What God Is Doing in the World Today

Travis Myers: What is God doing in missions? SEVEN WAYS HE MOVES IN GLOBAL MISSIONS Today many debate the correct definition of Christian missions as well as the right understanding of what faithful missionaries should be doing, or prioritizing, in their labors. Answering those important questions well begins with recognizing in Scripture what God is doing in the global outreach and cross-cultural ministries of his people. My aim is to lay out some of the theological richness God has provided to inform global outreach, especially among the unreached and least responsive people groups of the world. I want to sketch for you how the Bible portrays the journey we’re all on as the global body of Christ and the horizon toward which God is taking us. Finding ourselves in these seven biblical trajectories and storylines ought to yield a more humble confidence that God may choose to do glorious things through our patient, painstaking, and strategically-placed acts of Christian discipleship

read more What God Is Doing in the World Today

Calvinism, Hyper-Calvinism, and World Missions

This post is adapted from Andrew Fuller: Holy Faith, Worthy Gospel, World Mission by John Piper. Natural Inability and Moral Inability In his most famous work, The Gospel Worthy of All Acceptation, Andrew Fuller piles text upon text in which unbelievers are addressed with the duty to believe.[1] These are his final court of appeal against the High Calvinists, who use their professed logic to move from biblical premises to unbiblical conclusions. But he finds Jonathan Edwards very helpful in answering the High Calvinist objection on another level. Remember, the objection is that “it is absurd and cruel to require of any man what is beyond his power to perform.” In other words, a man’s inability to believe removes his responsibility to believe (and our duty to command people to believe). In response to this objection, Fuller brings forward the distinction between moral inability and natural inability. This was the key insight which he learned from Jonathan Edwards, and he

read more Calvinism, Hyper-Calvinism, and World Missions

The Greatest Challenge in the World

  John Piper: Never, never, never forget that Jesus commanded us to make disciples of all the peoples on this planet — the whole planet (Matthew 28:19–20). This is the greatest challenge in the world. Let the emphasis fall on “all the peoples” — Greek, panta ta ethne (all ethnic groups in the world). Jesus bought men “from every tribe and language and people and nation” (Revelation 5:9). Not some, but every. The point is not that we can draw sharp boundaries between all the peoples (tribes, languages, nations). The point is that the scope of Jesus’s command is wider and amazingly more diverse than we think. Remember the Mission What a wonderful day we live in when we consider the sacrificial, rigorous, extensive research that is being done to help us know the progress of Jesus’s mission! Perhaps the most accessible, clear, and thorough accumulation of these facts is at Joshuaproject.net. I think Jesus would be very pleased if

read more The Greatest Challenge in the World

Devoted for Life

Tim Challies: It does us good to read missionary biographies. This is especially true when those missionaries served during the great age of missions in the 1700’s and 1800’s. This was a period when missionaries traveled overseas into uncharted and unfamiliar lands. As they left familiar shores they knew they might never return to their homelands, that they would inevitably suffer in terrible ways, that they would very likely give up their lives in service to the Lord. And still they went. Adoniram Judson is the subject of an excellent new biography from Vance Christie, who has previously written works on Hudson Taylor, David Brainerd, and John and Betty Stam. Judson was the very first foreign missionary commissioned in the United States; he proved to be one of the greatest. In 1812 he set sail from America and arrived the next year in Burma (modern day Myanmar). He would serve in Burma for almost four decades and in all that time

read more Devoted for Life

Does Calvinism Kill Missions?

Jason Helopoulos: It is often asserted that Calvinism creates a barrier to evangelism and missions. The accusation usually comes in the form of questions. How could those who believe the Scriptures teach predestination and election truly have a heart for missions? If God has determined who shall be saved, why would there be any need to engage in evangelism or missions? And yet, we can safely say that this is an argument lacking historical proof (and theological basis). It must be acknowledged that Calvinists have not only robustly encouraged, engaged, and propagated missions, but have led some of the great mission’s and evangelistic movements in the history of the church. Even a cursory glance at the history of missions and missionaries produces a hall of fame filled with Calvinists. It could rightly be argued that Calvinism is not only not a barrier to missions and evangelism, but has actually proven to be a spur to missions and evangelism. In fact, it has often been

read more Does Calvinism Kill Missions?

