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Things Home Mission Can Learn: Study – Part 3

This is the third part in a series on what those involved in mission to the UK can learn from cross-cultural mission around the world.

When Sue and I first went to live among the Kouya and before we were allowed to start translating the New Testament, we had to demonstrate that we knew something about Kouya culture. We spent a long time chatting to people, doing some informal interviews, and taking part in village life. Eventually we gathered enough information to allow us to write some ethnographic articles about Kouya life and culture. You can find some of them here, if you are interested.

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There are no ‘World Religions’!

Christian mission often finds itself up against ‘world religions’. We have been told, since year dot (when we were toddlers), that there is a set of eleven or so ‘world religions’, of which Christianity is one. Those who told us this, didn’t seem to have any qualms about its truth.

When we believe the above, we see mission as doing our bit for Christianity, against other ‘world religions’. When we look in the bookshops, we find lots of books on the shelves telling us about those other religions. We think that is helpful, because if we can understand them better, that should help us to convince them that Christianity is ‘better’. At the same time we wonder – if there are so many world religions; then how can we be sure that ‘ours’ is the best?

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Chaos, fear, pain, anger – then Jesus came!

Britain sustained three home-grown terrorist attacks in 3 months. While the nation reeled the inferno at Grenfell Tower happened; the majority of victims were Muslim. Yet the Bible insists that even in despair God gives ‘treasure in darkness’ as a sign of the Kingdom breaking in. The media marvelled but couldn’t quite explain the impromptu solidarity – here’s some evidence of it.

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Reverse Missiology: An Introduction

Passion for Mission Speaker 2017 Israel Olofinjana writes on the concept of “reverse mission”, which is becoming more and more relevant for the church today.

If you live in an urban part of the UK, you have probably noticed the many African, Latin American, Caribbean and Asian churches and Christians in Britain. Perhaps you’ve wondered why all these people are coming and starting churches in the UK?

One popular phrase used to describe this activity is ‘reverse mission’, but what is reverse mission, and why is it a controversial term?Read more

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“Chrexit”

A brief and thought provoking post from Glenn Myers this week about the future of Christianity in our country.

It’s not news that our country has long been heading away from the Christian faith, changing our laws and norms, a sort of ‘Chrexit’.

But what do we Christians do about it? This kind of thing has happened before.Read more

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Europe on the cusp of 2017

In the last two years mission in Europe has received unprecedented attention. But where is the continent on the cusp of 2017? The most dramatic aspect of Jim Memory’s (ECM & Redcliffe College) research into European history has been the recognition that for much of the last six hundred years Europe has been in one crisis after another. The relatively peaceful era since 1945 has been an exception and all of us who are living in Europe have benefitted from this. However, the recent past may not be a path for the immediate future. Why not?Read more

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Can a “nation” practice Christianity? (Part 2)

This is part of a 2-part series by Interserve’s Steve Bell. See Wednesday’s post for Part 1.

It’s hard to understand Europe without a grasp of Christianity’s role in shaping it. The old sacred/secular divide is disappearing as religion (not least Islamic) crashes into ‘public space’. But can Christians help a bewildered secular society to find its bearings?   

Last time I pointed out that it’s ‘individuals’ (rather than ‘nation-states’) who follow Christ. Nations are impacted as national leaders who are imbued with the values of Europe’s Judeo-Christian heritage implement it in the public good. Examples of this include Margaret Thatcher, Teresa May and Angela Merkel – all raised as the daughters of pastors.

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Can a “nation” practise Christianity? (Part 1)

This week we have a fantastic 2-part series from Interserve’s Steve Bell. Come back for part 2 on Friday!

Hitler’s Germany almost destroyed Europe by “pathological nationalism”. It now threatens it by “pathological altruism” as Angela Merkel makes history by inviting the world into Germany – a move that may yet trigger the demise of the EU.

Has it ever occurred to you that the instinct to defend the defenceless (although not unique to Christian teaching) originates in Europe’s ‘Judeo-Christian heritage’ (i.e. the biblical worldview embedded in our society, which insists individuals have both rights and responsibilities – see Mat.22:34-40). But how can ‘the heritage’ impact a secular Europe today?Read more

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Before the deacons’ meeting

Two Deacons were chatting before the deacons’ meeting.

Peter: Good to see you back for a deacons’ meeting, John.

John: Yes I have been rather busy recently and haven’t been able to fit these meetings in. I hear we have got another intern starting next month.

Peter: Luigi isn’t an intern; he’s the new assistant minister.

John: Oh I thought he was a Latin American who is coming here to learn what it is like to work in a UK church.

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