Wednesday, August 31, 2011

One Summer in Damak

This sounds so interesting.  I may need to go visit my Nepali sister in Durham so that I can see this exhibit.  Seems that the Kenan Institute at Duke University is doing some very insightful research on Bhutanese-Nepalis and the resettlement process.

http://kenan.ethics.duke.edu/one-summer-in-damak-opens-september-12/

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Good News in Nepali (Bhutanese Dialect)

Here's a resource that many of my regular readers may be interested in.  It is a storying presentation of the message of the Bible in the Nepali language -- as spoken by Bhutanese-Nepalis.  Enjoy!

http://globalrecordings.net/en/program/C80350

Darrin Patrick's "Over-Contextualization" Misses the Point

Today I came across an article by Acts 29 planter Darrin Patrick that seems to talk about contextualization.  I noticed that the article was being kicked around Twitter by a number of aspiring planter-types and thought I'd check it out.  Supposedly, the article speaks about the "dangers of over-contextualization," but a closer look at the article suggests that its author doesn't really understand the issue he is trying to engage.  Let's take a look . . .

If you aren’t familiar with Jackass, I can sum it up for you in a phrase: “Don’t try this at home!” Which is another way of saying, “Many young men are morons and are more than willing to prove it in front of a camera and an audience for not much money.” Known for its objectionable humor and its dangerous homemade stunts,Jackass provided an odd gathering tool for a start-up church. But when young men who embodied my target demographic started showing up and engaging in conversation, I felt like a cutting-edge hipster who happened to be a pastor. This was, in my mind, confirmation of my down-to-earth personality and general awesomeness, and I was convinced that I was the best pastor even without an official church in town. This über-missional event would be the beginning of conquering St. Louis for the gospel by means of shrewd cultural engagement. The night was young and the sky was the limit for ministry victory.
Prior to the official launch of The Journey [Patrick's STL-area church plant], we held Bible studies and missional events to encourage our launch team and to draw in non-Christians interested in learning more about our community. One of the most memorable of these “missional events” was the time when I decided it would be a wise to gather all the men of the church in the basement of my home for a marathon viewing of the Emmy-worthy MTV “variety show,” Jackass. We sent out a general invitation to the community, and the response was overwhelmingly positive. Nothing attracts a bunch of dudes to a basement like the opportunity to watch a group of irreverent grown men prolong their adolescence by acting like middle schoolers, all on national television.
And then the wheels came off the church bus...

Patrick goes on to describe the event as having devolved into a chaotic, drunken debacle which did seemingly nothing for the sake of the Kingdom.  It is sad to me that in certain circles (especially hipster, American church-planting circles), such an event is what passes for contextualization these days. Contextualization, from a Biblical and missiological perspective, is related to the incarnation of Jesus Christ and may be understood as the intentional pursuit of incarnational life in a given cultural context.  It has to do with missional "entering in" -- that is, how do I as an outsider to a particular community enter that community as a follower of Christ so as to remove those barriers to the gospel that arise from my foreignness.  Contextualization also has to do with the new disciple's "staying in" -- that is, how does a new Christ-follower in a particular context remain in that context as an insider so as to faithfully live out his/her discipleship among his/her neighbors, friends, and family who are still without Christ.  Contextualization efforts usually fall into one of two overlapping categories.  The first is social-relational contextualization.  That is, what does it mean for disciples of Jesus to live out their commitment to love their neighbors in a particular cultural context so that their loving might be truly understood as loving?  The second category is spiritual-liturgical contextualization which has to do with how followers of Christ can love, worship, serve, and communicate about God and the Bible within their particular context.

The Jackass event, as described, doesn't seem to have had a spiritual-liturgical component at all.  We are given no information about how worship, prayer, Bible study, or other spiritual disciplines were conducted.  There is a suggestion that spiritual conversations may have happened, but we are not told the content.  At best, this seems to have had something to do with the social-relational side of contextualization.  From that perspective, Patrick and company may have had some right ideas.  They considered the community they were seeking to engage and planned an event that would be attractive to them.  While this thinking has something to do with contextualization, it wasn't "over-contextualization" that led to the disaster described.  On the contrary, I would argue that this is an example of "under-contextualization."

