If handled properly, history provides a picture of both what was done well, and what was not. It also has a way of showing us quite explicitly how God often achieves his purposes without us, and even in spite of us. History is the great revealer and the great adjuster of applied missiology.
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More than a half-century ago, Donald McGavran introduced the world of missions to the homogeneous unit principle, the idea that church-planting efforts can be much more effective if focused on a specific ethno-linguistic people.
Who is God?” It’s the most basic question, but one that is frequently lost sight of in discussions about insider movements and the contextualization of ministry to Muslims.
When Christians are targeted for destruction for righteousness’ sake by an unjust state apparatus (e.g., Rome in the second century, or the Kachin of Myanmar/Burma in the twenty-first century), the option of self-defense may or may not be chosen, but it ought to be considered.
For almost all of us, at the margins of our consciousness is an awareness of something called human trafficking. It’s there, and we know that it’s real, but we assume that it’s a tiny, tragic blip on the scope of human experience.
In a world where geo-political considerations dominate the news, another question looms large in a more eternal direction: “What are the implications of this for an Arab Spring of gospel advance?”
Who, for example, would tend to be better positioned to shine in cross-cultural communication, Ms./Mr. straight-laced introvert, or Ms./Mr. personality?
Events of the last few years have raised serious questions about the adequacy and accuracy of assumptions about how mission agencies and churches relate, and what is necessary to correct shortcomings in existing patterns.
The context of the war story in 1 Samuel 13-14 between Israel and the Philistines, and especially the role of Jonathan and his armor-bearer, provide interesting food-for-thought regarding the mission task today.
Every mission society seems to have its own stable of unsung heroes — one of those is Walter Gowans.