Sunday, December 14, 2008

Misssiology 101- Quotes from Mission Moblilizers

If God has fit you to be a missionary, I should not shrivel down to be a king. Charles H. Spurgeon

We who have Christ's eternal life need to throw away our own lives. George Verwer

We talk of the second coming, half the world has never heard of the first. Oswald J. Smith

We must be global Christians with a global vision because our God is a global God. John Stott

Love is the root of missions, sacrifice is the fruit of missions. Roderick Davis

Go send, or disobey. John Piper

Every step in the progress of missions is directly traceable to prayer. Arthur Tappan Pierson

Prepare for the worst, expect the best, and take what comes. Robert E. Speer

God's part is to put forth power, our part is to put forth faith. Andrew A. Bonar

God cannot lead you on the basis of facts you do not know. David Bryant

God cannot dedicate your ignorance no matter how much you dedicate it. David Mays

We have a God who delights in impossibilities. Andrew Murray

Two distinguishing marks of the early church were: poverty and power. T.J. Bach

Today Christians spend more money on dog food than missions. Leonard Ravenhill

Here is a test to find whether your mission on earth is finished: if you are alive, it isn't. Richard Bach

The church must send or the church will end. Mendell Taylor

Today five out of six non-Christians in our world have no hope unless missionaries come to them and plant the church among them. David Bryant

Anyone who can help 100 missionaries to the field is more important than one missionary on the field. In fact, mission mobilization activity is more crucial than field activity. Phil Parshall

More Gold Nuggets from Missionaries, Past and Present

Here are some more short quotes from past and present missionaries that challenge me and jog my complacency:

The Bible is not the basis of missions; missions is the basis of the Bible.
-Ralph Winter (b. 1924, missionary to Guatamala, missiologist, founder of U.S Center for World Mission, William Carey International University, and the Perspectives on the World Christian Movement course)

Missionary zeal does not grow out of intellectual beliefs, nor out of theological arguments, but out of love.
The missionary spirit of Christ in us cannot rest until it finds an expression in some type of service.
There is a horrible tendency for an organization to grow in importance til it overshadows the end of its existence, and begins to exist for itself.
-Roland Allen (1868-1947, British missionary to Africa and China, missions theorist and proponent of the Three-Self theory: mission churches should become self-governing, self-supporting, and self-propagating. Author of Missionary Methods: St Paul's or Ours (1912) and Spontaneous Expansion of the Church and the Causes Which Hinder It (1927).

My business is to witness for Christ. I make shoes to pay my expenses.
-William Carey (1761-1834, pioneer missionary to India, founder of the modern missionary movement)

Would that God would make hell so real that we cannot rest.
There are only three stages in the work of God: Impossible; Difficult; Done.
-James Hudson Taylor (1832-1905, British missionary to China, founder of China Inland Mission, now Overseas Missionary Fellowship, motivated and moblized many for worldwide mission)

I continually heard... the wail of the perishing heathen in the South Seas.
-John Gibson Patton (1824-1907, Scottish missionary to the South Pacific, later in his life a popular speaker and mission mobilizer)

May the time come when rich men and great men would think it an honor to support whole stations of missionaries in Africa, instead of spending their money on hounds and horses.
-David Livingstone (1813-1873, famous Scottish missionary and explorer in Africa, arrived in 1840, died there)

If ten men are carrying a log-nine of them on the little end and one at the heavy end-... which end will you lift on?
-William Borden (reflecting on the unreached in China in comparison to the U.S., heir to vast Borden fortune, protege of Samuel Zwemer, died in his youth after less than a year as a missionary in Egypt, never having reached his destination of China, mobilized and inspired many both before and after his death)

Don't aim to plant churches. Aim to plant a church that will plant many other churches.
-George Patterson (went as a Conservative Baptist missionary to Honduras in 1965, developer of a successful type of T.E.E.- "Obedience-Oriented Education")

There are no closed doors to the gospel-provided that once you get inside, you don't care if you ever come out.
-Brother Andrew (b. 1928, Dutch missionary to closed countries, evangelist to Eastern Europe, founder of Open Doors, author of God's Smuggler)

Yea, so I have strived to preach the gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I should build upon another man's foundation. (Romans 15:20)
So that we can preach the gospel in the regions beyond you. For we do not want to boast about work already done in another man's territory. (2 Corinthians 10:16)
-the Apostle Paul

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Gold Nuggets from Missionary Pioneers

These short, pithy quotes were gleaned from early missionaries, most of whom have been on the cutting edge of the three eras or waves of the modern missionary movement which began just prior to the 19th century (Ralph Winter's classification): the Coastland Era (1800-1910), the Inland Era (1865-1980), and the Unreached Peoples Era (1935-present). Three of these quotes are from prior to the modern movement:

"That land is henceforth my country which most needs the gospel."
--Count Nikolaus Ludwig von Zinzendorf (1700-1760, missions pioneer who travelled extensively throughout Europe, North America, and the West Indies and helped spur the Moravian missiomary movement which extended from the West Indies and the Guianas in the 1730's, to North America and Greenland, and subsequently into Africa and Asia)

"I love to live on the brink of eternity."
--David Brainerd (1718-1747, Presbyterian missionary to the Seneca and Delaware Indians of New York and New Jersey, he died at age 29 of tuberculosis but his posthumous diary was used mightily of God to spur others on to greater missionary devotion)

"I will lay my bones by the Ganges that India may know there is one who cares."
"...remember the perishing nations."
--Alexander Duff (1806-1878, pioneer Scottish missionary to India was a student of Thomas Chalmers' strong education emphasis and founded the largest mission school in India)

"Tell the students to give up the small ambitions, to come eastward to preach the gospel of Christ.
--Francis Xavier (1506-1552, famous pioneer Roman Catholic missionary to Japan, Goa, and Malay)

"All my friends are but one, but He is all sufficient."
--William Carey (1761-1834, pioneer Baptist missionary to India and 'father of modern missions' as the publisher of Enquiry into the Christian's missionary obligation)

