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Showing posts from November, 2017

Revelation 11, Zechariah 4, and Mission Theology: 'Not by Might, Nor by Power, but by My Spirit, says the Lord'

J. R. R. Tolkien, author of Lord of the Rings, was a scholar of the faerie story genre.  In describing this genre, he coined a new word for the plot of faerie stories: 'eucatastrophe'.  We know what a catastrophe is, but the 'eu' in front of a word means 'good'.  A 'good catastrophe'.  Tolkien also described the Christian Gospel in the same terms--a eucatastrophe which also happens to be true.  Rev. 11, our text this morning, is a vision that describes the Church's mission in the world as a eucatastrophe.
My father’s premillennial, apocalyptic theology allowed no room for positivist views that believed society was getting better: evolution, socio-economic development, scientific progress.  His theology of ultimate doom served him better than those missionaries (fewer than often maintained, incidentally) who confused the Gospel with colonialism, whose postmillenialism led to a social Gospel activism ala Walter Rauschenbusch.  They believe…

Some Thoughts for Churches and their Support of Missions

The following thoughts for churches and their support of missions come from a reflection on Scripture and personal experience in the Church and in foreign missions.  They are presented as theses that could be discussed, and several, indicative Scripture passages are offered for that purpose.  What is necessarily lacking (for reasons of space) are anecdotes that make the points from Church history and mission practice as well.  The points seem obvious enough to me, but they challenge much of contemporary, Evangelical missionary practice.  Thus, they are presented to stimulate reflection and discussion by missionaries, churches, and mission agencies.
1. A primary reason for churches to unite into denominations or fellowships should be to fulfill the Great Commission (Matthew 28.18-20) and to accomplish good works in fulfillment of the Great Commandment (Matthew 22.38-40).  [Non-denominational, independent churches are greatly hindered in their calling.]
Matthew 28:18-20 And Jesus came and…