Saturday, May 23, 2009

This Week in the Mission Blogosphere

This is another type of post that you will see at the end of most weeks. In these I will attempt to bring you some of the most pertinent topics being discussed in the Mission blogosphere (i.e. - other, usually Evangelical, Mission blogs), filtered through my magical Independent Fundamental Baptist (Biblicist) lens. Hopefully, this will make them useful to us.

So, let's get started.
  1. Ralph Winter, missiologist, dies, 84 - Co-founder of US Center for World Mission, International Society for Frontier Missiology, IJFM, etc. Though significant for Evangelical mission, he is little known among IFB's. He made several good contributions to missions. In my opinion, the greatest contribution that could be beneficial to our Mission endeavors was to provide strategic direction. He encouraged a focus on unreached peoples instead of unreached nations (an important distinction). Much more will be said about this concept here in the future.

  2. Multi-Site 'Churches' - This debate has gone on for some time, but it seems there has been increased discussion about them as several books have been published in favor of them. 'They' are 'churches' in which different members meet at different times or places, not all together. Several Mission blogs have brought them up over the past weeks. The Southern Baptists have gone for them, as have many other Evangelicals. However, there is growing concern. Some are even coming to the conclusion that Baptists have for 2,000 years: a 'church' can only be a church if it gathers together.

  3. Is Everyone a Missionary? - Here's another idea that gets tossed around a lot, often in IFB circles. This week it has hit a few Mission blogs, with the posts and comments usually in the affirmative. While more will be posted here at a later time, I respond in the negative. The goal (that every church member would be mobilized for Mission) is commendable. However, while every true church has been 'sent' into the world for the Mission and every member should be involved in the Mission, not every member has been separated and sent in an Acts 13 sense. Not all are apostles (generic) of the church, being commended unto the grace of God in this special way. So, are all missionaries? Yes . . . and no. More on this later.
There has also been much happening in world news that could affect missions. India's people have dealt another crushing blow to one of the nation's Hindu extremist political parties (BJP) by reelecting a centrist secular government. Could this mean more freedom for Christians and church planting or just heavier persecution from the ousted extremists?

Also, in Sri Lanka, a quarter century war has ended as the Tamil Tigers, a rebel group, surrendured. With tens of thousands of civilians left dead and hundreds of thousands displaced, will the Gospel get a renewed opportunity to penetrate this Buddhist nation?

Pray for these and keep thinking.

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