Sunday, 30 September 2012

Doxology: A Journal of Worship

I recently came across Doxology: A Journal of Worship. One issue – Vol. 28 (2011) – is currently available online here, containing several articles (including one reflecting on ‘the serious liturgical challenge of giving thanks for baseball’!) and book reviews.

Friday, 28 September 2012

The City 5, 2 (2012)

The latest issue of The City, from Houston Baptist University, is available online here. This edition includes a review symposium on the much lauded Bad Religion: How We Became a Nation of Heretics (Free Press, 2011) by Ross Douthat, and one of the reviews is of the recent translation of Abraham Kuyper’s Wisdom and Wonder: Common Grace in Science and Art (Grand Rapids: Christian’s Library Press, 2011).

International Bulletin of Missionary Research 36:4 (October 2012)

The latest issue of International Bulletin of Missionary Research carries the feature articles noted below.

Jonathan J. Bonk’s editorial – ‘Mission in Bold Humility’ – sets something of a tone:

‘With support from texts such as Isaiah 14:12–20, theologians have generally agreed that the mother of all sins – Lucifer’s folly – is pride. We human beings have proven sadly receptive to the Great Deceiver’s DNA. Pride of race, nation, clan, religion, profession, and accomplishment flourish in the fertile soil of individual and collective egocentrism.

‘Whatever the thrust of Christian missionary labors – whether incarnation among Muslims or disembodied voices over the airwaves – genuine humility is not only appropriate but essential (Mark 10:41–45). Mission, in line with the wise counsel of the late David Bosch, is a life of adventure that requires bold humility.’

Mark Shaw
Robert Wuthnow and World Christianity: A Response to Boundless Faith

Todd Hartch
Ivan Illich and Leo Mahon: Folk Religion and Catechesis in Latin America

Albrecht Hauser
Da‘wah: Islamic Mission and Its Current Implications

Eric N. Newberg
Said’s Orientalism and Pentecostal Views of Islam in Palestine

Timothy Stoneman
Radio Missions: Station ELWA in West Africa

Samuel Escobar
My Pilgrimage in Mission

Claudette LaVerdiere
Revisiting the Legacy of Mary Josephine Rogers

Thursday, 27 September 2012

More from the Centre for Public Christianity (September 2012)

The latest newsletter from the Centre for Public Christianity contains links to a video interview with Richard Burridge (on his work with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and pointing to the power of the Christian story to break down barriers between perpetrators and victims), an article by Brian Rosner (on the difficulties the atheist worldview has in accounting for the longings of the human heart), and an audio interview with Dale Kuehne (on the impacts of the rise of individualism in western culture).

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Interpretation 66, 4 (2012) on Seminary and Church

The main essays in the October 2012 issue of Interpretation: A Journal of Bible and Theology, are devoted to the theme of ‘Seminary and Church: In This Together’, written largely for celebrations surrounding Union Presbyterian Seminary’s 200th anniversary.

William P. Brown
From Apology to Pedagogy: Interpreting the Bible Past and Present in the Seminary Classroom
This essay offers a snapshot of the some of the challenges facing seminary education, specifically teaching the Bible, in the late 19th century that have proved to be fruitful opportunities to recast biblical hermeneutics and, more broadly, theological education in new ways. It examines the way the Bible is handled today in the seminary classroom and charts how we got here theologically and pedagogically as a result of these challenges.

Douglas F. Ottati
Theology and Ethics Then, Now, and In-Between at Union Seminary and Elsewhere
The story of theology and ethics at Union Seminary from 1812 to the present illustrates the critical relationship between theology, ethics, and historical circumstances. In a distinctive fashion, it also reflects both the wider story and current challenges of theology and ethics in American Protestantism.

Glenn T. Miller
Why Church History Matters in Seminary and Church: Then (1812) and Now (2012)
This article highlights three moments in the teaching of Church History in American Protestant seminaries: the early 19th century, the early 20th century, and the present. In each, the interaction between Church History and the pastoral needs of the church is highlighted.