"The longing of my heart is to make known my glorious Redeemer to those who have never heard."
--William Chalmers Burns (1815-1868, Scottish pioneer missionary to China who had been involved in the Scottish revival of 1839, he preached widely over China, vigorously opposed the odious opium and coolie trades, and wore Chinese apparel)

"God's work done in God's way will never lack God's supply."
"Brother if you would enter that province, you must go forward on your knees."
"I have found that there are three stages in every work of God; first it is impossible, then it is difficult, then it is done."
--James Hudson Taylor (1832-1905, medical missionary to China, founded China Inland Mission, a pioneer of the "Inland Era", wore Chinese clothes)

"All the resources of the Godhead are at our disposal."
--Jonathan Goforth (1859-1936, Canadian Presbyterian missionary to China who caught the vision of missions while reading Robert Murray McCheyne, great soul-winner, Jonathan and his wife Rosalind saw 5 of their 11 children die in China)

"I will open Africa to the gospel or die trying."
--Rowland Victory Bingham (1872-1942, Canadian missionary pioneer born in Britain, founder of Sudan Interior Mission, now SIM, his two missionary partners, Gowans and Kent died within a year of arriving in the interior of the Sudan -now northern Nigeria- in 1893)

"They are making a living when they should be making a life."
"The history of missions is the history of answered prayer...It is the key to the whole mission problem. All human means are secondary."
"I feel now that Arabia could easily be evangelized within the next thirty years if it were not for the wickedness of selfish Christians."
--Samuel Marinus Zwemer (1867-1952, American pioneer missionary to the Middle East as well as other Muslim lands, Princeton Seminary professor, scholar, missiologist, prolific writer about missions and Islam, founder and editor for 37 years of the journal The Moslem World)

"The greatest missionary is the Bible in the mother tongue. It needs no furlough and is never considered a foreigner."
--William Cameron ("Uncle Cam") Townsend (1896-1982, American missionary in Guatamala, fonder of Wycliffe Bible Translators)

"Why do you need a voice when you have a verse."
--Jim Elliot (20th century martyr among the Aucas or Waodanis in Ecuador)

"It's amazing what can be accomplished if we don't worry about who gets the credit."
--Clarence W. Jones (founder of HCJB Radio in Quito, Ecuador, and of the World Radio Missionary Fellowship)

"Let us press on. All Africa must be won for Christ. Though a thousand missionaries die, send me."
--Andreas Rias (missionary to Africa)

"From my many years' experience I can unhesitatingly say the cross bears those who bear the cross."
--Sadhu Sundar Singh (India Christian, advocate of indiginous missions)

"Had I cared for the comments of people, I should never have been a missionary."
--Charles Thomas (C. T.) Studd (1863-1931, British pioneer missionary to China, India, and Africa, and one of the famous 'Cambridge Seven')

"And thus I asprie to reach the gospel, not where Christ was already named, so that I would not build on another man's foundation."
--the Apostle Paul

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Sin's 5 Elements

Sin can be defined as anything that doesn't conform to the holy character of God as expressed in His moral law. The lack of conformity may be in thoughts, in attitudes, or in actions.

Let's consider 5 elements of this definition of sin:

1) Sin is moral evil (e.g., stealing) as opposed to natural evil (e.g., cancer). Moral evil is rebellion against God, and is what brought natural evil into the world.

2) Sin is always, ultimately related to God. Sin is a personal attack on the character and ordinances of God. The central problem of sin is that it offends and incurs the wrath of God. David confessed his adultery and murder "Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight..."(Ps. 51:4). Sin of course also does have devastating relational, physical, and societal effects. For example, King David's sin did have these consequences against Bathsheba, against her husband Uriah, and against the people of Israel. Yet it is God he has ultimately offended, and it is to God that he must ultimately answer.

3) Sin is breaking God's law. There are sins of omission and of commission. Breaking one commandment is breaking all God's commandments, because it is rebellion against the character of God. "For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it." (James 2:10). Compare this verse to Galations 3:10: " All who rely on observing the law are under a curse, for it is written: Cursed is everyone who does not do everything written in the book of the Law." God's unified law reflects His nature and His claims, so rejecting one of His laws is rejecting Him. God does recognize gradations of sin based on Knowledge (Ezekial 8:6, Mt. 10;15, Lk.12:47-48, John 19;11), intent (Numbers 15:30-31), kind, and effect. Yet sin done in ignorance is still sin. Even though God recognizes these degrees of sin on an ethical and human level, all are equally guilty before God and in need of His Son, Jesus Christ, to pay the penalty for sin (to atone for our sin).

4) Sin is deep-rooted in our nature. Sinful actions just reveal the condition of an inner depraved heart. God requires the heart be right (Ex. 20;17, Heb.13:5) not just correct outward actions. These inner attitudes in Scripture are identified as either sinful or righteous. "Out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander (Mt. 15:19 compare with Mt. 7:15-19).

5) Sin has given all of us a corrupted condition and a guilty standing before God. God's pronouncement of guilt is His legal determination that we are in an unrighteous state before Him. The corrupted, polluted condition or state inclines us toward ungodly behavior. But by the grace of God, both his inherited guilt and moral pollution are atoned for by Christ Jesus for " If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive our sins and to cleanse us from all our unrighteousness" (1 John 1:9).

This grace, mercy, and forgiveness to us through Christ's atoning sacrifice, is a defining difference between God's way and all the human-works oriented religions of the world.

Scriptures to ponder:

Romans 8:1-17
John 3:1-16
Titus 3:5-7
I John 2:29, 3:9, 4:7, 4:18 5:1, 5:6
Ephesians 4:17-32
Colossians 3:1-17
I Peter 2:22
Isaiah 53:8
Ezekial 36:25-27

For further reading I recommend:

Jerry Bridges, The Pursuit of Holiness, Colorado Springs: Navipress, 1978, 1989 ff.

Acknowledgement: Much of the ideas are from recent teaching notes of Dennis Wilson.


