Category: Mission

The City of God

Augustine, the lead pastor of the church in Hippo, North Africa, spent more than a decade writing the City of God—from 413 to 426. It was his response to news that Alaric, commander of the Goths, had sacked Rome in 410. So Christians in the Roman Empire were shaken. Christians throughout the Empire, including the …

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Is the Spirit in?

A growing field in Christian missions is called member care ministry. Workers in this field help global workers—missionaries—with emotional and spiritual hurts that have come from their time in ministry. Our question for today, then, is: Why the wounds? And who’s doing the damage? We may have heard the easy answer to the Why question: …

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“Anthro…what?”

Last week I used some ordinary jargon in a conversation: “Churches seem more anthropocentric than ever.” My friend was puzzled, “anthro…what?” “Sorry,” I said, “they seem more human-focused and less God-centered—‘theocentric.’” Why the jargon? Using obscure terms when normal speech works is a bad habit. And that, in turn, can fog a conversation. If, for …

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A Bottom Line

“Let all things be done for building up.” This call wrapped up Paul’s response to the Corinthians in 1 Corinthians 14:26 on the question of spiritual gifts. He was dealing with a divided and spiritually immature church—“infants in Christ”—who wrestled, ironically, with how to be godly in their new relationship with God. So here’s my …

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Who?

“Christendom” is the collective rhetorical tag for all who are now or have been associated with historical Christianity. To outside observers—whether Hindu, Buddhist, Islamist, or secularists—the links are loose and ill-informed. But the result is that Christendom – that is, the Western world – is a monolithic spiritual opponent. And when outside observers are hardened …

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Magnetic Faith

This entry is also offered on the Cor Deo site – please post any responses there. Thanks! Spiritual life treats God as attractive and trustworthy. His character—wholly righteous—brings light to the darkness of our selfishness. And faith is our response to Christ’s call to “Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness.” God’s attractions …

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By Invitation Only

How do we present the gospel to a skeptical world? Let’s consider a few common approaches. Arguing is one option: God’s existence is affirmed by proofs such as Christ’s miraculous resurrection. The premise is that undeniable evidence for the supernatural—with the moral implications of the supernatural God in view—will stir a decision to believe. This …

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Experiencing God

The early church father, Augustine (354-430), mentioned an adolescent prank in a book he called his Confessions. It was a window on the problem of evil that still invites reflection. In a nutshell he and some of his adolescent companions were hanging out one night. On a whim they stole pears from a local fruit …

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On a Mission

Let me raise a question about Christian missions. How robust is the growth of Christianity today? Better yet, how did Christianity grow in the first century; and how does our present growth compare with early church expansion? I don’t have specific data but allow me to generalize from what I see, hear, and read in …

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