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Showing posts from September, 2015

Issues Facing Missions Today: 36. Missions 101

Can you spot the truth and the error in each of the following 20 statements?  As they stand, each statement is something that is 'trending' now, and these perspectives are contributing to the demise of missions in our day.  There is some truth in these claims--and much more error.  Knowing truth from error in these statements is 'Missions 101.' Missions is not from the West to the rest.It is from everywhere to everywhere.There are no longer ‘mission fields.’ We really no longer need to go anywhere for mission work: through immigration, the world is coming to ‘us.’ Mission is really everything the Church does in ministry.  It is preaching, translating, teaching, church planting, compassion ministries, development work--everything. We are all missionaries.Missions is not just for a select group of professional missionaries. Missions is expensive.Support should go to nationals, not Western missionaries. Our ministry and mission should be where we are, not on the other sid…

The Church: 13. Comparing Aristotle’s Politics and Paul

The Church: 13. Comparing Aristotle’s Politics[1]and Paul

Paul’s understanding of the church can be fruitfully compared to the wider, Greek philosophical discussion of the state in antiquity.  This is in part because the Church functions as an alternative ‘citizenship’: ‘But our citizenship is in heaven, and it is from there that we are expecting a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ’ (Phl. 3.20).  It is also in part because politics involved an understanding of the family, just as, for Paul, the Church involved directives regarding the family (including slaves).  The present essay comes in the form of a table in which I offer suggestions regarding the similarities and differences between Paul’s writings and an important philosophical work, Aristotle’s Politics, written some 400 years before Paul.  If Paul did not for some reason know the text of this work, he most certainly would have been party to discussions related to its contents.  Through such a comparison, we are able to p…