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Category: Missions

  • Clinton E. Arnold — 

    It was the fall of 1930. Just a year had passed since the stock market crash that triggered the Great Depression. Adolf Hitler was on his meteoric rise to power in Germany. But God was powerfully at work in the Pennsylvania steel town of Pittsburgh. A 21-year-old Jewish man named Bezalel Feinberg had heard the Gospel and prayed to receive Christ. It sounds so simple, yet it was anything but.

  • Octavio Esqueda — 

    El gran educador Antonio del Corro (Sevilla, 1527-Londres, 1591) es quizá una de las figuras más importantes y a la vez menos conocidas de la reforma española. Es también un ejemplo a imitar para todos los que seguimos a Cristo y sobre todo para los que nos dedicamos a servirle a través de la enseñanza. El historiador Emilio Monjo se refiere a Antonio de Corro como “un personaje que refleja el talante de la Reforma española en cuanto a su libertad de pensamiento y palabra: una iglesia que había nacido libre por la acción de la Escritura, y que se mantuvo libre con la Escritura también en su exilio europeo".

  • Kenneth Berding — 

    This week was a week of tears in the Berding household. We cried as we sent our oldest daughter, Lydia, overseas into a needy and difficult region of the world as an ambassador for Jesus Christ. She will be gone for at least one year, and is open to and actively praying about making a long-term commitment after that year. We cried before we sent her. And we cried afterwards. But we will not hinder her from going out. Quite to the contrary, Trudi and I are entirely supportive of the mission Lydia is on; she is going out with our full blessing. But many young people don’t enjoy the support of their parents as they depart for overseas service, and many never actually make it—in large part because their parents have opposed them. Their Christian parents…! Family opposition may be the number one reason young people with a call to overseas missions don’t ever arrive there. And this is a grave sin on the part of the parents.

  • Kenneth Berding — 

    The most recent issue of the Journal of Spiritual Formation & Soul Care carried an article I wrote on the relationship between spiritual formation and mission. Here's an outline...

  • Kenneth Berding — 

    In my last post I shared about how to carry on a deeper, less confrontational discussion with your Muslim friend by asking a question about the topic of hypocrisy. Click HERE for my earlier post. In this post I will suggest a different question to ask your friend that might allow you to enter into yet another non-confrontational conversation with the goal of introducing your Muslim friend to Jesus Christ.

  • Kenneth Berding — 

    One of the hardest things Christians face when they step out to share their faith with Muslims is that the conversation almost inevitably veers toward a competitive discussion about which religion is better: “You think this, but I think this.” “I’m right and you’re wrong.” Often you’ll find yourself on the defensive: “Yes, Jesus did die on the cross…” “Yes, Jesus is the Son of God…” “No, the Bible hasn’t been changed…” Is there any way to keep your conversation from degrading into an “I’m right and you’re wrong” discussion?

  • Doug Huffman — 

    A search of the Internet will reveal several different kite parables, including one in support of the (un-Christian) idea that by holding tight to the string of God’s commandments people can fly themselves up into the heavens. I’d like to suggest a different kite parable, one that is more in keeping with Christian orthodoxy. My parable focuses on the kite itself (not the string) as the gospel of salvation through faith in Christ alone, but not a faith that is alone.

  • David Talley — 

    Can anything good come out of Kansas City? Absolutely! A global event is taking place there now at the International House of Prayer. You are invited to participate in what God is doing.

  • Kenneth Berding — 

    This post is for people who are praying seriously about the possibility of serving overseas in long-term cross-cultural missions. It may help you assess where you presently stand in terms of “readiness” for such a ministry assignment.

  • Nell Sunukjian — 

    The custom of giving gifts at Christmas probably began when wise men arrived from the east with lavish gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh for the newborn King. These important, wealthy and educated men had traveled far with camels and servants to find and worship the newborn King of the Jews. But there were not three of them.

  • Kenneth Berding — 

    I just returned from the Evangelical Theological Society annual meetings in Milwaukee, Wisconsin where I picked up a copy of D. A. Carson’s new little book, Jesus the Son of God: A Christological Title Often Overlooked, Sometimes Misunderstood, and Currently Disputed (Crossway). On the taxi ride from the airport to the conference, I briefly tried to share the Lord with a taxi driver named Hassan. We were about a minute into the conversation when Hassan commented rather ardently, “We Muslims believe that Jesus is a prophet, and not the son of God.” I explained to him that Christians don’t believe that God had physical relations with Mary that led to her pregnancy, as many Muslims assume and consider blasphemous. The problem for dialogue with Muslims like Hassan is that many Muslims think that is precisely what we Christians mean when we use the expression “Son of God” in reference to Jesus—which, of course, we don’t. So what if you were a Bible translator in a Muslim country and knew that many of your readers would make the same assumption that Hassan did about the expression “Son of God”? Perhaps you should change the words “Son of God” to something else that is proximate in meaning but less offensive. Or maybe you shouldn’t…

  • David Talley — 

    Every now and then It is good to be surrounded by people who cause us to consider the stewardship of our life. Being at the global summit, Transform World 2012, has caused me to do just that. Perhaps this can be of encouragement to you.