The AIDS epidemic is having long-term impact, and this impact is the most severe in Africa. Of the roughly 34 million orphans in sub-Saharan Africa, 11 million are AIDS orphans-a million since 2007 alone. Eight of ten children in the world whose parents have died of AIDS live in sub-Saharan Africa. In the past decade, the proportion of children who have been orphaned from AIDS has risen exponentially. The health, the basic human rights, and the survival of these orphans is in great peril.

You can make a difference by praying, sponsoring a child, giving financially, volunteering your time, and enlisting others to help.. It is best to learn as much as you can about the AIDS orphan problem, but try to focus on one area of need. You may have a bigger impact by helping one small, indiginous, Christian-oriented, non-profit AIDS orphan agency, like SAVE THE AIDS ORPHANS, where even a gift of $10 will have a big impact on feeding the children, etc. WORLD ORPHANS is another good, but larger, facebook cause. Even much larger causes are Compassion International and World Vision. You can join some of these causes, enlist others, contribute money ($25 is the usual recommended amount) and pledge to raise support from others-all through Facebook. You can also do volunteer work on a short term or longer term basis.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

More favorite quotes

You who seek God, let your heart revive. -Psalm 69:32b (NASB)

Personal commitment is the key to certainty. -Tim Keller

Only Christianity says God put Himself into the play. -Tim Keller

Defend the Bible? I would as soon defend a lion! Unchain it and it will defend itself. - Charles Spurgeon

If you have one true friend you have more than your share. -Thomas Fuller

Good sermons and good books are of excellent use, but yet they can serve no other end but that we practice the plain doctrines of scripture. -Jeremy Taylor

Religion is not transforming people; rather it is being transformed by the people. It is not raising the moral level of society; it is descending to society's own level... and society is smiling accepting its surrendor. -A. W. Tozer

The cross breaks the dominion of sin, but the presence of sin remains -the Puritans

If you find the perfect church, don't go, you'll ruin it. -Zig Ziegler

Remember: silence helps the killer, never his victims. -Elie Wiesel

Ah! The clock is always slow; it is later than you think. -Robert W. Service

The church is not the master of the state, or the servant of the state, but the conscience of the state. -unknown author

The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing. -Albet Einstein

Where you live, should not determine whether you live or die. -Bono

We need a banner because of the truth. - preface to the 1689 London Baptist confession

The lessons of history, theology and the life and teachings of Jesus himself are unambiguous: the most effective, strategic and life-changing expressions of the love of Christ, are those that involve generous, heartfelt acts of service and compassion: not separate from the proclamation of the gospel, but integral to it. -Tim Myers, Pioneers

Community Health and Developement is a great door opener and trust builder, especially in village contexts. It has proven effective for long-term platforms, and is a strong expression of the gospel. -Pioneers in Asia leader

They may take our lives, but they will never take our liberty. -William Wallace

You don't need a title to continue to serve. -Gabriel Bejjani

Get out of the way, figure out where God is going, then go with Him. -Nick Kersen

Unknown authors:

We can go 40 days without food, 8 hours without water, 4 minues without air, but only 8 seconds without hope.

The noble army of the martyrs.

As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. -Psalm 42:1

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Starbucks and Bono: an alliance for Africa

Bono and Starbucks have teamed up to help fight AIDS, TB, and Malaria- the big disease killers in Africa. Bono and Bobby Shriver founded (RED) in 2006 to provide money for the Global Fund created previously to fight these killers.

Bono and Starbucks CEO, Howard Schultz, presented the news this week in New Orleans to 10,000 Starbucks employees and store managers. The sale of selected holiday beverages will benefit the fund between November 27 and January 2. Five cents will go to the Global Fund for every drink sold. The Starbucks drinks that will help the fund include the peppermint mocha twist, gingersnap latte, and expresso truffle. And these "(RED)" products will not cost extra. Also, Starbucks money will continue to support the Global Fund after January 2nd. Bono said that "you can't measure the true success of a company on a spread sheet."

More than 4,000 people die every day in Africa because they can't get the basic medication they need to fight the big-killers. Life extending anti-retro-viral medications for AIDS (2 drugs) cost only 43 cents per day.

Starbucks buys its coffee beans from these African countries (alphabetically: Cameroon, Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zaire. It is opening farmer support centers in Ethiopia (where coffee was first discovered) and Rwanda next year, which will also help the local economies there.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Genocide: "How could they?" Or should it be "Could I?"

More than 100 million people have died at the hands of other people in the last 100 years. The 20th century, coined the age of genocide, saw the genocide and mass killing of over 60 million people.

James Waller, in Becoming Evil: How Ordinary People Commit Genocide and Mass Killing, published in 2002, contends that ordinary people can commit extrordinary evil if the right ingredients are present. His research begins with Caine slaying Abel and takes us into the 21st century and the genocide in Sudan. "The dawn of the twenty-first century brings little light to the darkness. Sudan, the largest country in Africa, continues its decades-long assault on itself. Of all the wars that have taken place around the world since 1945, the civil war in Sudan and the accompanying genocide against the people of the country's south have claimed more lives than any other conflict." His pre-Darfur research estimated 2 million of the 30 million in Sudan killed and 4.5 million displaced from their homes-more than anywhere else in the world.

Waller feels that "when we understand the ordinariness of extraordinary evil, we will be less surprised by evil, less likely to be unwitting contributors to evil, and perhaps better equipped to forestall evil" Awareness of our own capability to do evil is the best safeguard against genocide and mass killing. "Could I be capable of such inhumanity?" is more appropriate question than is "How could they?"

Prevention of future genocide should include emphases on healing, forgiveness, and reconciliation, such as what is presently going on in Rwanda. A good dose of humility would also serve us all well.

"Long is the way and hard, that out of hell leads up to light" -John Milton, Paradise Lost.

"Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me and know my thoughts; And see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. -Psalm 139: 23-24.

Waller, James. Becoming Evil: How Ordinary People Commit Genocide and Mass Killing. New York: Oxford University Press, 2002. 316 pp., Endnotes for each chapter, selected bibliography, index, illustrations (photos, charts).

