Category Archives: Mission

Should we be concerned about the shrinking church in western Christianity?

I hear a lot of hand-wringing about the decline in church attendance in western nations, and I have often shared that concern. But Brett McCracken has redirected our concern considerably by looking at the situation from a different perspective than the one I often hear. He is speaking specifically of Christianity in the US, but I think that his diagnosis applies more broadly. What he proposes is that we are observing “the dying away of … Continue reading

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Does annihilationism diminish our motivation for evangelism?

This morning, I received a short letter which raised a question that comes up quite often, so I thought I’d post my response for a wider readership. The letter said: Hi Terry, I had someone say to me in regards to the Annihilationist view that, any view that undermines our desire to see the lost saved is a bad move. In other words, he’s saying that Annihilationism decreases the urgency for bringing the gospel to the … Continue reading

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Can democracy survive without Christian values and morality?

Unless there is a direct or indirect Christian ethos in government, we will not survive as a democracy. (M. A. Raju) A couple of weeks ago,  I posted regarding the contribution of 19th century Protestant missionary work to the rise of democracy. That point was demonstrated by the extensive research of Dudley Woodberry, as reported in Christianity Today. Now that magazine has published on the web a very fine interview with “M. A. Raju” (pen … Continue reading

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The major contribution of 19th century Protestant missionaries to the rise of democracy

In secular western societies today, proselityzing missionaries are viewed very negatively, but Robert Woodberry (son of J. Dudley) has demonstrated conclusively, through massive research, that one of (if not the) major contributing factors to the rise of democracy was the work of 19th century Protestant missionaries with a focus on conversion. I find this exciting. The story is told in the cover story of the Jan-Feb/14 issue of Christianity Today, from which I provide a … Continue reading

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Is there a hole in our holism?

Recently, I listened to a reading of Richard Stearns’ book, The Hole in Our Gospel: What Does God Expect of Us? Stearns is the president of World Vision U. S., and I was challenged by his own fervor for ministry to the poor, and his stirring exhortation to us to serve God in acts of mercy and help to the helpless. With his book quite fresh in my mind, my attention was caught when D. … Continue reading

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10 things Christians should know about Islam

I assume that very few Christians in the west are unaware of the great importance of Islam in the world today, both for the global political situation and for the spread of the gospel. But few of us (including me) know a Muslim personally, and many Christians are not well informed about Islam, having established our impressions on the basis of sensational news items in recent years. I sense that what happens in the Islamic … Continue reading

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Acts 2 and 10: gospel exclusivist or accessibilist?

Matthew Barrett examined an “inclusivist” reading of Acts 2 and 10 and found it wanting, in his 2011 ETS paper. He has done good work and his critique deserves consideration and response. Matthew Barrett’s critique of inclusivist readings Barrett studies Acts 2 because he has met inclusivist proposals that “the Spirit poured out on all flesh demonstrates that there is a saving, universal work of the Spirit even apart from the proclamation of the gospel … Continue reading

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The Church: Issues relative to Islam and the Chinese context

When Christians think about the religious situation in the world today, perhaps no religion has a more prominent place in our thinking than Islam. On the one hand, Islamic contexts have become a very large concern for Christians because of the severe resistance, opposition and persecution Christians experience in so many countries or regions where Islam predominates. Take a quick look at Open Doors’ World Watch list for 2012, a list of the 50 countries … Continue reading

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