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Is our gospel witness too small? Should the gospel be proclaimed in words only? Or should we preach the gospel in deeds--and when necessary use words? Or are we missing something in playing the witness of words against deeds? If you are concerned about evangelizing the post-Christian West or the world beyond, you have probably debated this issue. And evangelical instincts drive us to Scripture. In Recovering the Full Mission of God, Dean Flemming joins biblical scholarship with missionary experience as he surveys the Old Testament and then looks closely at the New Testament and the early church. Flemming shows how the three strands of telling, doing and being relate in the mission of God and his people. Here is a book in touch with the missional realities of our time and grounded in the missional vision of biblical revelation. It gives us a clear vision of the rich and multifaceted nature of "gospeling" the kingdom of God.
The ministry of reconciliation is the new whole in holistic ministry. It must be if the Christian mission is to remain relevant in our increasingly fractured world. This book offers a fresh treatment of holistic ministry that takes the role of reconciliation seriously, rethinking the meaning of the gospel, the nature of the church, and the practice of mission in light of globalization, post-Christendom, and postcolonialism. It also includes theological and practical resources for effectively engaging in evangelism, compassion and justice, and reconciliation ministries. Includes a foreword by Ruth Padilla DeBorst and an afterword by Ronald J. Sider.
"An unprecedented mix of pentecostal theology and mission practice, virtually a manifesto for pentecostal missions in the nineties. . . . The fullest and finest missiological treatise originating within classical Pentecostalism available."--Russell P. Spittler
Jeffrey P. Greenman and Gene L. Green edit this collection of essays from the proceedings of the 2011 Wheaton Theology Conference. The essays explore the past, present and future shape of biblical interpretation and theological engagement in the Majority World. Leading scholars from around the world interact with the key theological issues being discussed in their regions. In addition, some theological voices from minority communities in North America address issues particular to their context and which often overlap with those central in Majority World theology. Contributors include Vince Bacote, Samuel Escobar, Ken Gnanakan, James Kombo, Mark Labberton, Terry LeBlanc, Juan Mart?nez, Ruth Padilla DeBorst, Lamin Sanneh, Andrew Walls, K. K. Yeo and Amos Yong.
Introducing World Missions, the first volume in the Encountering
Mission series, provides readers with a broad overview of the
biblical, theological, and historical foundations for missions. It
considers personal and practical issues involved in becoming a
missionary, the process of getting to the mission field, and
contemporary challenges a mission worker must face.
In an age which screams for tolerance, the Gospel is seen as intolerably rigid - Christ can be one way, but not the way. In an effort to be more `culturally relevant', the church is in danger of compromising - substituting the Gospel for the more palatable, non-confrontational road of social reforms. Being good citizens has become a politically correct beast, devouring the core of the church. Spirit Empowered Mission opens up Acts 1-2, homing in on the real mission and purpose Christ has given the church: reaching the lost.
There is a growing body of literature about the missional church, but the word "missional "is often defined in competing ways with little attempt to ground it deeply in Scripture. Michael Goheen, a dynamic speaker and the coauthor of two popular texts on the biblical narrative, unpacks the missional identity of the church by tracing the role God's people are called to play in the biblical story. Goheen shows that the church's identity can be understood only when its role is articulated in the context of the whole biblical story--not just the New Testament, but the Old Testament as well. He also explores practical outworkings and implications, offering field-tested suggestions for contemporary churches.
Best-selling author and ministry leader Thom S. Rainer drew an
exceptional response when he posted a 500-word declaration about
church membership to his daily blog. "I Am a Church Member" started
a conversation about the attitudes and responsibilities of church
members -- rather than the functional and theological issues --
that previous new member primers all but ignored.
The worldwide church is more interconnected than ever before, with missionaries going from everywhere to everywhere. Africans work with Australians in India. Koreans plant churches in London and Los Angeles. But globalization also creates challenges for crosscultural tension and misunderstandings, as different cultures have conflicting assumptions about leadership values and styles. Missiologist James E. Plueddemann presents a roadmap for crosscultural leadership development in the global church. With keen understanding of current research on cultural dynamics, he integrates theology with leadership theory to apply biblical insights to practical issues in world mission. Savvy discernment of diverse cultural underpinnings allows multicultural teams to work together with mutual respect for more effective ministry. The author shows how leaders can grow from an individualistic egocentric practice of leadership to a more global-centric approach. The future of the global church depends on effective multicultural leadership. God has called people from various contexts to minister and lead in every land for the sake of the gospel. Whether you are teaching English in China, directing information technology in Africa or pastoring a multiethnic church in North America, discover how you can better work and lead across cultures.
Christians today define mission more broadly and variably than ever before. Are we, as the body of Christ, headed in the same direction or are we on divergent missions?
Some argue that the mission of the Church is to confront injustice and alleviate suffering, doing more to express God's love for the world. Others are concerned that the church is in danger of losing its God-centeredness and thereby emphasize the proclamation of the gospel. It appears as though misunderstanding of mission persists.