Friday, July 4, 2008

Quotes for World Christians

Quotes for "World Christians":

The spirit of Christ is the spirit of missions. The nearer we get to Him, the more intensely missionary we become. Henry Martyn (1781-1812)

In the vast plain of the north [in Africa] I have sometimes seen, in the morning sun, the smoke of a thousand villages where no missionary has ever been. Robert Moffat (1795-1883)

All that I am I owe to Jesus Christ, revealed to me in His divine book. David Livingsone (1813-1873)

I have but one candle of life to burn, and I would rather burn it out in a land filled with darkness than in a land flooded with light. John Keith Falconer

I look upon this world as a wrecked vessel. God has given me a lifeboat and said to me,"Moody, save all you can." D. L. Moody (1837-1899)

Some wish to live within the sound of a chapel bell; I wish to run a rescue mission within a yard of hell. C.T. Studd (1862-1931)

Defend the Bible? I would as soon defend a lion! Unchain it and it will defend itself. Charles H. Spurgeon (1834-1892)

The Scriptures teach us the best way of living, the noblest way of suffering, and the most comfortable way of dying. John Flavel (17th century Puritan)

The name of Christ-the one great word-well worth all languages in earth or heaven. G. Bailey

Great is truth and shall prevail. Thomas Brooks (1608-1680)

Whatever men may think of religion, the historic fact is, that in proportion as the institutions of Christianity lose their hold upon the multitudes, the fabric of society is in peril. A.T. Pierson (Africa Inland Mission)

For man plans, but God arranges. Thomas A Kempis (ca. 1380-1471)

Live near to God, and so all things will appear to you little in comparison with eternal realities. Robert M. McCheyne

You cannot repent too soon, because you do not know how soon it may be too late. Thomas Fuller (1608-1661)

He who prays as he ought will endeavor to live as he prays. John Owen (1616-1683)

In prayer it is better to have a heart without words, than words without a heart. John Bunyan (1628-1688)

Leave not off praying to God: for either praying will make thee leave off sinning; or continuing in sin will make thee desist from praying. Thomas Fuller (1608-1661)

As often as we are mown down by you, the more we grow in numbers; the blood of Christians is the seed. Tertullian (c.160-c.225). Traditionally cited as the next quote.

The blood of martyrs is the seed of the Church. attributed to St. Jerome (ca. 347-420)

Grace is but glory begun, and glory is but grace perfected. Jonathon Edwards (1703-1758)

Fire and water may as well agree in the same vessel, as grace and sin in the same heart. Thomas Brooks (1608-1680)

All the sin that has darkened human life and saddened human history began in believing a falsehood: all the power of Christianity to make men holy is associated with believing truth. John Albert Broadus (b.1827)

To do so no more is the truest repentence. Martin Luther (1483-1546)

Religion today is not transforming people; rather it is being transformed by the people. It is not raising the moral level of society; it is descending to society's own level, and society is smiling accepting its surrender. A.W. Tozer (1897-1965)

Christ is the great central fact in the world's history; to him everything looks forward or backward. All the lines of history converge upon him. All the march of providence is guided by him. All the great purposes of God culminate in him. The greatest and most momentous fact which the history of the world records is the fact of his birth. C.H. Spurgeon (1834-1892)

Every occupation, plan, and work of man, to be truly successful, must be done under the direction of Christ, in union with his will, from love to him, and in dependence on his power. George Mueller (1805-1898)

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Dump Soda for your health!

Soda pop ("liquid candy") is clearly linked to worsening childhood and adult obesity, as well as diabetes, trends. Now consumer groups on 5 continents are confronting the problem head on, with the "Dump Soda" campaign, launched in Sydney, Australia in October 2007.
The "Dump Soda" campaign includes:
1. Ask governments to require soda pop producers to stop advertising geared to children under 16 years old.
2. Ask government to tax soft drinks to fund fitness and nutrition programs.
3. Stop the sales of sweetened beverages in school.
4. Reduce portion sizes of soft drinks.
5. Push soft drink producers to market lower-sugar products.
Since "diet" sodas, containing sugar substitutes, have been linked to the Metabolic Syndrome (or "Syndrome X"-a pre-diabetic condition, which has risk to the heart), I would question number 5 above if it really means marketing more drinks containing sugar substitutes.
For more information on this campaign go to:

Reference: World Watch (magazine), March/April 2008 issue.

The Bible in Africa

How do Christians in Africa and the global South view Scripture. Philip Jenkins in The New Faces of Christianity writes: "For the growing churches of the global South, the Bible speaks to everyday, real-world issues of poverty and debt, famine and urban crisis, racial and gender oppression, state brutality and persecution."
These African Christians tend to be theologically conservative. They as a whole: 1. take Scripture literally, 2. venerate the Old, as much as the New, Testament, 3. have a high view of the Bible's authority, especially on moral issue, and 4. emphasize the supernatural, including miracles, healings, and visions, in the Bible.
Supernatural warfare is at the "heart of living Christianity."


Barrett, Tony and Todd Johnson, World Christian Trends, Pasadena, Calif.: William Carey Library, 2001.

Bosch, David, Transforming Mission: Paradigm Shift Shifts in Theology of Missions, Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 1991.

Christianity Today, July 2007, cover: "Health and Wealth in Africa, lead article p.23ff: "Gospel Riches."

Jenkins, Philip, The New Faces of Christianity, Oxford University Press, 2006.

Jenkins, Philip, The Next Christiandom, the Coming of Global Christianity, Oxford University Press, 2001, 798pp.

Taylor, David, "Operation World 2001-Reveals Global Trends," Mission Frontiers (December 2001).

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Africa in the News-Part II

These articles about Africa, in the recent secular press, I found at our local public library. Daily newspapers were excluded.

National Geographic, April 2008, cover title- "Africa's Ragged Edge: Journey into the Sahel," p. 34ff "Lost in the Sahel: Along Africa's harsh frontier between desert and forest, crossing some lines can be fatal" by Paul Salopeh, Pulitzer Prize-winning correspondent with the Chicago Tribune, photos by Pascal Maitre. Quote on p. 48: "Women have been singled out for maximum violence in Darfur. Mass rapes by the Janjaweed have been documented. Women have been burned alive." This is an well-written feature story, with great photograghy.

