Anglican Thomas Cranmer and Mission

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Cranmer

A friend of mine, Ashley Null, spent most of his life researching Thomas Cranmer, the author of the original Anglican Prayer Book.  Ashley recently wrote a manuscript about Cranmer that highlights two themes relevant to missions. I’ll call them Bible-chewing and ethnic worship. Bible-chewing can nurture a right desire for God. It’s the key to spiritual renewal. To quote Cranmer, ‘In these bokes we may learne to know our selfes, how vile and miserable we be, and also to know God, how good he … [Read more...]

Bridging the Gap and Bringing Light

bell bridge

The recommended collect from the Book of Common Prayer for Advent, “Almighty God, give us grace to cast away the works of darkness and put on the armor of light, ” may sound like quaint, religious gobbledygook to many that might make us feel good, but lacks any power to change us. However, I believe it describes a reality for those who have  never heard that Jesus is the Light of the World. Recently, I heard the story of an American pastor who had a dream about a bridge. He asked his assistant … [Read more...]

What happened to the devil?

Stock Illustration File #20344325

“What happened to the Devil, you know? He used to be all over the place. He used to be all over the New Testament.” Justice Antonin Scalia commented last month in a New York Times Magazine interview. “So what happened to him?” His interviewer asked. “He just got wilier.” Here’s what intrigued me. Justice Scalia was offended that the journalist thought he was weird believing in the Devil. His response is worth quoting: “Are you so out of touch with most of America, most of which believes in … [Read more...]

Power Keys

key

“Yes, I held one of the four keys needed”, my new friend told me over lunch recently in Newport News, VA. “There were four of us US Air Force officers who each held a key. We only had a limited time to turn our key so that we were in sync with one another.”  His key could launch 50 intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM) within a range of 3,500+ miles. That was during the Cold War when he was posted to North Dakota. He found it both a terrifying and boring assignment. Each missile contained … [Read more...]

What my African teacher taught me

http://zondervan.typepad.com/zondervan/kwame.jpg

Kwame Bediako is from the West African country of Ghana. He is a Christian I never met, but he’s helping me understand Africa through his book  Jesus and the Gospel in Africa  (2004). This week Kwame taught me about traditional African thinking.  There’s a big question for many people who live within traditional, tribal communities in relation to the gospel: Why should we be concerned with Jesus if he’s not from my tribe, from my clan or my language group? We revere our ancestors as individuals … [Read more...]

Ears to the ground, eyes to the street

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In a nutshell, that’s what our pastors have to do. Keep their ears to the ground. Know the condition of their flocks. Take care of souls. Yet, they also need to look beyond their church buildings to what’s happening on the street outside. Just this week, I heard how a U.S. pastor initiated outreach to Muslim refugees in a large metro area, but sadly this was at the expense of his parishioners. The result?  People left the church. Those who remained closed their wallets in protest. The church is … [Read more...]

The Heart of Mission

praying hands

We could say the best worshipers are those who best do missions. Or, possibly, the people who best do missions are those who worship best. If we are not worshiping Jesus Christ while we are on mission, then it is as though we are throwing out the burger and munching on a bun. If we’re not experiencing that beauty of His holiness (Psalm 96:9) individually and corporately during our mission work, then we have lost our way. A couple weeks ago, I was leading a trip to S.E.Asia to intercede for … [Read more...]

The Nigerian Story

http://youtu.be/IZbsiSfK4PQ

Many in the Anglican Communion are grateful for the release of Archbishop Kattey after he was abducted by kidnappers in Nigeria. We are rejoicing too. Archbishop Kattey is not only a  fervent evangelist and national leader within the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), but is also a friend of AFM's.  He is passionate about recruiting, training and sending missionaries to unreached people groups. He  hosted a dynamic, week long frontier missions conference in Port Harcourt, June 17-21st this … [Read more...]

Why you need to read this book

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Ruth Tucker’s  book From Jerusalem to Irian Jaya caught my attention last week. Sadly, it’s a book I had never read until now, never even put on my summer list. After reading the first few chapters, I'm convinced that it's a gem. An "oldie but a goodie" is how I would describe it. Its  sub-title, “A Biographical History of Christian Missions",  is a bit more revealing than the title   First published thirty years ago (1983) by Zondervan, it received a lot of press in mission circles at that … [Read more...]

Deliverance…Really?

urban scene

“Now, you’re the leader of Deliverance Church, tell me what type of deliverance has occurred in your community?” That was the question an African-American pastor asked a fellow minister in an inner city metro region in North East USA. The pastor was in a seminary class I was teaching recently. He expressed exasperation at the so-called Deliverance Churches, or ministries, in low-income, crime infested urban areas where so little deliverance was evident. He lamented that some churches spend hours … [Read more...]