you to the 3rd eddition of our training program which will begin on 1 October 2014 and will end on 30 June 2015, in the following format: Continue reading “YWAM Iasi – Mission Training Program 2014-2015”

Darrell Jackson – Nationalism and Evangelical Mission: Issues for Evangelical Leaders

Darrell Jackson
Darrell Jackson

My friend Darrell Jackson has just published a very interesting article on the Lausanne Movement website, on nationalism, a theme of the greatest interest for me. Here is the entire article, for your evaluation.

* * *

In 1861, the Rev James Adderley was a British Member of Parliament. His prayer for ‘national confession’ included the line, ‘We are truly sorry for all the past sins of this nation. We contemplate in deepest contrition the sins of which we are now guilty’.

Australian Prime Minister, Tony Abbot, recently attacked the state-funded broadcaster, ABC, for its coverage of allegations that Australia had been spying on the Indonesian Prime Minister. Abbot complained that the ABC ‘instinctively takes everyone’s side but Australia’s . . . you should not leap to be critical of your own country’. Journalists were left wondering whether their primary loyalty was to accurate reporting of the truth or to the national interest.

The contrast could not be more apparent. Continue reading “Darrell Jackson – Nationalism and Evangelical Mission: Issues for Evangelical Leaders”

Is the agency, the church? – The Long View

Is the agency, the church? – The Long View.

This is an interesting conversation.

What do you think?

Being Disciples of Truth in Europe Today

I have received recently, from Rev. Dr. Christopher Wright, International Ministries Director of Langham Partnership, the request to respond to a few questions as he prepares for a presentation at a coming Lausanne meeting. The general topic he will address is the one in the title of this post.

Since the questions are of general relevance for many of the readers of this blog, I have decided to post here my response to Chris Wright.

You are free to interact with my resp[onses, or the questions, if you are interested, whether you agree or disagree with me. So, here it is. Continue reading “Being Disciples of Truth in Europe Today”

Pentecostal European Mission Consultation – Cluj, 13-16 Nov

PEM

Ieri a inceput la Cluj, la Hotel Napoca, intr-o stranie abordare de tip incognito, (nici macar Dr. Corneliu Constantineanu, Rectorul Institutului Teologic Penticostal din Bucuresti – ITP – nu stia de asta), de parca n-ar fi cazut comunismul, o reuniune pe tema misiunilor penticostale in Europa.

Eu am aflat intimplator despre acest eveniment de la prietenul meu Dr. Eugen Matei, de la Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, Ca., care fusese anuntat pe intranet de participarea la acest eveniment a cunoscutului profesor Veli-Matti Kärkkäinen, de origine din Finlanda, impreuna cu care Eugen preda cursul de teologie sistematica. Profesorul Karkkeinen este autorul unei serii impresionante de sinteze teologice (intre care mentionez doua pe care le-am folosit cu succes pe cind lucram la doctorat: The Trinity: Global Perspectives, si An Introduction to Ecclesiology: Ecumenical, Historical & Global Perspectives; vezi mai multe AICI).


Veli-Matti Kärkkäinen

Daca venirea in tara a profesorului finlandez ar fi fost cunoscuta dinainte, poate ca acesta si-ar fi gasit timp sa se intilneasca si cu studentii de la ITP. Continue reading “Pentecostal European Mission Consultation – Cluj, 13-16 Nov”

Consultation Images | Lausanne-Orthodox Initiative

St. Vlash Consultation September 2013

Consultation Images | Lausanne-Orthodox Initiative.

This is the website of the Lausanne Orthodox Initiative, dedicated ti the cooperation in mission between Orthodox and Evangelical believers.

Lausanne-Orthodox Initiative Communique

Lausanne Orthodox Initiative logo

The Mission of God

The first consultation of the Lausanne-Orthodox Initiative

At the gracious invitation of His Beatitude Archbishop Dr Anastasios Yannoulatos of Albania 46 Eastern and Oriental Orthodox and Evangelical leaders, from 20 different countries, gathered at St. Vlash Monastery in Albania from 2 to 6 September 2013 for the first international consultation of the Lausanne-Orthodox Initiative. Continue reading “Lausanne-Orthodox Initiative Communique”

Gina Bellofatto – The State of the World – Lausanne Global Leadership Forum

This presentation was given at the Lausanne Global Leadership Forum in Bangalore, India in June 2013. Learn more at http://www.lausanne.org.