For one, it isn't clear to me whether Patrick's group was truly seeking to "enter in" to a new and foreign context.  It seems rather that they were seeking to reach out to a context very similar (if not the same) as their own.  We must remind ourselves that there is no such thing as "Christian culture."  Thus, the simple act of a Christian reaching out to a non-Christian doesn't constitute cross-cultural engagement.  It should be noted, of course, that many Christians have been taught to abandon their cultural context when they come to Christ and have then done so for so long that they feel their original context to be foreign.  Nevertheless, while cross-cultural principles may be helpful in such situations, they really aren't in the same category as say a Filipino missionary serving in Kuwait.

I would thus suggest that what is going on here has to do with the "staying in" side of contextualization.  For Patrick and his fellow Christ-followers, the operative question related to contextualization should be, "How do I live out my faith in Christ within my own cultural context and community?"  I would suggest that the decision to spend several hours watching a television show that they admit to be "objectionable" indicates that they didn't fully examine this question.  Their thinking centered on how to gather a group of non-believing people from their community together.  This isn't true contextualization.  Contextualization would seek to bring those people in contact with Christ and Christ-followers in contextually relevant ways.  So, the corporate viewing of Jackass as a cultural element opposed to Christ and his revelation is antithetical to the pursuit of contextualization because it fails to bring people into contact with Christ.  Writes Patrick:


My failure was classic over-contextualization. Over-contextualization is when you view missional opportunities primarily through a cultural lens instead of a gospel lens. In this instance, I was more concerned with providing a cool, “unchurchy” environment than I was with making sure the environment didn’t reflect poorly on the gospel. The guys I tried to reach needed healthy gospel boundaries around their newly discovered Christian liberty. I failed to provide that for them. I over-contextualized in my approach because I tried to make the gospel submit to the culture rather than letting my pop culture sensibilities submit to the gospel.


I think I basically agree with Patrick's assessment of his experiment with the exception of the phrase "over-contexualization."  As I have been trying to point out, the use of this term indicates that Patrick is missing the point regarding contextualizaiton.  Contextualization, we must understand, always has a context.  There is always the target context and the thing to be contextualized -- i.e. Jesus.  If you forget the latter -- Patrick's real failure -- you are no longer practicing contextualization.

Consider Jesus during his incarnation.  He often opposed certain elements of the 1st century Jewish culture, but he always did so as an insider.  When people got angry with him, the charge was never, "Who is this foreigner coming in here to tell us what to do?"  Rather, the charge was, "Is not he the carpenter?" (cf. Mark 6:1-6).  Pursuing contextualization as an imitation of Christ's incarnation means not simply assimilating with the culture in a purely human sense.  Rather it means entering or remaining in a context as an ambassador of Christ -- bringing Him, his revelation, his prophetic word, his life and love.  Patrick's failure was that he didn't adequately do that.  This is a failure to fully contextualize the revelation of Christ, not some kind of "over-contextualization".

In answer to the oft-repeated question, "How far do we go with contextualization?"  I do not point to fatally flawed contextualization scales.  I point to Christ.  How far did he go?  How human did he become?  How Jewish?  How Galilean?  If we are to imitate His example, we must go all the way.  And going all the way is more than simply skillfully adapting to a particular cultural context.  Going all the way requires bringing Christ and bringing his message to bear in that context -- to give them the opportunity to experience Jesus as the word made flesh for them.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Resettlement affects camp education| Cathnews India

Resettlement affects camp education thumbnailHere is an interesting article today related to the decreasing quality of education in refugee camps as more and more teachers resettle in other nations, families and friends get split up, and motivation for study diminishes. With more than 50,000 Bhutanese refugees to be resettles, it causes me to wonder if we will notice the effects of this as these less-educated refugees enter third countries.

Resettlement affects camp education| Cathnews India: "“There are negative effects of resettlement and challenges for staffing amid brain drain and scarce human resources,” he said, adding that many students had become undisciplined and lost interest in education. “Frustration and depression have become all too common as families get separated through resettlement and an overall feeling of anxiety.”"

Well, today I set a new record for distance on my little Schwinn Hybrid.  54 miles completed on my way to Oak Lawn for a meeting.  You can see on the map where I got the call that my meeting in Oak Lawn had been cancelled.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Tide Turning Against Abortion Rights

The opinion tide in the USA seems to be shifting more and more against abortion-on-demand. The below article by Chuck Colson is very interesting. One thing to highlight:


"The respected polling agency [Gallup] says that 87 percent of respondents favor informing a pregnant woman of the risks of having an abortion.
Folks, in these contentious times, it’s hard to get 87 percent of the people to agree that the sun rises in the east and sets in the west!"
Which, for me, begs the question . . . who are these 13% that oppose informing a pregnant woman of the risks of having an abortion?!?!