The Atlantic, March 2008, , . Feature story p. 40ff "God's Country: Muslims and Christians in Nigeria", by Eliza Griswold, photos by Seamus Murphy, Quotes: "Nigerians have seen that Sharia has not stanched corruption. In fact, many of the politicians who backed sharia have been linked to massive scandals." "Thanks to explosive growth in Africa, Christianity's demographic and geographic center will have moved, by 2050, to northern Nigeria." "Using militias and marketing strategies, Christianity and Islam are competing for believers by promising Nigerians prosperity in this world as well as salvation in the next." "In 2006, riots triggered by Danish cartoons of the Prophet Muhammed left more people dead in Nigeria than anywhere else in the world." "As Barbara Cooper, the author of Evangelical Christians in the Muslim Sahel , puts it, " 'Faith matters.' "

The Nation, October 22, 2007, "The Fight to Save Congo's Forests," by Christian Parenti, research support from the Investigative Fund of The Nation Institute. Quotes: "The real power behind the throne in Congo is the World Bank, the single largest lender to this hugely indebted government." "First come the roads, and companies take a few hardwoods; then come poachers, settlers and agro firms, and deforestation picks up speed." "If the vast and isolated forests of the Congo Basin-the second-largest tropical woodlands on the planet- had a capital, it would be this sleepy city [Kisangani] of crumbling colonial era buildings and empty boulevards." Kisangi is a small town in the DRC (Democratic Republic of Congo) 1300 miles from the mouth of the Congo River, where river navigation ends, and where there are no longer has any driveable roads to the the outside world. It was previously Stanleyville, a trading post, under the Belgian colonialists. Joseph Conrad used it as a model for Kurtz's interior station in the novel, the Heart of Darkness.

Newsweek, April 21, 2008, "Diemmas of the Horn: Washington wanted to keep Somalia from turning into another Afganistan. Now it's an African Iraq," by Scott Johnson. Quotes: "Some 600,000 have fled the country in the past year, and 750,000 are now trapped in squalid camps for the internally displaced." "A recent U.N. report declared Somalia's humanitarian crisis to be the worst in Africa." "...the violence in Somalia is increasingly random and getting worse."

Time, May 12, 2008, "Time 100 - Builders and Titans" has these 3 stories of importance to Africa: 1. "Alexis Sinduhije. A Burundi journalist risks his life to heal his nation's ethnic wounds," by Christiane Amanpour. Quote: "In 2001, Burundian journalist Alexis Sinduhije founded Radio Publique Africaine (RPA) as a means of fostering peace between the Tutsi and the Hutu in his war-torn country." Over 3000,000 died in Burundi in the civil war between the 2 groups in the mid-1990's. Sinduhije is a Tutsi who adopted a Hutu war orphan. 2. "Mo Ibrahim. How Africa's cell-phone king became a leading voice for democracy," by William Easterly. When Ibrahim sold Celtel in 2005 there were more than 100 million cell phones in Africa, compared to 2 million in 1998, when he started the company. Quotes: "While doing business in Africa, he recognized two other essential but unmet needs: good governance and accountable instutions." "The inaugural Mo Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership, which rewards respect for democratic institutions, went to former President of Mozambique Joaquin Chissano last year." 3. "Mia Farrow. The Actress forced the world to pay attention to the killings in Darfur," by Paul Ruseabagina, who, himself, helped save 1,268 Rwandans at his hotel during the genocide. Quote: "For her work on behalf of these people, for her many years of hard work as a UNICEF goodwill ambassador, for her efforts to get China and the rest of the world to stop supporting the government of Sudan and to pay attention to the genocide in Darfur, I salute her."

Newsweek, May 12, 2008, "Something to Shout About: Africa needed hearing aids. Howard Weinstein got a chance to start over." This retired Canadian business executive is now providing affordable solar-powered hearing aids to partially deaf Africans, from a nonprofit business set up in Otse, Botswana, a town of 3,500 at the edge of the Kalahari desert. Quotes: "The World Health Organization says there are 250 million hearing-impaired people around the globe, with two thirds of them living in developing nations. And yet every year fewer than 10 million are manufactured." " 'Poor people in Africa, Latin America and Asia wear a hearing device until it runs down and then put it in the drawer or sell it', Weistein says. 'If you could come up with a solution, you could touch millions of lives.' " "Today the once empty room in the African semidesert has become the hub of a thriving nonprofit business. Some 20,000 people in 30 countries are using SolarAid brand hearing aids, chargers and batteries."

Time, March 3, 2008, "The Healer: On assignment for Time, musician and humanitarian Bob Geldof reports on the presidential trip to Africa-and why the Continent's rebirth is the Bush Administration's greatest achievement." "The great unacknowledged story of America in Africa didn't immediately originate with this President. But it was accelerated hugely by him, increased by him, argued by him and monitored by him." "A continent growing economically at more than 5% per annum, with 23 or so democratic-ish countries south of the Sahara." "Africa is the only continent yet to be built. It's a continent of 900 million potential producers and consumers. There are more languages and cultural diversity in Africa than almost anywhere else."

Current History, May 2008, "The US and Africa: Prisoners of a Paradigm?", by Greg Mills, head of Brenthurst Foundation and advisor to the president of Rwanda, p.225-230. Quotes: "Africa needs more investment and economic growth. It needs less theater and, certainly no more pity." "The Bush administration arguably has been the most generous ever in Washington, in terms of policy toward, trade with, and aid to Africa." Also see the Current History, Africa issue, May 2007.