The Pastor’s Role in World Evangelization

. John Piper: What then should a pastor do to promote a passion among his people to see God glorified by the in-gathering of his sheep from the thousands of unreached people groups around the world? My answer: above everything else, be the kind of person and the kind of preacher whose theme and passion is the majesty of God. . . . The most important thing I think pastors can do to arouse and sustain a passion for world evangelization is week in and week out to help their people see the crags and peaks and icy cliffs and snowcapped heights of God’s majestic character. And let me sharpen the point in two ways: 1. We should labor in our preaching to clear the mists and fog away from the sharp contours of the character of God. We should let him be seen in his majesty and sovereignty. I know of one denominational official who, when asked how to preach

read more The Pastor’s Role in World Evangelization

Lausanne Movement

The buzz is picking up for Lausanne 2010. Wondering what it’s all about? In short, the Lausanne Movement is “a worldwide that mobilizes evangelical leaders to collaborate for world evangelization.” And in October 2010 the third Lausanne Congress on World Evangelization is taking place in Cape Town, South Africa. Here’s a brief history of the movement produced by the Lausanne Movement: (HT: The Gospel Coalition)

Cautiously Missional

I like this from Todd Pruitt: “Missional” is a word that has come along in recent years with great excitement in many cases. Pastors, churches, and even seminaries have been bold to proclaim themselves “missional.” The problem is that it is a frustratingly slippery word. Brian MacLaren defines it one way and Mark Driscoll another. I don’t mind the word, indeed I wouldn’t mind adopting it so long as it means a commitment to advance the Gospel (as Scripture defines “Gospel”). Ed Stetzer has written a helpful piece on the issue of “missional” at the Lifeway Research blog. After some opening observations Stetzer then asks some questions: All this provokes me to ask, “Why are so many missional Christians uninvolved in God’s global mission?” As the missional conversation continues and deepens, what has occurred that has led to our blindness to the lost world around us? Stetzer offers the following thoughts that I believe are worthy of reflection. 1) In rediscovering

read more Cautiously Missional

Unreached vs Unevangelized

Alex Chediak interviews David Sitton, President of To Every Tribe. An excerpt: There’s an important difference between unevangelized and unreached peoples. Unevangelized people are unconverted individuals in places where there are established churches. Unreached peoples are those that live in regions where there are no churches and no access to the evangelical gospel in their culture. And to answer your question about the present trend; 96% of the missionary work force is still laboring in unevangelized, but not truly unreached regions. Here it is again – 9 out of 10 Christian missionaries that go cross-cultural are still going to reached places! Here’s still another way to say it – Something like 90% of all “ministers” worldwide are concentrating on only 2% of the world’s population! We are massively overly evangelizing places where the gospel is already well planted! I believe that we need a substantial strategic redeployment of the missionary workforce to the areas where there is still no access

read more Unreached vs Unevangelized

The Church and Social Action: Food for Thought

From Missions Mandate – a rather excellent site dedicated to world mission. The relationship between the church and social action can be a complicated issue. Recently, three people have provided their perspectives on this issue that would be helpful in establishing a biblical philosophy. Mark Snoeberger, Professor of Systematic Theology at Detroit Baptist Theological Seminary, in his series on the reasons for the continued existence of fundamentalism, provides clarification regarding the belief that the church has no social mandate. Individual Christians can be neighborly and be involved in social action, but the institutional church must resist adopting a programmatic social agenda as an end. The church has no responsibility to rescue babies from abortion (though its members may do so), no responsibility to build hospitals (though its members may do so), no responsibility to provide medical or dental services (though doctors and dentists within its membership may do so), etc… In view of the extraordinary pressure exerted by culture for the church

read more The Church and Social Action: Food for Thought