Abortion Abatement:

Friday, August 26, 2011

The Bhutan Repatriation Movement is Losing Momentum

Interesting bit of information . . .

Refugee leaders opt for third country plan | National | ekantipur.com: "Owing to growing uncertainty, campaigners of repatriation of Bhutanese refugees taking shelter in eastern Nepal have themselves starting [sic] going abroad under the third country resettlement programme."

Statelessness in Nepal

I've been highlighting the same article now for three days. I hope you have read it by now. I believe fully that the Church should be engaged in this issue, to understand and respond in holistic missional action.

FACTBOX-Stateless groups around the world | News by Country | Reuters: "NEPAL: Official figures show 800,000 people do not have confirmed nationality and cannot access key services. However, the UNHCR believes the figure is far higher. Married women cannot get a citizenship certificate without the approval of their husband or father-in-law and women married to foreigners cannot pass citizenship to their children. The U.N. refugee agency fears a proposed new constitution could exacerbate statelessness. There is also a large stateless population from neighbouring Bhutan, which expelled over 100,000 people of Nepali origin in the early 1990s after stripping them of citizenship. They are also refused citizenship in Nepal. Many have been resettled in the United States."
"


Thursday, August 25, 2011

Point of View: William Carey at 250 - Florida Baptist Witness

Here's a nice little reflection on William Carey on his 250th birthday . . .

Point of View: William Carey at 250 - Florida Baptist Witness: "Contextualization refers to the need to communicate the Gospel in such a way that it speaks to the total context of the people to whom it is addressed. Carey knew the countercultural pull of biblical faith. He had great respect for the antiquity and beauty of the cultural legacy he encountered in India. Indeed, his translations and critical editions of the ancient Hindu classics contributed to what has been called an “Indian Renaissance.” At the same time, he was quite sure that devotion to those writings and the religions they had spawned could never lead to eternal life anymore than being born in England or America automatically made one a Christian. Carey’s ability to contextualize the Gospel without compromising the nonnegotiable essentials of biblical faith provides a balanced model for a truly evangelical missiology in our own age of social upheaval and cultural disillusion."


The Rohingyas of Myanmar

Who will reach these people?

FACTBOX-Stateless groups around the world | News by Country | Reuters: "MYANMAR: The Rohingyas from western Myanmar have suffered a history of abuse. Unlike the majority population, they are Muslims of South Asian descent. In 1982 Myanmar passed a law which made it impossible for them to get full citizenship. Many fled to Bangladesh in 1991 and 1992 following a government crackdown. Today, an estimated 800,000 live in Myanmar, up to 300,000 in Bangladesh and many more have fled to Southeast Asia, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. Some end up sold into slavery on fishing boats and plantations.
"


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

50,000th Bhutanese Refugee Leaves the Camps in Nepal

This is an important bit of data for those of us working among the Bhutanse-Nepalis.  The two articles have slightly different figures.  50,000 have now left the camps for third-country resettlement. The majority (43,000+) have been resettled to the United States. The other 8,000 now live in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Norway, Denmark, the Netherlands, and Britain. Of the 63,000 people that remain in the Nepal camps, 47,000 have requested resettlement. We may assume that most of these wish to resettle in the U.S. Originally, of course, the U.S. said that they would take only 60,000. If that number holds, we can expect another 18,000 ("lok-bok") in the coming year or so. That is to say, we are 2/3rds of the way through the process of receiving Bhutanese-Nepali refugees -- a process that has increased the Nepali-speaking population of the United States perhaps 5-fold.

AFP: 50,000th Bhutan refugee quits Nepal for US: ""The departure of the 50,000th Bhutanese refugee from Nepal for resettlement abroad is a noteworthy milestone," the US Ambassador to Nepal Scott DeLisi was quoted as saying."

Bhutanese Refugee Numbers Nearly Halved:  Here's another article with a bit more detailed information.

FACTBOX-Stateless groups around the world | News by Country | Reuters

The below opening quote of an important article is heartbreaking -- 12-15 Million stateless people. Come, Lord Jesus!

