I’ve been published! Here’s my review of “Still Evangelical?”

Doing Missiology

I wanted to let you know that I recently wrote a book review and it was published!

Earlier this year Mark Labberton, President of Fuller Theological Seminary, edited and published Still Evangelical?: Insiders Reconsider Political, Social, and Theological Meaning.  The collection was part of an effort to address the recent problems with evangelical identity politics and has many helpful essays from many sides of the political confusion that has captured the vision of what the label “evangelical” refers to.

I was invited to write a review for the Journal of Latin American Theology:  Reflections from the Latino South and I have linked to it here.  I’m sorry if it seems a little “academic”, but I hope that isn’t a barrier to you if you want to read it.

My perspective for writing it was based on my experience in Latin America.  The evangelical churches have grown so fast, and Latin Americans have become evangelicals in vast numbers during my life-time, and most of them have done so outside of the influence of American or European missionaries.

My experience has helped me realize that US Americans don’t determine what evangelicalism is or what it the label will come to stand for.  It is true that American evangelicals are closely watched by evangelicals and non-evangelicals from around the world.  Our evangelical version of Christianity is often either imitated or persecuted.  And it is true that we send lots of missionaries who try to influence the shape of evangelical faith in every country of the world.  Our government watches out for missionaries and, sometimes, for local Christians in places where their religious freedom is violated.

18corralesINYT-superJumboThe reality is that evangelicals around the world are reading the Bible for themselves, they are praying and hearing visions from God on their own, and they have become followers of Jesus Christ for their own reasons, some of which may or may not be the reasons why missionaries and evangelical leaders from our country think they should follow.  And when they read the Bible and listen to the Spirit of Christ, they may often take a different path than we have.  I have observed that the churches that do best in many places in Latin America are often the ones that are most criticized, ignored or ostracized by missionaries.  Latin American evangelicals and their independence is sometimes based on the egos of leaders, but it is also often based on their own reading of the Scriptures or their own attentiveness to the Spirit of God.  Directly, or often indirectly, their words and their actions call US American evangelical missionaries to account.

Well, if you want to know more, feel free to read my article.

2018 Ministry update

My work

I tell people I commute to Brazil.  Mapa-Mundo-AtualAnd sometimes I do, and sometimes I work from the USA focused on the work of Martureo–The Brazilian Center for Missiological Reflection where I am Executive Coordinator.

How does Martureo work?

Martureo influences the perspective and efforts of thousands of Brazilians who bear witness to the Lord Jesus Christ, and all his teachings, around the world and in every sphere of society. In 2018 Martureo did this in three significant ways.  We offered graduate level missiology courses in partnership with a local seminary in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro mission leaders and for others are preparing for service both inside and outside Brazil.  Martureo also published scholarly articles and books for leaders of the Brazilian mission movement and an on-line video series.  Our social media engaged thousands of people, helping them think about the world from the perspective of the mission of Christ.

Our typical annual program would include a symposium in which leaders would come together from various mission agencies, training programs, and fields of service, to work on a shared issue of mission practice.  Consultation Oct 2017You can read about our 2017 symposium here.  However, this year we did something different.  Marcos Amado, founder of Martureo, and I needed something like a symposium for ourselves to address our own issues of mission practice.

image-2-from-martureo-assessment-sept-2016-page-1Martureo been good for our own productivity.  Plus, the response to our efforts has been gratifying.  But we realized that we should not facilitate our own efforts only.  Brazilian mission challenges need broader missiological focus than what just we can offer.

Join us in making some important changes.

We are making significant changes in Martureo– Brazilian Center for Missiological Reflection where I serve as Executive Coordinator.  We begin to implement the changes in Martureo in early 2019.  We will add a senior colleague who can develop the Martureo program to assist leaders outside of Martureo to do the research, writing and teaching that improve the level of mission training, finds solutions together to shared problems, and shares the results of their research widely.

We have begun to seek initial funding to hire a new Executive Director.  In addition to responsibilities for Program Development, an Executive Director would also be tasked with donor relations.

Meanwhile we are also finishing up our work in 2018.  Again, a big thank you to those who have contributed prayers and finances during the year.  Thank you for supporting our efforts to create a Center for Missiological Reflection that strengthens faithful witness by Brazilians in a global setting.

If you would like to consider a gift before the end of the year, we need an additional $8000 to finish well.  Any amount you want to offer will be gratefully accepted at give.martureo.com.br or by sending a check to

Martureo
PO Box 480
Wheaton, IL 60187

Thank you!  Tim-Lois-July-2018.jpg

 

We are home, after the trip of a lifetime: where was the love?

Life and Faith

Over the last month, we were on “the trip of a lifetime.” It was an opportunity for rest and renewal and, most importantly, multiple experiences of love.

The most visible experiences of love were found in the journey, which was itself a gift from God.  It is quite special that we were given the privilege of being gone for an entire month to wander around Europe.  It was love that gave us access to enough resources for us to visit Germany, Austria, Czech Republic, England, Holland, and Norway.  The surprising part was that we were on the receiving end of so many acts of generosity, that expressed love from friends toward us.

Martureo: some accomplishments from 2017

Martureo: Brazilian Center for Missiological Reflection

My main responsibility, after trying to be a loving husband, father, and grandfather, is to help coordinate the people in Martureo who are creating a Brazilian Center for Missiological Reflection

Matureo buddhistI have copied here for you the report from our Martureo site about some of our accomplishments in 2017.  In Martureo we understand how important it is for Brazilian mission practitioners to carefully consider how they give witness to Christ and participate in his mission in all spheres of society.  And I am very pleased with what we were able to accomplish.
https://www.martureo.com.br/martureo-some-accomplishments-from-2017/

PANAMA”PUENTE DEL MUNDO, CORAZON DEL UNIVERSO”

God and humanity, Immigrants, Latin America and humanity

It’s not about the ships.

The important thing is how cargo gets from one part of the world to another.

Sometimes the best way is on a ship that passes through the Canal.  But not all cargo stays in ships as it goes through the Canal.   The canal administration understands that is a node in a flow of global commerce from everywhere to everywhere.  The canal is an important part of Panama’s brand:  “Bridge of the World, Heart of the Universe.”

Panama is about connectivity between humans.   But the Canal doesn’t produce the

Finding theology: I’d like to straddle the fence, but from which side do I climb up?

Doing Missiology

I am tired of what theology does to my social life!  Perhaps my weariness is one reason why I accepted the invitation to assist in the birth of a Brazilian Center for Missiological Reflection.

Theological positions are important for some people.  Not long ago, a good friend warned me over coffee about the dangers of “Open Theism.”  I was unaware of Open Theism.  So