I’m reading lots of stuff about house churches and church planting movements. Lots of people seem to believe that CPMs are the way forward and are writing paper after paper and dissertation after dissertation on how they’re going to apply CPM strategy to their context.
What I cannot find anywhere is an objective or empirical study, done by someone who is not a committed proponent, which walks through what happens across CPMs, not just carefully selected examples, what happens after CPMs, how the growth model changes and develops, and the problems as well as opportunities that these models produce. Without that, how on earth - and why on earth - are people promoting these theories? Read more about But where are the studies?
This week I’ve been mainly devouring books on the house church and time and time again I’ve been struck by their handling of Church history. It’s like a masterwork of special pleading. Read more about History is bunk
So I’ve been hearing lots of laughs about the Conservative Bible translation - I’m not going to dignify them with a link, they don’t deserve the publicity they’re getting already - and how American Christianity is finally coming to terms with the fact that the Bible just doesn’t fit their ideology and needs to be rewritten.
At least they’re explicit about their ideological assumptions, which, let’s face it, is better than most. We all have ‘em.
But some of the criticism I’ve heard is not always justified. Read more about Actually, they're right on that one...
So as I’ve mentioned, I’m doing this dissertation on house church leadership, and a fairly natural place to start is “What does ‘leadership’ mean in the context of a house church?” The answer is, as far as I can tell: Nobody knows. Read more about Nobody understands house church leadership
My friend Chris in Sapporo pointed me to an article in the previous edition of EMQ by Kelly Malone, entitled “Doing theology with the Japanese”. The article makes three points, which can be summarised in haiku form:
- “God” is a hard word.
- Penal substitution sucks.
- House churches or bust.
I’ve just finished translating an interview between Mitsuo Fukuda and Hideo Ohashi about church multiplication and leadership. It has a few gems in it, so I’ve attached the whole thing as a PDF to this post. Here’s a couple of excerpts, but do read the whole thing: Read more about Church multiplication and leadership in Japan
I’ve always wanted, as a missionary, to be involved and engaged with the local theology coming out of my target context. It makes sense, doesn’t it? After all, nobody knows how to contextualise an understanding of God to the Japanese culture better than Japanese theologians.
But what I’ve found, after a few days of reading, is that there is no Japanese theology. Well, that’s a little controversial - I’ve obviously spent my time reading something. It’s just that I’m not sure that I’d call it “theology”. The foreword to one of the books I was reading puts it in fairly stark terms: Read more about There is no Japanese theology
So, I’m now two weeks into the Masters’ course; how’s it going? Once again, the doctrine of charity constraints what I can say about it. So this is the restrained version. Read more about Student days
Apologies for low posting frequency recently, we’ve been busy. College orientation started last week and… well, I don’t want to blog about that yet because I don’t know the college staff well enough. Also, I got sent a big fat draft of a very interesting book on the Japanese house church, and reviewing that took out a couple of days. Read more about God and a ruler