The Call for Westerners to Learn from the Majority World

theology in the context of world christianityI’m currently reading a book entitled, Theology in the Context of World Christianity: How the Global Church Is Influencing the Way We Think about and Discuss Theology. To some, it might sound bland. However, for me, it is a topic of utmost import within discussion of theology and church.

Why?

Well it starts in the reality that Christianity is now largest, and strongest, in the majority world (what some might call the “western world” or “developing world”). This is mainly due to the expansive efforts of Pentecostalism and the charismatic movement right across Latin America, Africa and Asia. This can be noted from such works as Global Pentecostalism: The New Face of Christian Social Engagement and The Century of the Holy Spirit: 100 Years of Pentecostal and Charismatic Renewal, 1901-2001. There are others as well, but suffice it to say that the Pentecostal, charismatic and neo-charismatic branches of the church have now reached epic proportions, totaling some 600 million Christians in the world today. Continue reading

What If All Are Not Called as Disciple Makers?

Grow.-Plant.-Discipleship

I’m going to go out on a limb and offer something that will seem very counter-cultural within western, American evangelicalism, especially in light of massive church growth strategies over the past few decades.

I do not believe all Christians are called to be disciple-makers.

Ok, it’s maybe not so problematic. But I know it sounds opposed to all we are taught.

How so? Continue reading

Time for Space

woodsThe church is in the season of Lent. It’s usually centered in prayerful reflection, meditation, fasting, and varying spiritual disciplines to bring about the death not just to self, but the community of Christ.

Personally, it’s been hard to focus during this time of Lent. As normal, things get busy on varying levels. I am no person privy to busy-ness. We’re bent on leading what we might call “pinball” lives – bouncing from one thing to the next. And such has been descriptive of my life. Continue reading

Junia: An Apostle or Not?

st_junia2.jpg_w540Yesterday was International Women’s Day. In light of such, I put up a link to an article of mine where I reviewed Scot McKnight’s short ebook, Junia Is Not Alone. The book is all of 25 pages.

In the book, McKnight discusses the enigmatic Junia (or Junias, in some translations). Many may not have heard of her, but she is mentioned at the end of Paul’s letter to the church in Rome. In those days, the major greetings came after the body of the letter. So we read about Junia, and Andronicus (her supposed husband), in Romans 16:7.

In particular, McKnight assesses 2 problems that have arisen over the centuries: Continue reading

Kingdom Conspiracy: Reflections

kingdom_conspiracyBack in fall, Brazos Press sent over a copy of Scot McKnight’s newest release, Kingdom Conspiracy: Returning to the Radical Mission of the Local Church. I am very grateful for the book, as I appreciate McKnight’s biblical-theological approaches.

Scot McKnight, professor at Northern Seminary, is one of the leading New Testament scholars of today. In all, this was a needed book in the discussion around our understanding of three key theological areas: the kingdom of God, church and mission. Continue reading