Current History: A Journal of Contemporary World Affairs, Africa issue, April 2008, "Africa's Religious Resurgence and the Politics of Good and Evil," by Stephen Ellis and Gerrie Ter Haar, authors of Worlds of Power: Religious Thought and Political Practice in Africa, Oxford University Press, 2004. "African politicians typically pay great regard to the spirit world as a source of power. Many cultivate diviners and marabouts to enhance their authority." "It is quite common in Africa to engage in practices from various religious traditions simultaneously." "Many Africans use a spirit idiom to express dissatisfaction with poor governance." "At a time when 'developement'-the notion that bureaucratic, seular government will lead to unprecedented prosperity-has for many lost its appeal, religion provides alternative ways of organizing society and politics and of thinking about the world."

Related articles, in which only portions of the stories are about Africa:

Current History, January 2008, Global Progress Report, 2008, p. 11ff, "Developement: Halfway there" In the year 2000, 192 coutries set up the Millenium Developement Goals to improve the lives of the world's poorest people by the year 2015. This is mainly a report, at the half way point, based on a UN update of the uneven results. The proportion of people in extreme poverty has fallen from a third, to under a fifth of the world, between 1990 and 2004, most dramatically in Asia. Quotes: " long as farmers in the Sahel are dependent solely on rainfall for the success of their crops, they stand forever on the edge of starvation." "If Africa uses this potential properly, parts of the continent will develope into legitimate emerging markets and will receive large inflows of private capital." "US poicy makers rightly regard the Darfur region of Sudan as a humanitarian disaster, and they also view it in geopolitical terms... This means they never get to the crux of the problem. In Darfur and places like it, people are struggling over scarce pastureland and cropland and especially over water."

U.S. News & World Report,, May 19, 2008. Cover Story: "Fixing the Food Crisis: There are as many potential solutions to the price hikes as causes of them, and none will come easily," by Maianne Lavelle and Kent Garber, and related stories by Matt Bandyk, Kirk Shinkle, and Nancy Shute, p. 36-42. Potential actions discussed: 1. Take a pause on biofuels 2. Improve food aid 3. Produce higher yields 4. Grow better crops 5. Curb the speculators 6. Break down trade barriers 7. Eat less meat 8. Share the crowded planet. Quotes: "Rural financing programs have allowed small farmers to support themselves." "In Malawi in 2006 and 2007... vouchers for fertilizers helped increase production 50%." "Food shortages and sharply rising prices have sparked riots in underdeveloped countries. Global grain stocks are at their lowest levels in decades, and the price of rice has risen 70 percent in the past year." Sites referred to for further information: , , , , , .

Newsweek, October 1, 2007, , "Giving Globally: The Search for Solutions", p. 51-76. Includes main article, "A Shot of Hope", by Mary Carmichael, with illustrations, charts, and graphs, as well as shorter articles: "Cool, Clear Water," by Christian Caryl; "A Reward for Good Behavior: A billionaire wants to give $5 million to African leaders who rule responsibly," by Emily Flynn Vencat; and "Saving the World is Within Our Grasp: The evidence is in: we can stop diseases like malaria and TB fron killing millions of people each year," by Bill Gates. Gates also lists a few of the groups that are making a difference:
Global fund to fight AIDS, TB and Malaria:
Save the Children:
Nothing But Nets:
Doctors Without Borders :
GAVI Alliance:

Time, March 24, 2008,, "10 Ideas That are Changing the World," by Jeffrey D. Sachs, director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University, taken from his new book, Common Wealth: Economics for a Crowded Planet, Penguin Press. He is also author of The End of Poverty. Quotes: "Ahmed Mohammed. A native Kenyan and a scientist, he is a leader of sustainable developement in Kenya's drylands." "The defining challenge of the 21st century will be to face the reality that humanity shares a common fate on a crowded planet." "Sustainable developement will not break the bank. The key is to make the right choices in our public investments and to find ways to harness, and channel market forces."

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Africa in the News: a summary of articles about Africa in the recent print media

Here is what I found at our local library, concerning the topic of Africa, in the print media of 2006, 2007 and 2008. Ours is a public library in a city of 50,000 people. I searched both Christian and secular print magazines, journals, and periodicals, both scholarly and popular media, but not daily newspapers:

In Christian- oriented magazines:

Christianity Today, July 2007, Cover: "Health and Wealth in Africa: How the prosperity gospel is taking a continent by storm." "Gospel Riches: Africa's rapid embrace of prosperity Pentecostalism provokes concern and hope," by Isaac Phiri and Joe Maxwell, p. 23 ff. A few quotes in this article:
"Break loose! It is not a sin to desire to be wealthy."-Michael Okonkwo
"Nigerian prophet T.B. Joshua teaches that Jesus death provides both salvation and divine healing."
"The kingdom of God is built on the cross, not on bread and butter."-David Oginde
"In Zambia, only 3 stations click in: MUVITZ, ZNBC, and TBN."

National Catholic Reporter: The Independent Newsweekly, March 30, 2007, Cover: "The Church in Nigeria: Explosive growth, grinding poverty, and a mix of Catholic and African
traditions." "The face of Catholicism's future: strong parishes, booming vocations mark young church," by John L Allen, Jr., Abuja/Kaduna, Nigeria. A few quotes:
"The Nigerian church must be examined critically, because powerful currents of history are about to thrust it into a leadership position."
"It seems the hour of Africa has come."-Ecclesia in Africa, Pope John Paul II, 1995.

America: The National Catholic Weekly, Nov 19, 2007. Cover: "Will Darfur Dance Again: A first- person account," p.9-11, by John H. Ricard, Bishop of the Diocese of Pensacola- Tallahassee, Florida. Has insert article, "Darfur's Humanitarian Crisis," which contains a small map.

Christian Century, October 2, 2007, p. 20-23, "Waiting in Darfur," text and photographs by Paul Jeffrey, a United Methodist missionary. Has 12 good photographs of Darfur crisis region.

Christianity Today, March 2007, p. 39 " Inerview by Sheryl Henderson Blunt of Grace Akallo, kidnapped by The Lord's Resistance Army from St. Mary's College in Aboke, northern Uganda 1996-7. She escaped after 7 months and is now a student at Gordon College. She spoke, later, after the interview, to 700 people at the "Peace Within Reach" gathering in Washington, D.C. and received a standing ovation. Other related articles in this issue of CT are listed below, under other articles of related interest.

