Why ‘We’re just like You’ isn’t a great ‘USP’

“Like many of my generation, I was heavily influenced by student ministry, and set off to theological college ready to take on and change the world – or, to be more accurate, to change the church.

It wasn’t the only thing I wanted to do. I did long to see people become Christians, for example. But I also wanted church to be ‘good’. I wanted to do everything in my power to see the Bible taught well; to make sure that the cringe factor was eliminated from what we did when we were together. …”

– At The Gospel Coalition Australia, Gary Millar calls for a change of thinking in the way we present church. (Photo: CMS.)

Jesus Christ makes everything good for everyone, everywhere.

“We have to engage in cross-cultural mission respectfully, wisely and lovingly. The Bible tells us to obey the emperor and the government of the land in all things lawful and good. Christians who develop a calling or sense of urgency about the eternal salvation of any particular person or group need to be very prayerful, very wise and take lots of very good counsel.

We see a model of this in Paul’s missionary journeys through Acts. He and his team are certainly prayerful, as is the church in Antioch and elsewhere. Paul takes counsel to go or to stay in a place. He operates within the law, even when the law is used against him. He is respectful to jailers and governors, challenging them only when it comes to the claims of the Gospel itself.

Missions-minded Christians go all over the world legally, respectful of local laws and cultures and customs, breaking down every barrier in order to win the right to bear witness to Jesus. We go as humble servants of the Word. …”

The Gospel Coalition Australia speaks with Dr Wei-Han Kuan, State Director of CMS Victoria, about the motivation of would-be missionary John Allen Chau, on North Sentinel Island in the Andamans. (Image credit: NASA / MODIS.)

Related:

Glen Scrivener speaks about criticism of John Allen Chau published in The Independent.

Tim Challies shares some thoughts:

“Suddenly the whole world is talking about Christian missions. In his own way, John Allen Chau has sparked a conversation that now rages within the church and outside of it. I’ve spent the past week gathering my thoughts about his situation, and would like to offer a few points I hope you find helpful. …”

What is the role of culture and culturalism in evangelism?

“Christians today are engaged in cross-cultural evangelism. In the past it was only missionaries going overseas to preach the gospel who had to understand cross-cultural evangelism, but today most of us do not have to go that far to encounter other cultures. Most English-speaking countries have the great joy of people from all over the world moving into their neighbourhoods.

But what does a post-Christian multicultural nation involve? Is it any different to evangelising a Christian monocultural nation – and if so, how? …”

– At GoThereFor.com, Phillip Jensen provides some good questions to think about – along with a reminder that they will be addressed at the 2018 Queen’s Birthday Conference on 11th June. (Register here.)

Doing Outreach — for a Change

“Sorry about the whole Hell thing. I wasn’t real comfortable talking about Jesus. Hey, but at least you weren’t as hungry before you died.”

– The American Anglican Council’s Canon Mark Eldredge challenges Anglicans to share the gospel, and not just be nice people.

Related: Two Ways to Live.

John Lennox reflects on Stephen Hawking’s Life and Beliefs

“In the wake of Stephen Hawking’s death, fellow scientist Professor John Lennox reflects on Hawking’s life, work, and beliefs.

In 2011, Lennox wrote ‘God and Stephen Hawking: Whose Design Is It Anyway?.”

– Professor John Lennox is well worth watching.

25 minutes, from Fixed Point Foundation. (Link via Anglican Samizdat.)

Related: John Lennox’s website.