FACTBOX-Stateless groups around the world | News by Country | Reuters: "There are an estimated 12-15 million people worldwide who are not recognised as nationals by any country. On Thursday the U.N. refugee agency UNHCR will launch a campaign to highlight the plight of stateless people. Below are examples from around the world."

'via Blog this'

Friday, August 12, 2011

I think I’m Himalayan American… | CAAM Home

Interesting article ...

I think I’m Himalayan American… | CAAM Home: "The Himalayan American community is a new ethnic group so no population numbers exist. When confronted with the choices on census forms many check “other”. But one number is concrete, the 50,000 Nepalese-Bhutanese refugees that the United States government will be relocating in the coming years. Oakland, California and Houston, Texas will receive the majority of these ethnically Nepalese families who were expelled from Bhutan. Tibetans and Nepalese have been settling in the San Francisco Bay Area for generations and the numbers have increased recently due to social unrest in Nepal. The city of Berkeley is one of the few cities that recognize Tibet as an autonomous region."

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Augustine on Contextualization


Here's a brief quote from Augustine that relates somewhat to the concept of contextualization.  That is, contextualization as "possessio" . . . 



Moreover, if those who are called philosophers, and especially Platonists, have said aught that is true and in harmony with our faith, we are not only not to shrink from it, but to claim it for our own use from those who have unlawful possession of it. For, as the Egyptians had not only the idols and heavy burdens which the people of Israel hated and fled from, but also vessels and ornaments of gold and silver, and garments, which the same people when going out of Egypt appropriated to themselves, designing them for a better use, not doing this on their own authority, but by the command of God, the Egyptians themselves, in their ignorance, providing them with the things which they themselves, were not making a good use of; in the same way all branches of heathen learning have not only false and superstitious fancies and heavy burdens of unnecessary toil, which every one of us, when going out under the leadership of Christ from the fellowship of the heathen, ought to abhor and avoid; but they contain also liberal instruction which is better adapted to the use of the truth, and some most excellent precepts of morality; and some truths in regard even to the worship of the One God are found among them. Now these are, so to speak, their gold and silver, which they did not create themselves, but dug out of the mines of God's providence which are everywhere scattered abroad, and are perversely and unlawfully prostituting to the worship of devils. These therefore, the Christian, when he separates himself in spirit from the miserable fellowship of these men, ought to take away from them, and devote to their proper use in preaching the gospel. Their garments, also,--that is, human institutions such as are adapted to the intercourse with men which is indispensable in this life,--we must take and turn to a Christian use. 

And what else have many good and faithful men among our brethren done? Do we not see with what a quantity of gold and silver and garments Cyprian, the most persuasive teacher and most blessed martyr, was loaded when he came out of Egypt? How much Lactantius brought with him? And Victorious, and Optatus, and Hilary, not to speak of living men! How much Greeks out of number have borrowed! And prior to all these, that most faithful servant of God, Moses, had done the same thing; for of him it is written that he was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians. And to none of all these would heathen superstition (especially in those times when kicking against the yoke of Christ, it was persecuting the Christians) have ever furnished branches of knowledge it held useful, if it had suspected they were about to turn them to the use of worshipping the One God, and thereby overturning the vain worship of idols. But they gave their gold and their silver and their garments to the people of God as they were going out of Egypt, not knowing how the things they gave would be turned to the service of Christ. For what was done at the time of the exodus was no doubt a type prefiguring what happens now. And this I say without prejudice to any other interpretation that may be as good, or better. 

-Augustine, On Christian Doctrine, Chapter 40

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Himalayan Global Summit

Greetings friends and supporters!

I'm excited to share with you that I've been invited to present at this year's Himalayan Global Summit on the topic of reaching Bhutanese Refugees. The summit is a missions conference that will gather hundreds of Nepali-speaking Christ Followers in Hong Kong to pray, learn, discuss and strategize together on how to take the message of Christ to Himalayan peoples living in diaspora.

I need your help to raise funds for travel, food, and also in order to purchase resources to bring back to the USA. In particular, I hope to have friends from their countries carry Bibles and other materials to Hong Kong that I can then transport back here to distribute to the thousands of Nepali-speaking refugees that we work among.

In all, I want to raise about $2000. This will cover my plane ticket and food while in transit and still provide me with several hundred dollars for resources.

I hope and pray that many of you will give generously to this cause. I praise the Lord that he has opened so many doors of ministry to us.


2010 Census: Children less than five years old in Chicagoland

This is a cool interactive map of Chicagoland showing the distribution of children less than 5-years-old in the metro area.