OC International – Three Encouraging Themes from Central and Eastern Europe

It has been about five months since I shared “A Preliminary Analysis of the Central and Eastern Europe GCPN Region,” an executive summary of the opportunities and challenges for making disciples in Central and Eastern Europe. (See the notes at the end for more details). Since writing this report, I’ve been privileged to speak with a number of mission leaders who focus on this region. As I’ve listened to them tell their stories, I’ve noted three encouraging themes.

New Prayer Initiatives

If a breakthrough is to happen in Central and Eastern Europe, it is agreed that prayer is key. More united, focused, prevailing prayer is needed. Several shared what they are doing to mobilize others to pray. A worker in Budapest has started a 24/7 prayer room. A Brazilian missionary couple produced a booklet to guide their prayer partners to intercede for 30 different topics. The Balkans had a prayer day May 4. A pastor in Kosovo sends out e-mail updates. There are numerous national prayer networks. Workers in Bulgaria produced a “virtual prayer walk” and a 30 day guide to mobilize prayer (pray4bulgaria.wordpress.com/virtual-prayer-walks). Another has prepared a guide to pray for a city based on the Lord’s Prayer (udmms.com/cityprayer). And I’ve heard of a woman prayer walking in Romania from Timisoara to Bucharest. It is encouraging to see such creative ways to motivate and guide people to pray. May their numbers increase!

So what are you doing to encourage others to pray for your country? Continue reading “OC International – Three Encouraging Themes from Central and Eastern Europe”

Further Comments About Snyder’s Text on Holistic Evangelism

As NT Wright says in a recent interview each generation has to re-examine for themselves the basis of their faith, as each period confronts us with new challenges. Being faithful to Christ in the 21st century is quite different from being faithful, say, in the 3rd, or the 19th century. And, similarly, being faithful to Christ is somewhat different in an ecclesial ministry and in the humanitarian work of, say, World Vision International, even if the principles remain basically the same.

Moreover, when we are called to ‘translate’ the (hopefully) same content of the Gospel into different contexts, we have to clothe it in contextual manner. Michael Green, in his book Evangelism in the Early Church explains in a masterly manner how the gospel preached by Peter to the Jews, in terms of law, sin and forgiveness, becomes in the mouth of Paul, when preaching to pagan Greek the gospel of liberation from the fear of powers and principalities. The essence of the gospel is all there, but the way in which it is communicated is nuancedly different because of the contextual issues it had to respond to.

This truth is also illustrated in a dispute that took place last year, when  a fundamentalist group called Biblical Missiology accused Wycliffe Translators  that they have distorted severely biblical Trinitarian language in their latest translation in Arabic for Muslim contexts. A recent article in The Christian Post  informs us that Wycliffe accepted the conclusions of a report made by an independent panel assembled at their request by World Evangelical Alliance to look into this matter. Wycliffe was, in fact, vindicated in their contextual choices, while the panel also formulated a series of safeguards, in order to help preserve the faithfulness to the original intent, while the biblical message is translated for different cultures. I find this absolutely fascinating; and scary at the same time.

//

A Few Comments About Snyder’s Text on Holistic Evangelism

After I have published (see HERE) Howard Snyder’s text on evangelism, somebody asked if indeed the author’s position was aligned 100% with what the New Testament has to say about evangelism. In other words, is not evangelism primarily a communication of good news and is not ‘conversion evangelism’ the prime emphasis of the biblical text?

Here is my answer to this absolutely legitimate question:

* * *

In my opinion, the question of the meaning of ‘evangelism’ cannot be decided based on an etymological study of ‘euangelizo’ or of an exegetical study of the occurrences of this term in the NT, which is similar to the fact that the meaning of ‘church’ in the NT cannot be legitimately decided on the basis of an etymological study of ‘ekklesia’ (as coming from the Greek ek-kaleo) and the exegetical study of the occurrences of this term in the Bible (74 in the Septuagint and 114 in the NT).

The reasons for this are multiple: Continue reading “A Few Comments About Snyder’s Text on Holistic Evangelism”

Howard Snyder – Evangelism and the Kingdom of God

Most evangelicals reduce evangelism to what Snyder calls ‘ conversion evangelism’. In his opinion, this is a reductionistic view of evangelism and, I would add, it reflects a distorted view of the Gospel.