Beverly A. Zink-Sawyer
The Pulpit Leads the Seminary: Two Centuries of Proclamation at Union Presbyterian Seminary and in the American Church
A review of 200 years of Union Presbyterian Seminary and American preaching history reveals the ways in which preaching has shaped – and been shaped by – changes in church and culture.

Pamela Mitchell Legg
The Work of Christian Education in the Seminary and the Church: Then (1812) and Now (2012)
The shape of Christian Education in the United States has shifted as new communication media have come to the fore, interacting with the overarching purposes and content of Christian Education. As we begin to ask how computer technologies and the Internet may affect Christian Education, it is helpful to look back at the ways communication media have affected Christian Education over the past 200 years.

Saturday, 22 September 2012

Books on the Bible, Christianity and Politics

I recently led a day workshop on developing a biblical worldview on politics. Aside from resources on worldview, below is the list of books (mostly from a UK perspective) I recommended on politics for those who wanted to explore further. 

Jonathan Bartley, Faith and Politics After Christendom: The Church as a Movement for Anarchy (Milton Keynes: Paternoster, 2006).
Part of the publisher’s ‘After Christendom’ series, this book explores what it means that the church no longer occupies the centre of society, providing an opportunity for the church to exercise a prophetic role in challenging injustice and undermining some of the central values on which society is built.

Richard Bauckham, The Bible in Politics: How to Read the Bible Politically (London: SPCK, 2010).
Useful for its self-conscious reflections on methodology, and in providing worked examples of ‘political exegesis’ of sample passages across Scripture.

Stephen Clark (ed.), Tales of Two Cities: Christianity and Politics (Leicester: IVP, 2005).
A collection of academic essays, offering biblical, theological, and historical reflection on political issues.

Graham Cray, Disciples and Citizens: A Vision for Distinctive Living (Nottingham: IVP, 2007).
Explores how we live as citizens of the kingdom of God and our nation, with a strong call to integrated whole-life discipleship.

Paul Doerksen, Beyond Suspicion: Post-Christendom Protestant Political Theology in John Howard Yoder and Oliver O’Donovan, Paternoster Theological Monographs (Milton Keynes: Paternoster, 2009).
A full academic treatment and comparison of the political theologies of two major theologians.

Dewi Hughes, Power and Poverty: Divine and Human Rule in a World of Need (Nottingham: IVP, 2008).
A study of power and poverty against the background of some of the fundamental themes of the Bible as a whole.

James Davison Hunter, To Change the World: The Irony, Tragedy, and Possibility of Christianity in the Late Modern World (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010).
This has had an enormous level of exposure since its publication. It’s essentially three extended essays, building an overall case against misguided attempts on the part of Christians ‘to change the world’, and instead arguing for the significance of ‘faithful presence’ in the world.

Rose Lynas (ed.), Votewise Now!: Helping Christians Engage with the Issues (London: SPCK, 2009).
A collection of short essays seeking to help Christians evaluate party policies and promises wisely. A series of helpful Bible studies relating to the book are available from the Jubilee Centre.

Steve Monsma, Healing for a Broken World: Christian Perspectives on Public Policy (Wheaton: Crossway, 2008).
Written from an American perspective, but useful more widely. Seeks to lay out a Christian framework based on Scripture before applying it to areas such as poverty, human rights, disease, war and terrorism.

Oliver O’Donovan, The Desire of the Nations: Rediscovering the Roots of Political Theology (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996).
Not an easy read, but seen by many as a classic work of political theology. O’Donovan is significant given his commitment to the Bible as Christian Scripture and the possibility of a unified biblical ethic, and the place he gives to theology in formulating an ethics which can find appropriate political expression.

Elizabeth Phillips, Political Theology: A Guide for the Perplexed (London: T&T Clark International, 2012).
A good way in for those who want to explore political theology in more detail.