Charisma, July 2006, p.37-41, "Miracle: Amid war and persecution, Christians are experiencing a revival in Uganda that is marked by church growth, an unprecedented drop in AIDS prevalence and a changing political landscape," by Kyalo Nguku, a journalist based in Nairobi, Kenya, who travelled to Uganda in January 2006 to write the story. Has photos. An insert story, "Healing the Wounds of War: Christians are helping the people of Uganda recover from a 20-year conflict," by Blake Farrington. Quotes in main article:
"Amid war and persecution, Christians are experiencing a revival in Uganda that is marked by church growth, an unprecedented drop in AIDS prevalence and a changing political landscape."
"Uganda pastor Jackson Senyonga says oppression has drawn his nation to God."

Articles of interest but not strictly about Africa:

National Catholic Reporter, May 2, 2008: "Food Riots underscore 'tsunami of need': experts address global crisis at conference in Kansas City." Has map of world featuring 37 countries, under caption, "Rising Prices threaten famine-37 countries in urgent need of food aid." African countries included are: Chad, Central African Republic, Sudan, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia, Kenya, Uganda, Burundi, Zimbabwe, Swaziland, Lesotho, Democratic Republic of Congo, Congo, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Mauritania. Thus, 21 out of the 37 countries in urgent need of food aid are in Africa.

Sojourners Magazine, March 2007, p. 12-18, "Cry Freedom: The Modern Global Slave Trade and those who fight it," by David Batstone, with 2 photos. Quotes:
"Widespread poverty and social inequality ensure a pool of recruits as deep as the ocean."
"The commerce in human beings today rivals drug trafficing and the illegal arms trade for the top criminal activity on the planet."

Christian Century, November 27, 2007, p. 22-26 "Sold into slavery: The scourge of human trafficking," by Jonathan Tran, professor at Baylor University. Quote: "Some 87 percent of international trafficing involves women and children who are forced into prostitution."

Christianity Today, March 2007, p. 30 ff, "Free at Last: How Christians world wide are sabotaging the modern slave trade," by Dean Alford. Additional articles, "Amazing Abolitionist: Amazing Grace shows Wilberforce in Action", by Mark Loring, "Most people who are trafficked into the United States we know nothing about", by Kevin Bales, and "On a Justice Mission: The Christian Vision Project", by Gary Haugen.

Part II of this blog will list recent stories about Africa from the secular press, again excluding print media of daily nature (daily newspapers).

Monday, May 12, 2008

Model Prayers For World Christians

These are some of my favorite mission oriented prayers for "world Christians."They are prayers for God's kingdom work to be accomplished. These prayers are taken from the Bible, the early church, missionaries, and the Book of Common Prayer:

Also when a foreigner who is not of Thy people Israel but comes from a distant country because of Thy great name and Thy strong hand and Thine outstretched arm, who shall come and pray toward this house, hear Thou from heaven, Thy dwelling place, and do Thou according to all which the stranger shall request of Thee, so that all people of the earth may know Thy name and revere Thee, as do Thy people Israel, and that they may realize that this house which I have built is called by Thy name. --II Chronicles 6:32-33 (Solomon's prayer, The Modern Language Bible: The New Berkeley Version)

Therefore will I give thanks unto thee, O LORD, among the heathen, and sing praises unto thy name.--Psalm 18:49 (David's prayer, KJV)

All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the LORD, And all the families of the nations will worship before Thee. --Psalm 22:27 (David's prayer, NASB)

May your ways be known throughout the earth, your saving power among people everywhere. May the nations praise you , O God. Yes, may all the nations praise you. Let the whole world sing for joy, because you govern the nations with justice and guide the people of the whole world. May the nations praise you, O God. Yes, may all the nations praise you.--Psalm 67:2-5 (New Living Translation)

Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me. -- Isaiah 6;8 (Isaiah's response to God, KJV)

Now, Master, thou canst let thy servant go, and go in peace, as thou didst promise; for mine eyes have seen thy saving power, which thou hast prepared for all peoples, to be a light of revelation for the Gentiles, and a glory to thy people Israel. --Luke 2:29-32 (Simeon's prayer, The Moffatt Bible)

These words spake Jesus, and lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee: As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him. And this is life eternal, that they might know thee they only true God, as Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work that thou gavest me to do... As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world... Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me... And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them. -- portions of Jesus' prayer to His Father taken from John 17 (KJV)

Now to Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen. --Ephesians 3:20-21 (Paul's prayer, NASB)

Remember, O Lord, all who in heathen lands are under instruction for Holy Baptism; have mercy upon them and confirm them in the faith; remove all the remains of idolatry and superstition from their hearts, that being devoted to Thy law, Thy precepts, Thy fear, Thy truths, and Thy commandments, they may grow to a firm knowledge of the word in which they have been instructed, and may be found worthy to be made an habitation of the Holy Ghost, by the laver of regeneration, for the remission of their sins through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
--St. Basil the Great (ca. 329-379)

Remember, O Lord, this city wherein we dwell and every other city and country, and all the faithful who dwell in them. Remember, O Lord, all who travel by land or water, all that labor under sickness or slavery; remember them for health and safety. Remember, O Lord, those in Thy Holy Church who bring forth good fruit, are rich in good works and forget not the poor. Grant unto us all Thy mercy and loving-kindness, and grant that we may with one mouth and one heart praise and glorify Thy great and glorious name, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, now, henceforth, and forever. Amen. --St John Chrysostom (ca. 347-407)

O Lord, our Savior, who hast warned us that thou wilt require much of those to whom much is given; grant that we whose lot is cast in so goodly a heritage may strive together the more abundantly to extend to others what we so richly enjoy; and as we have entered into the labours of other men so to labour that in their turn other men may enter into ours, to the fulfillment of Thy holy will; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. --St Augustine of Hippo (ca. 354-430)

O God of unchangeable power and eternal light, look favourably on Thy whole Church, that wonderful and sacred mystery; and by the tranquil operation of Thy perpetual providence, carry out the work of man's salvation; let the whole world feel and see that things that were cast down are being raised up, that those which had grown old are being made new, and that all things are returning to perfection; through Him from Whom they took their origin, even Jesus Christ Thy son our Lord. Amen. --Gelasian Sacramentary, Fifth Century.

