Can the West then be converted? So, back to Newbigin's question, "Can the West be converted?" My answer is that it is possible that we will see the West embrace Christianity again—though it maybe later rather than sooner, and if it happens, it will not be a straight forward endeavour. The confidence that many have... Continue Reading →
In 1987, Lesslie Newbigin published an essay in the International Bulletin of Missionary Research in which he reflected on a question that was raised by General Simatupang at a conference in Bangkok in the 1970s. The discourse at the conference had turned to the need to rethink evangelism in the West, and Newbigin notes that... Continue Reading →
￼ Well, my contribution to the Grove Booklet Series entitled "Mission-Shaped Church in a Multicultural World" is out now. It joins many other resources that are available on the market exploring how we as sons and daughters of God can live together in the kingdom. Often, we tend to hang out with people that are... Continue Reading →
Statistically speaking, over one-third of the world’s population are under the age of fifteen, and a staggering 85% of these children live in the majority world. Dan Brewster argues that in today’s world, these children are an overlooked “people group” who warrant greater missiological attention. 
Not only is the vast size of the population of children in the majority world a reason to investigate our ‘Child Theology’ further, but it is also true that these children are some of the most at socially marginalised, unheard and vulnerable people on our planet today: “Most children at the turn of the century are ‘children at risk’… They are hungry, homeless and hurting.” These children lack the ability to act on their own behalf to ensure their own safety, as one author explains; “Children suffer from a double disadvantage precisely because they are children… the child lacks the ability…
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Chris and Suzie Wilson’s here … part 2.
In the last post, I shared that reading the Bible with the students here can be uncomfortable. In this post, I’d like to talk about one specific example of how reading here has exposed my own shallowness. It has not been an easy one to work through, and it won’t make a light read but hopefully it illustrates that—without listening to their brothers and sisters in the majority world—Western Christians are incredibly vulnerable to self-deception.
By the Rivers of Babylon (Psalm 137) was an obvious choice for our session. It is a song from people lamenting being displaced from their land; many of the students here are displaced, and singing is a big part of their traditional cultures. I thought I had a fair idea of what might come out of the session. But I had overlooked the psalm’s harrowing ending:
O daughter of Babylon doomed to be destroyed,
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Conversations like these give me hope … waiting to hear more, Chris and Suzie.
One of the great privileges of teaching here is the opportunity to pray, think, and read the Bible together with people who have had a very different experience of life. Some of the insights which have emerged from this have been really interesting: reading with the first-year class—half of whom are refugees from South Sudan—opened my eyes to quite how much of the Bible concerns displacement. It turns out that pretty much anyone who is anyone in the Bible (Abraham, Moses, David, Jesus, and more) spent time as a refugee at some point in their lives.
Whilst the opportunity to read texts with the students has been eye-opening, it’s not always a comfortable experience. Over the last month, we’ve been looking at the theme of suffering in the Writings (Job, Lamentations, the Psalms, etc.) and thinking about the way these texts speak to communities here. As we’ve been doing so…
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I continue here to reflect on Andrew Walls’ presentation at Missio Africanus. Somewhere in his first session, he made a bold suggestion that the process secularisation (possibly that of the West and/or that of the West’s relationship with Africa) was initiated or, at least initially, enhanced by colonialism. When asked to clarify this point, Prof... Continue Reading →
Prof Andrew Walls spoke at our recent Missio Africanus conference on the subject of “Migration, Mission, and African Christians in Britain.” As those who know him have come to expect, his speech was excellent and powerful. He spoke in a way that only Prof Andrew Walls can speak. In a 2007 Christianity Today article... Continue Reading →
For four times in the past two years, I have taught a term-long Church Planting module at two colleges in England. The students taking this module have been exclusively African -- from many countries, denominations, networks, and movements across the continent. The question that shapes the module -- and the conversations thereof -- has always... Continue Reading →