Michael Schluter and John Ashcoft (eds.), Jubilee Manifesto: A Framework, Agenda and Strategy for Christian Social Reform (Leicester: IVP, 2005).
An excellent collection of essays flowing out of the work of the Jubilee Centre. It is biblically and theologically based, concerned especially with relationships in families, communities, and society, and explores how a ‘relational’ perspective provides insights on how to approach topics of concern such as the family, welfare, economics, justice, etc.

Nick Spencer and Jonathan Chaplin (eds.), God and Government (London: SPCK, 2009).
A thought-provoking collection of essays from a joint project between Theos, the public theology think tank, and the Kirby Laing Institute for Christian Ethics, showcasing – from different perspectives – the interface between theology and politics. It helpfully explores biblical and theological foundations for Christian political thinking and considers different ideas about the role of government. This is a valuable contribution not only in encouraging Christians to see politics as an honourable vocation, but also in demonstrating something of the wealth of material in Scripture and Christian political thought.

Peter Gentry and Stephen Wellum Respond to Three Reviews of Kingdom Through Covenant

Having drawn attention (here) to three recent reviews (by Darrell Bock, Douglas Moo, and Michael Horton) of Peter Gentry and Stephen Wellum, Kingdom through Covenant: A Biblical-Theological Understanding of the Covenants (Wheaton: Crossway, 2012), I ought also to note that the authors have now responded to those reviews here.

Byron Borger on Books for Life-Long Learners 20.0

Here is the twentieth in an ongoing of notes by Byron Borger on recent books, profiling just two: Reformation and Scholasticism in Philosophy: Collected Works Series A – Volume 5/1, by Herman Dooyeweerd (Paideia Press, 2012), and A New Evangelical Manifesto: A Kingdom Vision for the Common Good, edited by David Gushee (Chalice Press, 2012).

Saturday, 15 September 2012

Books on Creation Care from a Christian Perspective

I was asked to lead a day workshop on creation care, exploring the biblical foundation for Christian environmental concern and action. Below is the list of (mostly recent) books I recommended for those who wanted to explore further.

Fred Bahnson and Norman Wirzba, Making Peace with the Land: God’s Call to Reconcile with Creation (Downers Grove: IVP, 2012).
Part of USA IVP’s ‘Resources for Reconciliation’ series, this one argues that God’s plan of reconciliation is bound up with God’s redemption and restoration of all creation.

Richard Bauckham, The Bible and Ecology: Rediscovering the Community of Creation (London: Darton, Longman and Todd, 2010).
One of the best in the area from a careful and seasoned biblical scholar. His distinctive contribution, perhaps, is articulated in the subtitle – calling us to recognise our place not just as stewards over creation but as part of the community of creation.

Richard Bauckham, Living with Other Creatures: Green Exegesis and Theology (Milton Keynes: Paternoster, 2012).
A collection of scholarly essays written by Bauckham over the years, but conveniently gathered together in one book.

R.J. Berry (ed.), The Care of Creation: Focusing Concern and Action (Leicester: IVP, 2000).
Takes its cue from the 1994 ‘Evangelical Declaration on the Care of Creation’, effectively providing a commentary on the statement via relatively short chapters by a range of contributors.

Dave Bookless, Planetwise: Dare to Care for God’s World (Nottingham: IVP, 2008).
An excellent read, offering a whole-Bible perspective along with reflections on ‘living it out’. Probably the best place to start.

Steven Bouma-Prediger, For the Beauty of the Earth: A Christian Vision for Creation Care, 2nd edn. (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2010).
This second edition was published in Baker’s ‘Engaging Culture’ series, providing a wide-ranging and highly lauded treatment of the topic.

Ellen F. Davis, Scripture, Culture, and Agriculture: An Agrarian Reading of the Bible (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009).
A stimulating work. Drawing on ‘agrarian theory’ in her reading of Scripture, Davis uses agrarianism as a lens for reading a variety of biblical texts (from the Law, Psalms, Wisdom, Prophecy, and historical narrative) and finds them illumined in the process – particularly where agrarianism is seen not just as a narrow concern with farming but in broader terms as ‘a way of thinking and ordering life in community that is based on the health of the land and of living creatures’.