Here is what Snyder says:

In the New Testament, the term “evangelism” specifically refers to the good news of the kingdom of God. “To evangelize” literally means to proclaim the good news of the coming of God’s reign.

Jesus came “proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and curing every disease and every sickness” (Mt. 9:35). In Luke 4:43, Jesus says that his central purpose was to “proclaim the good news of [literally, “evangelize concerning”] the kingdom of God.” Again in Luke 8:1, Jesus’ proclamation of the kingdom is described as “evangelizing.” We read in Acts 8:12, translating literally, that Philip “evangelized about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ” (See also Mt. 4:23, 24:14; Luke 16:16). Continue reading “Howard Snyder – Evangelism and the Kingdom of God”

Wycliffe Bible Translators Accept Panel Report Over Controversial Muslim Context Translation

Wycliffe-logo

In June 2012 I has discussing HERE about a vicious fundamentalist attack raised by a quite pathetic site called Biblical Missiology against Wycliffe Bible Translators for what they considered to be dangerous choices in their latest Arabic translation of the Bible, mostly around language describing the persons of the Trinity.

Responding to this ominous and ill intended challenge, Wycliffe asked for an independent Panel to study the issue a write a report. The report of the Panel called by the World Evangelical Alliance has been presented recently and Wycliffe accepted it.

In principle, the report vindicated the care which Wycliffe took in translating Trinitarian language for Muslim contexts and also formulated a series of safeguards to avoiding tempering with the intended meaning of the biblical text. I am quite sure this is not going to satisfy fundamentalists, but anyway they are never satisfied except with their narrow views.

Here are the first three recommendations of the panel: Continue reading “Wycliffe Bible Translators Accept Panel Report Over Controversial Muslim Context Translation”

Open Doors – Praying With Your Heart in Iraq

map of Iraq - religions

This is my comfort in my affliction, for Your word has given me life.
(Psalms 119:50)

Located in northeast Iraq, somewhat removed from the mainstreams of war, the mountains of Kurdistan are used by many as places of refuge.

Makruhi, a Christian teacher and servant of the Lord, knows the roads through the mountain passes well. But this year an early storm has made the trek more difficult. As her humble vehicle traverses the muddy ruts, she works hard to arrive on time.

High in a mountain village, 30 women are assembled, waiting for Makruhi to arrive. Some are ethnic Kurdish; others refugees, displaced from various cities in Iraq. All have suffered the ravages of war. Some are widowed, having lost not only their husbands, but also the provision they provided. Some have lost children. War is no discerner of persons. All suffer. Continue reading “Open Doors – Praying With Your Heart in Iraq”

Evangelical Mission in the Eastern European Orthodox Contexts – Conference Report

Missiological conference in Moldova 2013

We dreamed about  such an  event for many years, and  here finally it  happened.“ –  by these words Dr. Mihai Malancea, the academic dean of College of Theology and Education (CTE), completed his closing speech on March 22-23, 2013 on  passed in  Moldova Missiological conference on the topic: “Evangelical Mission in the Eastern European Orthodox contexts: Bulgaria, Romania, Moldova, Ukraine”.

The theme of conference excited special interest among the pastors, church leaders, theologi- cal seminary teachers and leadership of the Union of Evangelical Christian-Baptist Churches in Moldova (UECBCM). This conference became possible with the support of CTE, “Beginning of the life” Organization and Bethany Church Chisinau.

135 participants from 16 countries of Eastern and Western Europe, Central Asia and North America, represented   five  denominations, 20churches and 14 different organizations, among which there were the Oxford Center for Mission Studies (OCMS), International  Baptist Theological Seminary (IBTS), Ukrainian Evangelical Theological Seminary, UECBCM, Youth for Christ, OM, World Vision and many others. Continue reading “Evangelical Mission in the Eastern European Orthodox Contexts – Conference Report”

Din Siberia. Cu dragoste. Povestea unei românce care a locuit 10 ani în polul frigului din Rusia | adevarul.ro

Din Siberia. Cu dragoste. Povestea unei românce care a locuit 10 ani în polul frigului din Rusia | adevarul.ro.

