(Re)reading mission in light of the Bible

I’ve been published again!

Martureo — The Brazilian Center for Missiological Reflection recently published an article I wrote on The Bible and the missionary imagination after colonialism.  

In my article, I drew on my life exprience in what might best be called “an inbetween space”. I am from a place in the North that used to send missionaries to countries to the South and to the East. And yet I had a place of my own with people from another place–one that put them on the receiving end of missionary projects from the North–in their efforts to follow Christ into His mission.

My article also drew on the story of NT Wright, controversies about his work, and how those controversies have played out in Brazil and in the USA.

Out of those experiences, I found stories that reveal the effect of some “structures” that remained in effect after colonialism was dismantled. Surprisingly, those structures make it difficult for Christians to actually listen to the Bible. Too often we use the Bible to make it say what we want it to say. The structures have another related effect: they name some people as needy and other people as the ones that God somehow needs so he can meet their need.  

My story is about people who let the Bible examine them and their practices. Its about how when they let the Bible do its work, they were pushed into service for the good of others, rather than worrying about how to “defend the faith”.  

The article is in Portuguese, so I have included here an English draft version of my article

Drawn to God with Maori and Settler in Aotearoa New Zealand

When I spoke last week at the Annual Meeting of Missions Interlink NZ in Auckland, New Zealand, I found it difficult to figure out what to say to experienced mission leaders.  So I did something I should do more often:  I asked for a little help from my friends–and sent a quick circular letter asking for prayer.

New Zealand is a relatively new context.  The more often I come, the clearer it becomes Continue reading “Drawn to God with Maori and Settler in Aotearoa New Zealand”

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

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

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

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