Calvin B. DeWitt, Earthwise: A Guide to Hopeful Creation Care, 3rd edn. (Grand Rapids: Faith Alive, 2010).
Tonally warm and positive, with practical suggestions, and including ideas for reflection and discussion with others. Make sure to get the 2010 edition.

Normal C. Habel (ed.), Readings from the Perspective of the Earth, The Earth Bible 1 (Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 2000).
The lead volume in ‘The Earth Bible’ series, with several scholars reading a variety of biblical texts from the perspective of the ‘living voice’ and ‘intrinsic value’ of The Earth, often resulting in interpretations that are critical of what is understood to be the perspective of the Bible. There are several other volumes in the series covering different parts of the Bible – Genesis, Wisdom, Psalms and Prophets, etc. For an introduction to the project, see Norman C. Habel, ‘The Earth Bible Project’.

Margot Hodson, Uncovering Isaiah’s Environmental Ethics, Grove Ethics Series 161 (Cambridge: Grove Books, 2011).
A helpful booklet-length treatment of the ‘natural’ metaphors in Isaiah. See also Marlow (below) and Sluka (also below) for other helpful Grove Books.

David G. Horrell, The Bible and the Environment: Towards a Critical Ecological Biblical Theology (London: Equinox, 2010).
Written by one of the scholars at the forefront of ‘ecological hermeneutics’, this is an excellent and readable overview of the main issues and the main biblical passages. Horrell is painfully honest about where he thinks Scripture is supportive of a ‘green’ agenda and where he considers it is not quite as positive as we might wish it would be!

David G. Horrell, Cherryl Hunt, Christopher Southgate, and Francesca Stavrakopoulou (eds.), Ecological Hermeneutics: Biblical, Historical and Theological Perspectives (London: T&T Clark International, 2010).
A collection of academic essays, written from a range of disciplinary perspectives. Not an easy read, but definitely worth trying out if you want to dig deeper into issues surrounding the relationship between ecology and biblical interpretation.

David G. Horrell, Cherryl Hunt, Christopher Southgate (eds.), Greening Paul: Reading the Apostle in a Time of Ecological Crisis (Baylor: University of Baylor Press, 2010).
Similar in outlook to the above item, but focused on Paul, particularly the creation ‘narratives’ found in Romans 8:19-22 and Colossians 1:15-20.

James Jones, Jesus and the Earth (London: SPCK, 2003).
A short book, arguing that Jesus is not only the saviour of humanity, but of the planet and cosmos too.

Hilary Marlow, The Earth is the Lord’s: A Biblical Response to Environmental Issues, Grove Biblical Series 50 (Cambridge: Grove Books, 2008).
Crams a lot into a 28-page booklet, and well worth reading for a quick overview. Hilary Marlow is also the author of a fuller, more technical (and very expensive!) treatment of the prophets: Biblical Prophets and Contemporary Environmental Ethics (Oxford: OUP, 2009).

Carol S. Robb, Wind, Sun, Soil, Spirit: Biblical Ethics and Climate Change (Minneapolis: Fortress, 2010).
Integrates discussion of economic theory, environmental policy, and biblical ethics, focusing mostly on Jesus and Paul, with an emphasis on community and justice.

Colin A. Russell, Saving Planet Earth: A Christian Response (Milton Keynes: Authentic, 2008).
A short overview.

Robert D. Sluka, Hope for the Ocean: Marine Conservation, Poverty Alleviation and Blessing the Nations, Grove Ethics Series 165 (Cambridge: Grove Books, 2012).
A recognition that the oceans are as much a part of the ‘environment’ as the land, and a look at how the biblical principles of sabbath, justice, and humility might apply to the setting up of marine protection areas.

Nick Spencer and Robert White, Christianity, Climate Change and Sustainable Living (London: SPCK, 2007).
Based on careful research, outlining the nature of the problem before going on to explore the biblical perspective and the Christian response.