2010 Census: Children less than five years old in Chicagoland

Sunday, August 7, 2011

The Birth of the Lord Jesus (Hindi and English)

Here's a video from a message I gave in the Chicago satsang not too long ago.  The topic is the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ and it is in English with Hindi translation.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Paolo Sings -- Jesus Died on the Cross

This makes me smile every time I watch it.  Enjoy my son's improvised worship song:



If you need the lyrics ...

Jesus died on the cross (repeat with humming)
Touch on the foot and he says, "Yeah"
TRUTH!

Friday, August 5, 2011

The Lausanne Global Analysis of Highly Contextualized Missions

Recently, a rich article was posted to the Lausanne Global Conversation entitled "Highly Contextualized Missions: Surveying the Global Converstation".  Since the article was focused on one of my favorite topics I wanted to direct your attention to it.  Mainly, I think you should just read it, but I will make a few comments below.

On page 2 of the article, we find:

Syncretism is a related topic in the global conversation. Some feel that the Lausanne Theology Working Group is unfair in suggesting a tenuous connection between contextualization and syncretism, as if there is a causal relationship between the two.[3] Syncretism is a problem where ever there are new believers, regardless of the degree of contextualization. It is a false dichotomy to imply that less contextualization leads to less syncretism. The Cape Town Commitment also warns of syncretism when addressing contextualization under the heading “love respects diversity of discipleship.” Cody C. Lorance, an active Global Conversation contributor involved in both church planting and insider movements among Hindus, rejects the notion that such a link exists.[4] He and many others desire a scale that indicates movement towards Christlikeness, which is necessary in all new fellowships, rather than unhelpfully contrasting contextualization and/or syncretism. Comments on similar articles by other users, however, indicate that many feel there is a greater danger of syncretism in this kind of ministry.

Well, it's cool to be referenced in the article.  I think this paragraph is a good summary of one of the main issues that I've been trying to call attention to.  The author seems to support the view that I hold on this issue.  Again, I believe that there is no necessary link between the pursuit of contextualization and syncretism.  As for the Cape Town Commitment, I have applauded the fact that it seems to dismiss this supposed link.  I’ve posted two blog articles on this topic.



Definitely there are those who believe that contextualization essentially leads to syncretism.  However, I have never come across an article that seeks to prove this in some way other than anecdotally.  I suppose that such articles exist, please do direct me to them if you know of them.

Also on page 2 of the document, we find:

The discussion of church planting versus insider movements begins with the C1-C6 scale that describes the spectrum of Christ-centered communities, developed by John Travis in 1988.

First off, I would take issue with the phrase "church planting versus insider movements".  We must be very careful about painting with too broad a brush on this issue.  So much of the debate and discussion regarding contextualization breaks down because someone assumes all proponents of contexutalization believe and do the same things.  I suppose it is possible that their are advocates of contextualization that would describe themselves as being anti-church planting.  However, I've not met any.  Most of us prefer to use a word other than the English term "church", since we are working among non-English speakers, but that is not the same thing as being against the establishment and extension of God's Church.  Most of us want very much to establish local communities of Christ-followers in our mission fields.  So, the term "versus" seems quite out of place.

Beyond that, I am disappointed that this article reaffirms the idea that the C-scale is of central importance to the discussion of contextualization.  It absolutely is not.  Travis's scale perhaps has served a helpful purpose within the context of Islam and contextualization.  However, it has proven inadequate in many ways.  H.L. Richard's attempt to adapt the scale for mission among Hindus is laudable, but the fundamental flaw remains.  That is, with both scales, the unspoken assumption drawn by nearly all is that eventually one falls off the scale into heresy.  Whether that is at C5, 6, 7, or 15 -- all seem to agree that eventually contextualization leads to syncretism.  In response to this line of reasoning, I always want to ask, "How contextualized was Jesus? How incarnate, human, Jewish, Galilean did he become?"  Isn't the only answer, "Fully"? 

The discussion of contextualization must not BEGIN with Travis's scale.  It must begin with the word of God and a careful consideration of the incarnation of Jesus Christ.  