Un surprinzator articol in ziarul central Adevarul despre Yan si Dana Sisoev, doi dintre fostii mei studenti din vremea cind predam teologie la Oradea.

Dupa terminarea facultatii, pina in 2009, ei au trait si l-au slujit pe Dumnezeu in Iakutia, una dintre cele mai reci regiuni ale Siberiei, iar acum traiesc in Hunedoara.

Maldives – The Accursed Paradise

Maldives - Paradise-Island-Resort-Spa

Light Reveals Darkness

A Christian worker, who ministers in the Maldives, shares thoughts in this heartfelt letter.

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

“How do I begin to share with you what is in my heart for the Islanders? Indeed there is much to tell. Let me begin by saying thank you. Thank you for taking a step into the faith adventure that will take you into the heart of paradise, the Maldives. Despite its beauty, you will be surprised to see that the true heart of the Islands is empty and dark, for it doesn’t have the light of the Lord Jesus Christ.

“The Body of Christ in Maldives is very weak and hurting. To be a Christian in this paradise country is a living hell. The few believers are scattered and in hiding for fear that they may lose family, friends, property, and rights if the authorities find out that they are followers of Christ. Getting them together runs the risk of discovery by the government. Quite a number of these believers are also racked with drug and alcohol addiction, which is rampant in the Islands. Continue reading “Maldives – The Accursed Paradise”

The Impact of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict on Ministry to Muslims | The Lausanne Global Conversation

The Impact of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict on Ministry to Muslims | The Lausanne Global Conversation.

This is a topic worth considering, but it is often avoided because of the aggressive Zionist that dominates much of evangelicalism.

The C1 to C6 Model for Missions in Muslim Contexts

The ‘C1 to C6 model’, related to what is called ‘insiders movements’ within Islamic contexts, is much discussed today, for and against, in missions environments. Yet, the original starting point of this.

The model was presented for the first time in an article written by John Travis (a pseudonym), titled ‘The C1 to C6 Spectrum: A Practical Tool for Defining Six Types of ‘Christ-centered Communities’ (‘C’) Found in the Muslim Context,” published in Evangelical Missions Quarterly, in October 1998, pp. 407-408.
Here are the two pages of this foundational article:
John Travis - The C 1 to C 6 Spectrum_Page_2

Speaking of Jesus: The Art of Non-Evangelism – Isa in Basra

speakingofjesus

And now, here is another story of Carl, this time from Basra, in Iraq.

 * * *

I was staying with friends at a hotel in Basra, Iraq, in the spring of 2003. While there, we managed to attract the curiosity of the hotel staff. They were curious about this team of international people staying at their hotel. Since a war was well under way, they were all the more intrigued because we weren’t wearing camouflage and toting M4 carbines. During the day, out in the streets, we had given out all of our texts—Arabic translations of the gospel of Luke. We were checking in for another day and as we stood in the lobby near the front desk, the hospitality manager leaned across the counter and looked at me.

“Why have you come here?” he asked in English. “Are you with the American army?”

“No,” I said, “we followed Jesus to Basra, so we are trying to find out what He is doing here.” He took in his breath with a hiss. “Isa?” he asked, using the Muslims’ name for Jesus. “Isa is in Basra?” “We think so,” my friend Samir said, “and He wants us to help out in any way we can.” The manager made something like a gasping sound and snatched the phone off the cradle. He rattled off a quick sentence in Arabic, hung up, and came around in front of the desk. “If you please,” he said, “stay right here. I know you must be very busy, but I had to call my brother. He loves to hear about Isa.” Samir and I looked at each other. Isa was in Basra after all. Continue reading “Speaking of Jesus: The Art of Non-Evangelism – Isa in Basra”

Speaking of Jesus: The Art of Non-Evangelism – Jesus, the Unfair Advantage

speakingofjesus

I have read today Carl Medearis’s book Speaking Of Jesus: The Art of Not-Evangelism. An easy read, in the vein of ‘faith vs religion’ – in this author’s words, ‘Jesus vs. Christianity’.

Since this author has a lot of experience in the Middle East, an area where I work too, but also in majority Christian contexts,  I have decided to share with you two fragments from this book that, I hope, will inspire and motivate you to be a genuine witness for Jesus, wherever God called you to live.

Here is the first one, from one of the most Christian cities in the US (whatever that means).