Dan Story, Should Christians Be Environmentalists? (Grand Rapids: Kregel, 2012).
A very helpful overview; along with Bookless (above) and Marlow (above), a good place to start for someone who is fairly new in exploring the area.

Sarah Tillet (ed.), Caring for Creation: Biblical and Theological Perspectives (Oxford: Bible Reading Fellowship, 2005).
Chapters on the teaching of different sections of Scripture are helpfully interspersed with stories drawn from the work of A Rocha.

Noah J. Toly and Daniel I. Block (eds.), Keeping God’s Earth: The Global Environment in Biblical Perspective (Nottingham: Apollos, 2010).
An excellent collection of scholarly essays, covering cities and the world, the diversity of life, water resources, and climate change.

Laura Ruth Yordy, Green Witness: Ecology, Ethics, and the Kingdom of God (Eugene: Cascade Books, 2007).
Argues that Christians can and should work for the wholeness of the environment whether or not our efforts bear immediate visible fruit, because God always makes good use of faithful discipleship. Points out that although we cannot save the earth, we might be able to show even in small ways what a saved earth might look like!

Christian Reflection on Caring for Creation

The latest issue of Christian Reflection, published by the Center for Christian Ethics at Baylor University, is now available, this one devoted to ‘Caring for Creation’. The whole issue is available as a pdf here, and an accompanying Study Guide is available here. The main articles, with their abstracts, are as follows:

Robert B. Kruschwitz
Through the biblical idea of the interwoven created order – in both its cultivated and uncultivated parts – we recognize nature’s significance and worth, and our membership in it. What practices can form us into faithful disciples who rightly care for creation?

Jame Schaefer
Valuing the Goodness of the Earth
Though John Chrysostom, Augustine, and Thomas Aquinas, when reflecting on the creation story, valued all types of creatures, living and non-living, intrinsically for their unique goodness and instrumentally for the sustenance they provide to others, they valued most highly their complex interrelation in the physical world.

Elizabeth Theokritoff
The Book of the Word: Reading God’s Creation
The world is not simply a resource, or a garden entrusted to our care, but above all a revelation of the ways and will of God. How might we recover a robust yet nuanced understanding of nature as truly a book of God’s words with several levels of meaning?

Susan P. Bratton
Appreciating Wilderness
From the scenic wonders of designated wilderness areas to the ordinary oak forests and cattail marshes adjoining suburbs that link them in a natural tapestry, the entire network is an important spiritual resource, an interactive exercise in understanding God’s will and original intentions for creation.

Norman Wirzba
Faithful Eating
The food we eat, both what we eat and how we eat it, may be the most significant witness to creation care Christians can perform. With every bite we communicate what we think about land and water, fellow animals, fellow humans, and God as the Provider of the many gifts of nurture we daily consume.

Burt Burlesdon
Chosen in Creation’s Plan

Burt Burlesdon
Worship Service

Heidi J. Hornik
Caring for Creation in Art

Jeffrey Bilbro
Doing Good Work
Wendell Berry envisions good work – the sort of humble, faithful, and skillful work that connects us caringly to our place and honors the gifts that we have received of land and life, of membership in a holy creation – as the practical means to fulfill our divine calling to love and steward creation.

R. Wesley Smith
Becoming More Mindful of Creation
Christian organizations like A Rocha and Au Sable Institute of Environmental Studies lead congregations to be more involved in earth-keeping by reading theology, exploring the place where they live, educating themselves and others about environmental concerns, and building communities of earth-keeping.

Elizabeth D. Sands Wise
Allelon Community Garden
Working side-by-side in their church garden one hot summer, members formed a better community. They discovered that relationships cultivated over dirt and sweat, rather than donuts and coffee, were different because as individuals they were more vulnerable, and together more productive.

Melissa Browning
Women’s Broken Bodies in God’s Broken Earth
In places where the earth is broken by environmental degradation, people are also broken. The poor and marginalized – especially women and their children – are often shoved by their circumstances to live in and carry the burdens of these broken places.