  • David Talley — 

    Many people are aware of the 10/40 window, but have you heard about the missional emphasis on the 4/14 window? Luis Bush and others are stirring the church to consider a stronger focus on this "window" in the days ahead.

  • Kenneth Berding — 

    "Father, make of me a crisis man. Bring those I contact to decision. Let me not be a milepost on a single road; make me a for, that men must turn one way or another on facing Christ in me." Ever since I read Jim Elliot's journal as a young college student and discovered this quote...

  • Gary McIntosh — 

    What sounds like a simple task at first often turns out to be much more difficult in practice. Such is the situation when attempting to define a multiethnic church. For example, a brief survey of the current literature reveals four words that are commonly used to describe churches where the people come from diverse backgrounds: “multinational,” “multi-racial,” “multi-ethnic,” and “multicultural.”

  • Mark Saucy — 

    So here on the eve of Biola’s Conference “Israel the Church and the Middle East Crisis” I’m flushed out of my long blog hiding (or lethargy). That’s right, my maiden venture to blog-country is urged by some real angst in my heart about neglect of Israel. Now, Israel-angst of this kind is a subgenus to a larger malady I’ve seen around me in evangelicalism for some time—Eschatolitis—a form of the passive neglect of doctrine in general, but in this case, the doctrine of the End Times.

  • John McKinley — 

    Feminine Threads: Women in the Tapestry of Christian History, Diana Lynn Severance (Ross-Shire, Scotland: Christian Focus, 2011) 336 pp. $15 ($12 on Amazon; or $11.39 on Kindle) Overall, the book is challenging and informative for me as a male Christian. I have been mostly ignorant of the many deep and lasting contributions of women throughout the history of the church. The fascinating chronicles informed me to be full of admiration for these particular women, and for Christian women throughout the world today who struggle for basic human rights. I recognize that women continue to be disregarded, demeaned, patronized, minimized, and marginalized in evangelical churches and Western cultures today. Severance’s book is the beginning of a helpful corrective for the church to value women as equal heirs of the gift of grace.

  • Kenneth Berding — 

    “Preach the gospel at all times; when necessary, use words.” How many (hundreds of!) times have you heard that line rolled out? The good part about the alleged saying is that we do need to communicate that we truly believe the gospel through what we do. People need to see the gospel as well as hear it. If you have any doubts about this, please refer to my post from a few days ago on “justice and mercy” ministries. But there are two problems with the way this quote is normally used. First, it is often used by people who are oriented toward social concern but who are less comfortable with verbally proclaiming the good news about the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and faith in him alone. Such hesitancy to share the gospel verbally simply will not do if you even remotely consider yourself to be a biblical Christian. Second, Francis of Assisi apparently never said it.

  • Kenneth Berding — 

    Over the past five months the Overseers (translate: “Elders” or “Pastors”) at Whittier Hills Baptist Church have been thinking and praying about ministries of compassion and justice and the relationship of such activities to gospel proclamation. We have recently completed a position paper in which we collectively lay out what we believe the Bible teaches on this topic. We also address a few practical issues in the paper. We will be using this document in the future to help guide ministry decisions as we interact with those who are poor, oppressed, and marginalized. I’m linking you to our paper with the permission and encouragement of our leadership team. We hope that this paper will be a help to other churches, ministries, and individuals to think carefully and biblically through this important--and sometime controversial--topic. You are free to use this paper (or sections of it) in any way you consider appropriate in your respective areas of ministry.

  • Kenneth Berding — 

    Years ago when Trudi and I lived in the Middle East I wrote a poem using the structure of “The Night Before Christmas.” I share it with you at this Christmas season.

  • Kenneth Way — 

    It’s a simple concept: God is our Rescuer, and we are to be imitators of God (Eph 5:1). Therefore, we should be rescuers of others.

  • Joe Hellerman — 

    One Sunday not too long ago I preached on Daniel 4, where Nebuchadnezzar discovers the hard way that “the Most High is sovereign over the kingdoms of men and gives them to anyone he wishes” (v. 17). I serve a wonderful, God-loving congregation of mostly conservative Republicans. A couple weeks earlier, I had delighted my people by informing them that I would not make a very good Democrat, because I don’t trust big government. Their delight was short-lived, however, because I immediately said that I also wouldn’t make a very good Republican, because I don’t trust big business. Then, I really got ‘em thinking when I added that I probably don’t make a very good pastor—at least not according to current American evangelical criteria for pastoral success—because I don’t trust big institutional churches.

  • David Talley — 

    This next month is an important time to be praying for the Muslim world.

  • Andy Draycott — 

    ‘Missional ethics’ speaks of the missionary dimensions of the life of the people of God and the ethical features of mission. The connection between mission and ethics is fundamental for how we perceive our common life in the Spirit.

  • Sue Russell — 

    One of the privileges of being a mission educator is to prepare and equip the students of the next generation to reach the world for Jesus Christ. Perhaps the greatest challenge is not training them for the ministry that I had, but for the ministry to which God is calling them. I believe that the Spirit of God leads each generation in a unique way and one of the challenges is being sensitive to that calling. As we prepare students we need to be aware of the changing conditions of the field, which I will discuss in later posts; but we also need to equip them for the unique calling to which God has called them.