* * *

About a year ago in Colorado Springs, a slightly humorous and possibly profound illustration of how we can focus on Jesus rather than our “Christianity” took place. I accepted an invitation to participate in a citywide discussion, hosted by a church, on the topic of interfaith dialogue. The church had already invited the local Catholic bishop, the leader of the local mosque and Islamic center, and two Jewish rabbis. They needed one more Muslim leader and one more Christian. When they first contacted me, they asked if I knew another influential Muslim leader in the States and if I would be the other Christian guy in the panel. The first question was simple. I knew plenty of good Muslim leaders who would love to do this and immediately thought of my imam friend from the Middle East who currently lived in the States. The more complicated question was whether or not I’d represent “Christianity,” given my propensity to focus on Jesus and leave the religious stuff to others. But the organizers knew me a bit and said it was okay if I just talked about Jesus and didn’t worry about explaining or defending the doctrines of Christianity. So I agreed.

It was a funny night. Several hundred people crowded the hall as the introductions began. I sat at the far left end of the panel. On the other end were the two Muslims. In the middle were the two rabbis, then the bishop and me. The introductions went like this: “The honorable Muslim sheikh, Imam Yusef el Ahmadi, leader of the Colorado Springs Islamic Society.” Next, “The doctor, sheikh, and leading thinker, Imam Ali bin Muhammad, president of the American Muslim Society of Imams”—and other really important things. Then the two rabbis: “Rabbi Yossi Guren of the”—insert name of synagogue that sounds very important—and “the first woman rabbi in Colorado,” founder and president of the most-amazing-something that I can’t remember. Finally, they introduced the bishop, a man immortalized as the Catholic leader of the Colorado Springs area since the beginning of time. Then the host came to me and said—this is no lie—“And finally we have … uh …” “Carl. The name’s Carl,” I said. He was obviously embarrassed not to know my title or my great accomplishments—of which I have neither. So he just said, “Mr. Carl,” and everyone laughed.

Each of us was supposed to answer two questions, and we each had three to five minutes to respond. The first question was, “How does your religion get you to heaven?” Good question! The two Muslim guys did a fine job articulating the various views within Islam on what it takes to get you to heaven, which all come down to the “will of God.” The two Jewish rabbis did a great job explaining the uncertainty of life after death within Judaism, hence the focus on this life within their faith. The Catholic bishop also did a very good job helping everyone understand the various Christian interpretations of the afterlife and how to get there. Then it was my turn.

Believe me, I was praying for wisdom and something significant to say. This is what came out: “Actually, my religion doesn’t get you to heaven.” I probably should have explained or added to that, but that’s all I said. The other panelists shifted uncomfortably in their seats and the host asked if I’d like to explain a little more. “Sure,” I said. “It’s just that I’ve never seen a religion save anyone. All religions are great at laying out some basic rules—dos and don’ts—that are good for our lives, but they don’t really provide hope or any kind of eternal security. It seems religions end up causing more trouble than solving anything.” “So then,” asked the host, “how do you get to heaven?” This all seemed so basic, but I thought I might as well go ahead and state the obvious. “Well, it’s Jesus. He didn’t start a new religion. He came to provide us a model for life and a way to God. He’s it. Believing in and following Him is the way. He takes us to heaven, not a religion.”

On to simple question number two. “How does your religion deal with terrorism?” The two Muslims felt a little defensive about this question, but did a nice job denouncing all forms of terrorism and explaining how the Qur’an does not provide a place for it. The two Jewish rabbis spent most of their time trying to convince the two Muslims that they had misread their own book on the subject. The bishop gave a lovely talk about mercy mixed with justice. Here’s what I said: “I don’t really know. I’m not sure how the religion I grew up in would or should deal with terrorism. But I do have some thoughts how Jesus might deal with terrorists because He had two with Him in His inner circle of friends. A Zealot and a tax collector. A political insurgent and an economic terrorizer of the common folk. What He did with these two was bring them in as confidants. As students. Disciples. And made them apostles of the early faith. It actually seems to me that the worse someone was, the more Jesus liked them. He didn’t just have ‘mercy’ in the way we think of it, as a sweet, sappy, lovey-dovey sort of thing. It was mercy with a bite. Mercy that led the people out of where they were into a new place. This is what Jesus did with the worst of His day. He was really only hard on one type of folks—people like us.” I looked down the line and smiled. “People like me. Hypocrites and such.”