Other Voices

Presian Burroughs
Reading Scripture Greenly
Three recent works reviewed here can help us develop a biblically inspired ecological consciousness. Although they consider different combinations of biblical texts, they ultimately agree that the Scriptures teach us to live now in accordance with the fullness of God’s new creation.

David C. McDuffie
Christian Vision for Creation Care
By applying the traditional Christian virtues of faith, hope, and love to how we understand the relationship between God and the earth as a part of God’s creation, the three books reviewed here articulate an environmental ethic that is theocentric, scientifically informed, and biblically inspired.

Friday, 14 September 2012

Three Reviews of Kingdom Through Covenant

During the summer holidays, I started reading through Peter Gentry and Stephen Wellum, Kingdom through Covenant: A Biblical-Theological Understanding of the Covenants (Wheaton: Crossway, 2012), essentially arguing for a middle way between dispensationalism and covenant theology. (See here for an earlier post.)

The Gospel Coalition website invited three scholars – from different theological perspectives – to evaluate their proposal, and all three reviews are now available online:

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Bible Sunday 2012

Bible Society have links to some resources to help churches celebrate Bible Sunday – 28 October this year, although any date will do.

They note that ‘anyone can join the celebration’:

As an individual: Take time yourself on Bible Sunday to get deeper into the Bible. Share it on facebook.

• As a group: Use our Bible Society resources for a fresh approach to the Bible in your home group and share the stories of people waiting for the Bible in their own language.

• As a church: Hold a Bible Sunday service at your church, celebrating the importance of the Bible and raising money to see people all over the world receiving the Bible.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Centre for Public Christianity (September 2012)

Among other items, the latest email newsletter from the Centre for Public Christianity contains a links to a short podcast interview with Michael Schluter, economist and Chief Executive of Relationships Global, in which Michael talks about ‘relational capital and a biblical social vision as it applies to communities, companies, and economic modelling’.

Monday, 10 September 2012

Evangelical Alliance on Evangelicals and Money

The latest report in the 21st Century Evangelicals Series from the Evangelical Alliance UK is devoted to beliefs and habits of evangelical Christians with respect to money.

The full report – Does Money Matter? – is available as a pdf here.

This is what the EA says:

Our latest research looks at money. How we spend it, save it, or give it away. We’ve been encouraged by our latest findings that have told us that: 92 per cent of evangelicals agree it’s every Christian’s duty to help those in poverty, and 45 per cent of our panels’ churches fund or support those in immediate need through Foodbanks or similar. Our panel are big givers too, on average giving away 14.5 per cent of their income. They are also remarkably free from debt; 58 per cent owe nothing, not even a mortgage on their house.’

PowerPoint presentation and discussion questions for churches are linked to from this page.

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Knowing and Doing (Fall 2012)

It was only relatively recently that I discovered Knowing & Doing – ‘A Teaching Quarterly for Discipleship of Heart and Mind’ – from the C.S. Lewis Institute.

The Fall 2012 issue has just become available online, and contains the following articles:

Thomas A. Tarrants
Hindrances to Discipleship: The World
Much of the communication around us operates as if the God of heaven and earth did not exist. It presses upon us from all directions and tries to mold how we think, feel, and act.

Jeanne Thum
A Fellow’s Journey from Washington to Wycliffe
What I’ve learned spiritually since arriving in Papua New Guinea is not facts about God or me. It’s more of a strengthening inside, a deepening trust and commitment to God.

Tom Schwanda
The Spiritual Discipline of Meditation: Reading Scripture with Isaac Ambrose
Ambrose reminds readers, ‘If the Spirit of Christ comes along with the Word, it will rouse hearts, raise spirits, work wonders.’

David B. Calhoun
‘Servants of the Servants of God’: Monica
Augustine came to understand this about his mother: Monica’s piety was not the result of inherent goodness or successful striving; it was God’s gift-received, not achieved.