Moving on now to page 3:

By contrast, C3 and C4 churches are more culturally appropriate and are therefore more inviting to Muslims, Hindus, and Buddhists, as well as more likely to become movements. There are two main differences between the two: C3 believers use only neutral cultural forms (such as folk music) and call themselves “Christians;” C4 believers adapt what they believe to be biblically permissible religious forms (such as certain feasts or styles of worship) and call themselves “followers of Jesus” (therefore separating themselves from the term “Christian,” which often has a connotation of Western or foreign influence).[12]

I simply wish to challenge the idea that non-Western cultures make such distinctions such as "neutral" and "religious" in terms of the forms found in their contexts.  This distinction between the sacred and secular is a very Western one and I don't often see it among my Hindu friends.  To them, buying a car can be every bit as much a religious or sacred experience as going to the temple.  Celebrating a festival can be as non-sacred as going to work.  The impulse to sort forms into categories such as "neutral" and "religious" flows out of a failure to do cross-cultural mission incarnationally.  Sadly, Christians from non-Western nations have imbibed this sorting impulse from their Western counterparts.  The result is often so arbitrary as to be utterly ridiculous to the outside observer and even more so to the non-Christian in that context.  We should be reminded of the Scripture which states with clarity, "So let no one boast in men. For all things are yours, whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future--all are yours, and you are Christ's, and Christ is God's." (1Co 3:21-23)

All things are ours for the glory of Christ.  The missionary call is a call to a kind of possessio.  

And now a final thought from page 5:

The fact remains that less than 1% of the world's Christians ever share their faith with a Muslim.

What is so personally hurtful to me in all of this is the level of criticism I receive from people who themselves couldn't be bothered to share the hope of Christ with a Hindu, Muslim, or Buddhist.  I have literally been accused to my face of heresy by individuals who have lived among Hindus all their lives and have never sought to share Christ with them.  Others have told me in one conversation that they "hate" Hindus and in another that they oppose my efforts to contextualize the gospel.  

In a current situation that I am dealing with here locally, a South Asian pastor has opted to abandon the context in which he lives in favor of trying to form his own church out of members of two other Nepali churches in another city.  Since the pastor came to me requesting financial support from my mission board, I asked him the key question:  "Why aren't you trying to reach out to the Hindus that you live among?  There are so many in your city and there is no witness at all among them?"  He gave a roundabout answer that can be summarized as, "It is too difficult."

This pastor prefers to spend his time accusing our church of heresy and syncretism than to reach out to those who have yet to hear about Christ.  Very sad indeed.  


Thursday, August 4, 2011

Pew Survey of Evangelical Christian Leaders from Cape Town 2010

The Pew Forum was on hand at Cape Town 2010 conducting a survey of the participants from around the world.  Since the survey was conducted during the most diverse gathering of Christian leaders in history, the value of the results could not be higher.  You can check out the results here:

http://pewforum.org/Christian/Evangelical-Protestant-Churches/Global-Survey-exec.aspx

But before you do, I just wanted to highlight a couple things that seem to haven't received must attention in the executive summary that is presented at the above link.

1. 4% of respondents do not believe that Christianity is the one true faith.
2. 2% believe that the Bible is NOT the word of God.
3. 3% believe that life evolved via a process with which God was not involved.
4. 7% believe that God will grant health and wealth to those who have enough faith.
5. 3% believe that it is not essential to follow the teachings of Christ in order to be a good Evangelical Christian.
6. 4% say that believing in reincarnation is compatible with being a follower of Christ.
7. 5% say that it is okay to believe that Jesus is NOT the only way to salvation.

Just a question ... WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE?  How did people who don't believe that the Bible is the word of God get selected as participants to the congress?  Did they lie on their application or was the application simply ignored?  And besides that, why on earth would they even want to come?  Why does someone who doesn't believe that Christ is the only hope for the world desire to attend a congress on world evangelization?

Pretty crazy if you ask me.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

A Video Recap of Cape Town 2010

Doug Birdsall directed us to this video recapping the Third Lausanne Congress in Cape Town last year.  My heart was stirred and I began to sob as I watched.  Oh Lord, what am I doing with what you gave me?

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Reformed Rap

I've recently become aware that there is developing a small group of hip-hop and rap artists who are seeking to write theologically profound songs filled with reformed doctrine.  I've checked out a few of these and am quite impressed with their musical quality and theological depth.  My favorite so far is a song by Shai Linne called "Mission Accomplished."  For those of you that couldn't imagine a rap which clearly expresses the doctrine of particular redemption (a.k.a "limited atonement") and doesn't sound stupid, give this a listen: