More jewels unearthed during my hunt through old academic journals:
First, everyone thinks that contextualization is this clever new theory that has only found expression in the missionary movement in the past few decades. This isn't true. Even if you discount stuff like Paul in Athens because they weren't writing about the theory, well, there were people doing so 150 years ago:
I'm busy writing a sermon about "holiness", based on Jesus' dealings in Mark 4-5 with those people and places which were considered unclean. (tombs, demons, a woman with an emission of blood, the dead) I was just about to title the sermon "True Holiness" when I caught myself.
How are you doing? We hope this letter finds you well - we believe you're in Ephesus at the moment. How are you managing with the local food? We just received your latest prayer letter, and were particularly impressed with your idea of taking the collection up to Jerusalem. This sounds fantastic!
I've got loads of blog posts in the mental queue, it's a Friday night, and the cricket is washed out, so let's make a start…
William Vories was a missionary in Japan in the early 20th century. He came to Omi-Hatchiman, in this county, with the YMCA, first as an English teacher in a local high school. He set up preaching tours of Lake Biwa from his boat, Galilee-Maru. He established an architect’s office, a pharmaceutical company, and a printing press. As well as preaching, he was a great believer in social action, and founded a school, a library, a women’s society, and a hospital. As an architect he designed many churches and schools in the region, as well as many of the main buildings in Omi-Hatchiman. His name became synonymous with the town. He brokered the talks between Macarthur and the Japanese prime minister. This, together with his work for Omi-Hatchiman, led him to be awarded many civil honours by the Japanese government, as well as a public commendation from the Emperor.
He wrote ten books. His first, in 1915, was “The Evangelization of Rural Japan”. His final book, in 1970, was his autobiography. He called it “The Autobiography of A Failure.”
What does one have to do to be a success around here? Read more about Shiga Jesus Festival
Let's get all my heresies out in one day.
I got in a discussion today online about Christianity and politics, and what kinds of awful politics are done in the name of Christianity, and was asked why the Christians don't speak out about the false prophets in their midst. Completely by chance, I found an example of what happens when they do - all the other Christians turn against them.
Church planting is not the Biblical imperative. Disciple making is the Biblical imperative.