Day 3: Brazil is the world!

Did you see the opening ceremony for the 2016 Olympics in Brazil?

As expected, they put on a beautiful show.  I liked how they focused on how Brazil relates to the world.  We got to see representations of how the world made Brazil, how Brazilians transform global culture for their use and how Brazil’s struggling eco-system and struggling economy reflect global realities. Continue reading “Day 3: Brazil is the world!”

Day two: Evangelicals in the Rio landscape

Tonight the opening ceremony of the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio should be very special. Brazilians know how to throw a party and they know how to Bring people into their shared life, into their community. Be prepared!

rio-2016-bannerWhen we lived in Brazil, we were welcomed into the lives of people, into whole families and into church communities when we lived there. So much so that, to this day, we will feel like we are part of Brazil, and estranged members of several families. Continue reading “Day two: Evangelicals in the Rio landscape”

Day one: Brazilians are innovative religiously.

Tomorrow the Olympics begin in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

You probably know that Lois and I lived in Brazil from 1977 to 1986 where, as missionaries, we provided support to pastors and leaders in the rapidly growing numbers of churches.

 

Brazil is a VERY religious place, and diverse. Most Americans think that Brazil is strongly Catholic, but that is a mistake. Continue reading “Day one: Brazilians are innovative religiously.”

What is at stake when Brazilians “do missiology”

When Brazilians think about how they participate in God’s mission they are “doing missiology.” Hopefully the work of thinking will help them to do some good.  If they are successful we are all likely to benefit. 

The numbers of missionaries and the number of places where  they work is staggering.
Brazil may now be the second largest sender of missionaries in the world. Continue reading “What is at stake when Brazilians “do missiology””

(Dis)unity and Protestant Theology

Should I be I surprised when good Christians argue over theology — over who God is and how he relates to humans?    Jesus said that unity should characterize his followers.  But we Protestants have long been divided, and continue to divide more.

A history of dividing, not of unity, is built into the label “Protestant”. European Continue reading “(Dis)unity and Protestant Theology”

Why I am excited to work in Martureo

The world is changing, and I am excited to join a team of Brazilians who are leading some of those changes, as they follow God into His mission.  I recently accepted an invitation to become Executive Coordinator at Martureo: the Brazilian Center for Missiological Reflection. Of course, it sweetens the deal to know I get to travel to Brazil regularly!
There are actually several cool things that excite me about my new ministry location and focus.  First, I have been preparing for it all my life.  I first went to Brazil Continue reading “Why I am excited to work in Martureo”

Martureo

In late April, I started a new job in Brazil.  I am now the Executive Coordinator for Martureo:  the Brazilian Center for Missiological Reflection.

Marcos Amado founded Martureo to produce resources Brazilians need to assess their experience in global mission and chart a course for the future.

When Lois and I went as missionaries to Brazil in the 70’s we believed Brazilians should not so much receive missionaries as send them.  Over the next few decades that is exactly what happened.  A movement of Brazilians in global mission emerged and grew. Continue reading “Martureo”

South American Immigrants in the United States

Growing rapidly from a population of 90,000 in 1960 to nearly 3 million in 2014, South American immigrants now represent 7 percent of all foreign born in the United States. Family-based immigration is the primary pathway for all South American groups, ranging from 45 percent of Venezuelan immigrants to 97 percent of those from Guyana.

Source: South American Immigrants in the United States

Do Muslims and Christians worship the same God?

I have much respect for Joseph Cumming, and I have learned a lot from him.  He is great example of what it means to take Christ seriously and respect Muslims at the same time (that sentence, written in that way, makes it look like those two things–taking Christ seriously and respecting Muslims–don’t go together.  But they do, and they must!).

Joseph Cumming and Nabeel Qureshi discuss the question in the title of this post on this podcast on the topic of Do Muslims and Christians worship the same God?

Perhaps you are not familiar with this controversy and wonder if it makes any difference.  And the picture I have posted complicates that question. It shows a store in Paterson, NJ that sells “spiritual paraphernalia”.  The owners of that store have tried to Continue reading “Do Muslims and Christians worship the same God?”

Who gets to participate in “being”? Images of refugee camps, part 1

What opportunities do people in the camps have to leave, to work, to create a future for themselves? How much does humanity lose when they are, seemingly, excluded from participating in the “ongoing event of being”?


I also wonder what happens when these places start to become “home”?

Are subjects here socialized into despair and swayed more easily to support terrorism or are they motivated by their experience to become contributors to a better world for all humanity? How does Jesus show up here?

 

Singular Things

This is the first in a series of posts about images of refugee camps. For three earlier posts about images of refugees, click here, here, and here.

1 Zaatari Refugee Camp, Dezeen

You’ve already seen this photo, or one like it. It’s Zaatari refugee camp in northern Jordan, home to a large (though fluctuating) population of Syrian refugees—about 80,000 at the time of writing, according to the UNHCR data portal’s page on the camp, though it’s been higher. At the moment, Zaatari is probably the most famous refugee camp in the world, though there are many that are older, or bigger, or both. Politicians, diplomats, celebrities, and tourists visit it, and so do many, many journalists. That’s one of the reasons why I say that you’ve already seen this photo, or one like it: if you pay even the slightest bit of attention to the news media, your eyes have…

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