Jana Harmon
C.S. Lewis on the Problem of Pain
Pain is pain and it hurts. Christ Himself knew pain and suffering – intimately, personally, profoundly. He, beyond all understanding, knows how we feel.

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Mark Meynell on John Stott Reflecting on 60 Years of Public Ministry

Over at Quaerentia, Mark Meynell has a lovely post recalling an occasion in 2005 when John Stott addressed a small group of ministers, sharing some of the disciplines that sustained him in his own walk with Christ and during his ministry that began at All Souls, Langham Place, in 1945.

The points Mark recalls are:

• Keeping priorities
• Valuing people
• Checking relevance
• Private study
• Personal obedience
• Personal humility

9Marks eJournal 9, 5 (September-October 2012) on Discipling in the Church

The latest issue of the 9Marks eJournal is now available as a pdf here.

In the Editor’s Note, Jonathan Leeman writes:

‘Discipling is not a program. It is not a podcast preacher. It is not a one-size-fits-all information transfer. It is life-on-life loving in word and deed.

Jesus told us to make disciples, which means it is a basic part of the Christian life. But we are not always sure how to get a handle on it, or what it looks like.

If you are a pastor or elder, you should be leading the way in discipling younger individuals in the faith. Your instruction and example should be helping to cultivate a culture of discipleship in your church. Does that sound intimidating? If it does, are you sure you are called to be an elder?

Let’s back up. The work of discipling starts in the heart – a heart that rejoices in the ministry of others. Is that you? Read Bobby Jamieson’s excellent piece and ask that question.

Next, consider what your vision for pastoring or eldering is. Do you see discipling as a central part of the job? Jonathan Dodson and Jeramie Rinne will help you answer that question. And Jamieson will talk about how to do it.

Garrett Kell and Erin Wheeler then bring us back to the basics of discipling, and Brian Parks and Jani Ortlund help us to see some of the glorious fruit of discipling.’

Monday, 3 September 2012

Byron Borger on Books on Vocation and Calling, Work and Jobs

Byron Borger assembles here a full and excellent annotated list of books on vocation and work, written from a Christian perspective.

Mission Frontiers 34, 5 (September-October 2012)

The September-October 2012 issue of Mission Frontiers, published by the U.S. Center for World Mission, contains a number of articles around the theme of ‘Simple Churches – Dramatic Transformations’.

Here’s part of the summary blurb:

‘In this issue of we take a closer look at what is church, what they look like, who is qualified to plant them and how do they become movements. We get to take a glimpse into some dramatic transformations happening from the historic cities of Europe to the desert plains of Africa. But we are asking one question: Is church really as complicated as we have made it or is there a simpler, more effective way?’

Individual articles can be accessed from here; the whole issue can be downloaded as a pdf here.

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Tim Keller on Center Church

Timothy J. Keller, Center Church: Doing Balanced, Gospel-Centered Ministry in Your City (Grand Rapids: Zondervan 2012).

Courtesy of NetGalley, over my summer holiday, I’ve been reading the galley pages of this just-about-to-be-published book from Tim Keller, and think it is truly excellent.

It’s an exploration of what Keller calls a ‘Center Church’ theological vision in terms of three basic commitments – Gospel, City, and Movement.

Zondervan make a pdf excerpt available here, which includes the Introduction, in which Keller outlines the significance of what he calls ‘theological vision’ (that which lies between a doctrinal foundation on the one side and particular forms of ministry on the other side), and the first chapter in the section on the Gospel.

Lausanne Movement on Workplace Ministry

During August, the monthly focus from the Lausanne Movement on the issues raised in The Cape Town Commitment has been Workplace Ministry.

There is a summarising piece by Naomi Frizzell – ‘Created to Work’.

The lead article from Gordon Preece, Al Miyashita and Willy Kotiuga is ‘Truth and the Workplace: Sacred-Secular Divide’, to which there are four responses:

• D.G. Elmore, ‘Submitting to Jesus’