Kevin DeYoung and Greg Gilbert believe there is a lot that evangelicals can agree on if only we employ the right categories and build our theology of mission from the same biblical building blocks. Explaining key concepts like kingdom, gospel, and social justice, DeYoung and Gilbert help us to get on the same page--united by a common cause--and launch us forward into the true mission of the church.
Starting in the mid-1930s, East African revivalists (or, Balokole: "the saved ones") proclaimed a message of salvation, hoping to revive the mission churches of colonial East Africa. Frustrated by what they believed to be the tepid spiritual state of missionary Christianity, they preached that in order to be saved, converts had to confess publicly the specific sins they had committed, putting them "in the light." By "walking in the light" with other revival brethren, converts reoriented their lives, articulating this reorientation in the stark terms of light and darkness: they had left their dark past and now lived in the light of salvation. This book uses missionary and Colonial Office archives, contemporary newspapers, archival collections in Uganda, anthropologists' field notes, oral histories, and interviews by the author in order to reexamine the first twenty years of the East African revival movement (roughly, 1935-1955). Focusing upon the creative, controversial, and remarkable efforts of the ordinary African Christians who comprised the vast majority of the movement, it challenges previous historical analyses that have seen in the revival the replication of British evangelical holiness spirituality or, alternatively, a manifestation of late colonial dissent. Instead, this study argues, the Balokole revival was a movement through which African Christians articulated and developed a unique spiritual lifestyle, one that responded creatively to the sociopolitical contexts of late colonial East Africa. Jason Bruner is Assistant Professor of Global Christianity at Arizona State University.
"Christianity seems like just another screwed-up religion " Anna said. "Seriously, what has Christianity done for us--or for the world, for that matter? They're just a bunch of hypocrites, that's what I think Are they good for anything?" "I don't know, Anna," Caleb said. "I just don't know." Caleb has been a Christian for a long time. But he realizes that he can't bring himself to share his faith with anyone because it doesn't sound like good news anymore. Christianity's truth claims come across as hollow, arrogant and intolerant. Christians have a bad track record of hating and condemning those they disagree with. Worst of all, it feels like Christianity is just about "saving souls," giving people an escape ticket to heaven while the world falls apart. Is it only about Jesus forgiving our sins? There must be more to it than that... In this engaging narrative, James Choung weaves the tale of a search for a Christianity worth believing in. Disillusioned believer Caleb and hostile skeptic Anna wrestle with the plausibility of the Christian story in a world of pain and suffering. They ask each other tough questions about what Jesus really came to do and what Christianity is supposed to be about. Along the way, they discover that real Christianity is far bigger than anything they ever heard about in church. And the conversion that comes is not one that either of them expects. Join Caleb and Anna on their spiritual journeys as they probe Christianity from inside and out. Get past the old cliches and simplistic formulas. And discover a new way of understanding and presenting the Christian faith that really matters in a broken world.
As a church leader, you are (probably) targeting the wrong people with your evangelism efforts. You are operating a model that no longer works, because it is too passive, too polite, and focused in the wrong direction. You are not making new disciples, not adding significantly to Christ s transformation of the world. And you or at least your congregation--are (probably) unaware of this fact.
There is hope, and you will find it in these pages. Farr, Kotan and Anderson reveal the ways most churches unwittingly misdirect their reach into the community. The authors show in practical terms how to change the habits of leaders and entire congregations, so that invitation is natural, constant, systemic, genuine, and easy. Get Their Name clearly demonstrates how your church can change, and equips your people to share their faith in a way that is effective, biblical, and transformational. "
What happens after we die? Can you prove there is a God? What about evolution? Can the Bible be true? This book, inspired by conversations with lost people, is written specifically to those who are seeking, anticipating these questions and guiding them to the truth. It also appeals to Christians who want answers to questions they get when witnessing. Over 120,000 copies have been distributed of Mark?'s first book, ONE THING YOU CAN'T DO IN HEAVEN. ONE HEARTBEAT AWAY promises to be as compelling. Many Christians will not stop at one copy, given its value in communicating so forcefully to the lost around them.
The essays in this volume examine the unforeseen cultural conversions set in motion by Christian missionary activity in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia during the ninetennth and twentieth centuries.
Postmodernity is a name that has been attached to our cultural milieu. Among its features are a sense of historical consciousness, a recognition of the social construction of knowledge, an appreciation for pluralism, and a suspicion of grand narratives. It is a cultural worldview that is naturally suspicious of Christian "mission." Meanwhile, conservative Catholics are equally suspicious of postmodernism, associating it with relativism, secularism, and syncretism). Drawing on his own mission training and experience, John Sivalon believes the gospel can and must be inculturated in any culture, and he believes that postmodernism, rather than rendering Christian mission meaningless, breathes fresh insight, vision, and life into Vatican II's notion that mission is centered in the very heart of God. Above all, postmodernism offers "the gift of uncertainty"--the ground of questioning, Why are we doing this? What should we do? How is it best done? With actual case studies that reflect the new face of mission, Fr. Sivalon offers a hopeful vision of how the Gospel retains its challenge and relevance in an age of uncertainty and change.
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