I’m sure at this point they were all wondering why they’d invited me. We did questions and answers for about twenty more minutes and then wrapped it up. Two things happened at the end of the night that made it all worthwhile. I had a little crowd of people around me in the front asking questions. Some happy, others angry, and still others just slightly confused. One woman was more than a little upset with me. I’d obviously shaken up the box where she kept her faith and she needed to tell me a few things. Our conversation went something like this: “You didn’t even mention the Trinity!” she said. “True,” I replied, “but I didn’t think I was talking about that and it didn’t come up in the course of the conversation, so …” That clearly wasn’t good enough. “But surely you do believe in the Trinity, don’t you? And there are some other things you didn’t mention as well that you should have, like the atonement.” I knew I needed to tread lightly with her. Everyone lives in a context and it’s good to be sensitive to the American Christian context as much as any other. So I simply said, “You’re probably right, and of course I believe everything that’s in this book.” I held up my Bible, showing her that it appeared well read.

Right then, a young man, hardly able to contain himself, blurted out, “I’m a Muslim. I came with the imam tonight. I’m from his mosque and he invited me to come.” He turned and addressed the woman who had been speaking with me and said, “If this man had talked about theology or doctrine or even Christianity, I wouldn’t have been interested. I’ve heard all of that from my Christian friends. But he talked about Jesus in a way I’ve never heard before and had never thought of. I thought it was amazing.” I looked at the woman, trying not to give her the “I told you so” stare. To her credit, she said, “Wow. Maybe you’re right. I wonder if I’ve confused my religion with my Savior?”

At that moment the local imam—who had been engaged in plenty of interesting conversations at the other end of the stage—came up and said, “Carl, Carl, Carl. You had an unfair advantage.” He was smiling but also wagging his finger in my face. I wasn’t sure where this was going. “What’s that, sir?” I asked a little timidly. “While we were all busy defending our religion and our positions, you simply talked about Jesus. You cheated!” Then he let out a huge laugh and slapped me on the back, said, “good job,” and walked away.

I wonder if that sums it up. We have an unfair advantage. We know the Creator. We’re friends with the King. We know where truth is found and its name. We know what brings life and what gives life and where eternal life resides. It’s not fair. While others are explaining and defending various “isms” and “ologies,” we’re simply pointing people to our friend. The One who uncovers and disarms. The beginning and the end of the story.

Medearis, Carl, Speaking of Jesus: The Art of Not-Evangelism (p. 33-38) David C. Cook Kindle Edition.

Conference: Evangelical Mission in Eastern European Orthodox Contexts

Evangelical Mission in the Eastern European Orthodox Contexts

The conference will be hosted by the College of Theology and Education from Kishinev, Moldova.

The Exciting World of Churchgoing

The Exciting World of Churchgoing

James McGrath has just published on his blog this very meaningful cartoon, together with a short explanation that I paste here with his permission:

I think the takeaway message of the above cartoon by Dave Walker is this: Churches regularly hold special events for the purpose of having something interesting and enjoyable to invite someone to who does not attend the church. The subtle message is that what church is normally like is uninteresting and unenjoyable. Now, having been to churches where every sermon was evangelistic, I want to say that it is absolutely appropriate that the typical service be aimed primarily at those who attend regularly, and not just be for the benefit of anyone who turns up unexpected.

But if the event you invite potential newcomers to is too different from what church is normally like, how likely are they to stay? And if what you do normally in church is dull and uninviting, why not change it?

You may see HERE his original post.

Worshiping Jesus in the Mosque – An Incredibly Interesting Interview

Worshiping Jesus in the Mosque

The January-February 2013 issue of Christianity Today is dedicated to the amazing (and debated) phenomenon of the ‘Muslim followers of Jesus’ (‘insider movements‘ known by many names and is hotly contested by missions fundamentalists and some of the traditionalist churches in Islamic contexts).

Here is the testimony of the conversion of one such believer:

One night the only food my wife and I had was a small portion of macaroni. My wife prepared it very nicely. Then one of her friends knocked on the door. I told myself, The macaroni is not sufficient for even the two of us, so how will it be enough for three of us? But because we have no other custom, we opened the door, and she came in to eat with us.

