theology

The Narrow Gate

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I’ve been wondering recently what it means to be a Christian—who gets to call themselves a Christian? Do certain people call themselves Christians when they aren’t? And is there a way to tell them apart, without falling into “no true Scotsman” territory? Today I came up with a solution, and it’s not neat or particularly encouraging, but it may be helpful. Read more about The Narrow Gate


The mission of open source: Evangelism

My professional life has two parts to it; the first part is as a software developer, and the second part is as a missionary. Sometimes I get to combine the two things and write open source software that powers the work of mission; but other times I’m literally getting out there spending time with people who are interested in Jesus. Read more about The mission of open source: Evangelism




Let It Go As I Am: Disney, Translation and Contextualization

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If you have children, or have been near any children during the past year, you have probably heard the theme from Frozen, “Let It Go”. We hear it nearly incessantly, both in English and Japanese, and even our one-year-old storms around the house singing “a-a-no! a-a-no!” Read more about Let It Go As I Am: Disney, Translation and Contextualization



Wise words

Last night I chaired a meeting for the local community on the subject of child poverty; a nearby university and various community leaders have been working together to provide services for children in need, and I invited the founder of Child Poverty Action Osaka to come and provide a bit of inspiration. And I was certainly inspired. Two quotes, very loosely translated, which have application to mission as well: Read more about Wise words


Know Your Exegetical Fallacies

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After listening to a particularly, uh, interesting sermon a while back I thought it might be a fun idea to put together a site like yourlogicalfallacyis.com, but specialised for preachers. Of course, most of those logical fallacies apply more generally, but handling the Bible comes with its own special set of fallacies. Here are twenty to be getting on with, but I am sure you can think of more.

The ethnocentric fallacy

Oh, I hear this all the time: my culture does this, and therefore it must be what the Bible means. Read more about Know Your Exegetical Fallacies


Six Things We Learnt About How Japanese People Run Events

I’m going to do something dangerous and novel on this blog and actually try and give useful practical information; at least useful and practical if you’re a missionary in Japan. A lot of missionaries run events in their churches for various reasons, but not many missionaries go to events outside of the church, run by ordinary Japanese people. Read more about Six Things We Learnt About How Japanese People Run Events


How to cheat at church planting

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Recently I’ve been thinking of what it means to be successful as a church planter. To be honest I still don’t know what it should mean yet, or even if the concept of success is something that you can meaningfully apply to church planting, but within missionary culture I’ve seen two main criteria for success in operation: church growth, and continuity. These criteria are normally unspoken, but they’re certainly assumed. Read more about How to cheat at church planting