While we were eating, the macaroni started to multiply; it became full in the bowl. I suspected that something was wrong with my eyes, so I started rubbing them. I thought maybe my wife hid some macaroni under the small table, so I checked, but there was nothing. My wife and I looked at each other, but because the guest was there we said nothing. Continue reading “Worshiping Jesus in the Mosque – An Incredibly Interesting Interview”

Tim Dearborn – Beyond Duty: A Passion for Christ, a Heart for Mission

Beyond Duty

Friends, I am very glad to announce to you the publication of a book on Christian witness, Beyond Duty: A Passion for Christ, a Heart for Mission, written by my former boss in World Vision, Dr. Tim Dearborn, former Partnership Leader for Christian Commitment.

Here is how the book is described on Amazon website:

DO YOU WANT TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN THE WORLD, but feel overwhelmed by all there is to do?

Do you sometimes doubt that significant change is even possible? There is good news. God isn’t worried about the future of the world, nor is God merely bringing minor changes. “Behold, I make all things new,” says the Lord. The coming kingdom brings total transformation, metamorphosis. What’s more, God doesn’t call us to carry the burdens of the world and its transformation on our own shoulders. Christ carries the world and by the power of the Spirit we live in Christ. We do not have a mission for God in the world. Rather, the God of mission has us in the world. Each of us has a vital role in the world. We are invited to participate God’s generous love bringing heaven to earth through us, now! Continue reading “Tim Dearborn – Beyond Duty: A Passion for Christ, a Heart for Mission”

You Lost Me: Why Young Christians Are Leaving Church

If you have become interested in this topic by watching my previous post on David Kinnaman’s book You Lost Me, here is a more extended interview with the author of this book.

Kenneth Bailey – Will it Be a Line or a Circle?

Kenneth E Bailey
Dr. Kenneth E Bailey

One of the truly remarkable spiritual  movements of our day is the fact that tens of thousands of Muslims from North Africa to Indonesia are dreaming dreams and seeing visions of Jesus. These appearances of Jesus are deeply personal and as life changing as Paul’s vision on the road to Damascus.

“‘Jesus the Messiah’ is the name they hear in these ‘Resurrection  appearances’ for that is what they are for those who experience them. The people who see these visions find each other and new ‘house churches’ are emerging from those encounters.  These house churches, as in China, prefer to remain ‘under the radar,’ and naturally  they use the styles of worship with which they are familiar. In November of this year I was privileged to receive authenticated  news of one such movement in which those involved have indeed come to faith in Christ out of Muslim background. Naturally their style of prayer follows the graceful and reverent Islamic worship style of kneeling and bowing the head to the ground in a sacrament of surrender of the whole person to God. Yes, but what direction do these new worshipers face? Islam began by praying facing Jerusalem and then changed critical parts of its theological focus as it shifted to face Mecca for its prayers. Where do these new believers face as they pray? Continue reading “Kenneth Bailey – Will it Be a Line or a Circle?”

Aparitie editoriala: Legamintul de la Cape Town

Legamantul de la Cape Town

Va anunt cu bucurie ca impreuna cu Vasi Croitor, si la initiativa sa, am reusit sa publicam traducerea in limba romana a textului documentului final al celui de al treilea congress al Miscarii Lausanne, care a abut loc in octombrie 2010 la Cape Town, in Africa de sud, unde am avut amindoi sansa de a participa, alaturi de alti credinciosi romani, evanghelici si ortodocsi.

Textul in limba engleza al acestui document a fost elaborat de o comisie condusa de Dr. Chris Wright. Textul a fost tradus in limba romana de Alexandru Nadaban si Veronica Oniga, dupa ce Paulian Petric a tradus o prima parte a textului.

Punem acest important document teologic la dispozitia credinciosilor evanghelici din Romania, in special a liderilor, a teologilor si a studentilor din institutele teologice, in speranta ca el va reusi sa nasca dezbteri de substanta cu privire la chemarea si planurile de viitor ale comunitatilor evanghelice din tara noastra.

Il las pe Vasi Croitor sa va comunoca cum anume puteti obtine exemplare din acest document, de la editura lui, Suceeed Publishing,  pe al carei site nu a fost anuntata inca aceasta aparitie editoriala..