In evening prayer God was pleased to draw near my soul, though very sinful and unworthy: was enabled to wrestle with God, and persevere in my requests for grace. I poured out my soul for all the world, friends, and enemies. My soul was concerned, not so much for souls as such, but rather for Christ's kingdom, that it might appear in the world, that God might be known to be God in the whole earth...Let the truth of God appear, wherever it is; and God have the glory for ever. Amen. --David Brainerd (1718-1747, from his diary, he was a missionary to the Delaware and the Seneca Indians of New Jersey and New York)

O Lord our God, arise,
The cause of truth maintain;
And wide o'er all the peopled earth
Extend her blessed reign.
--The hymn sung frequently at worship by missionaries William Carey and Joshua Marshman in India, after the death of their associate William Ward in 1823.

Grant us grace fearlessly to contend against evil, and to make no peace with oppression; and, that we may reverently use our freedom, help us to employ it in the maintenance of justice among men and nations. --A Prayer for Social Justice, Book of Common Prayer, American Revision, 1928

Regarding the Lord's Prayer recorded in Matthew 6:9-13 and Luke 11:1-4, Georg F. Vicedom has said, "One cannot pray the Lord's Prayer without having a world map before his eyes."

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

May all the nations praise you , O God

Evangelical Christianity is growing faster than any other religion in the world. Most Christians now live in the "global south" (previously referred to as the developing world or third world). In 1949 there were an estimated 1 million Christians in China; today there are 80 to 100 million. The growth rate of Christianity in India has increased from 1.6% to 3%, to currently about 6%.

In the 13th century Kubla Khan asked for 100 learned men to come to the Far East (China) to teach Christianity. After World War II, General Douglas MacArthur asked for a thousand missionaries to go and preach the gospel in Japan. The church failed both challenges.

Currently, half the missionaries going out are from the "global south", and half from the "western world." Here are the percentages from each area:

North America 39%
Europe 11%
Asia 36% (Korea is the number one missionary sending country in Asia).
Africa 6%
Latin America 5%
The Pacific 3%

Notice that North America and Europe combined are the source of 50% of the missionaries sent out; the last four categories (the "global south") also add up to 50 %.

Some churches in Africa are made up of over 20% orphans and widows. More and more churches are serving the homeless, the jobless, the addicted, and those without a Bible or Christian neighbors or relatives. Many churches only have a Bible or two among the whole congregation. These are some of the great challenges of the church today.

The Biblical model of discipling the nations, especially as seen in the Acts of the Apostles, (or perhaps more accurately "the Acts of the Holy Spirit") is evangelistic church planting. In this model, people and prayer are much more important than programs or property. God uses people who prove the greatness of their God and give Him the glory. Prayer is the primary "strategy."

"Look out among the nations, observe and be astounded, be amazed; for I am doing a work in your day, which you would not believe, if it were told you."--Habakkuk 1:5 (The Modern Language Bible: The New Berkeley Version, Zondervan Publishing House)

"Send us around the world with the news of your saving power and your eternal plan for mankind. How everyone throughout the earth will praise the Lord! How glad the nations will be, singing for joy because you are their King."--Psalms 67:2-4a (Living Bible, Tyndale House Publishers)

"I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the ends of the earth."--Isaiah 49:6 (KJV)

"All the ends of the world shall remember and turn unto the Lord: and all kindreds of the nations shall worship before thee. For the kingdom is the Lord's: and he is the governor among the nations"--Psalms 22:27-28 (KJV)

Monday, April 21, 2008

Africa: the challenges and the progress

In Africa the most important challenges are considered by most experts to be governance related. Corrupt and totalitarian regimes have resulted in wars, revolutions, conscription of child soldiers, genocide, slavery, and other atrocities.
However, in many countries in Africa there are challenges of a physical nature which may actually be the primary challenges:
1. Tropical diseases. For instance, malaria kills more than 3 million people each year in Africa, more deaths than from AIDS or any other infection. Malaria is also the top killer of children under 5; about 75% of malaria deaths in Africa are in children under 5. Only 5% of Africa's children sleep under mosquito or bed nets. Malaria, by itself, accounts for 10% of all Africa's disease burden.
2. Agriculture. Crops are dependent on rain, and since there is no irrigation in the dry areas like the Sahel, famines, food shortages, hunger, and malnutrition are frequently seen.
3. Infrastructure. Lack of roads, ports, airports, power plants, and sanitation are pervasive problems.

Yet, there are also many positive developements:
1. The poverty rate has dropped 6 percentage points in the past 7 years.
2. The economic growth rate has been 6% per year in recent years in sub-Saharan Africa.
3. The struggles against AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, measles, smallpox, polio, black fever (visceral leishmaniasis) and guinea-worm disease have all produced some results, in some cases impressive results. Anti-retrovirals and treated bednets are now available to many more people, because of recent initiatives.
4. More children and women are in school.
5. More women are engaged in the political process.
6. The Achievement in Africa Leadership Prize, established by Sudanese billionaire, Mo Ibrahim, as part of his foundation, is giving $5 million annually to a democratically elected sub- Sahara African leader. The leaders will be judged by how they perform in eight categories, including the security of citizens, the rule of law, economic opportunity, and political freedom. To collect the prize the leader must leave office when the term ends, with no cloud over the tenure in office.
7. Evangelical Christianity is growing. These evangelicals in Africa are more optimistic about Africa's future, and are very involved in the positive developements occuring. Growing churches, some of these being megachurches, have been a very positive influence for good.

Please pray for Africa. I suggest you start by praying for a country, or a people group: its leaders, its churches, its people, etc. Perhaps a country where you have friends or acquaintances, or where your church has missionaries, would be the best place to start.

The Christian's Trademark is Love (1 John 2: 7-11)

Coca Cola, McDonalds, and Nike are the best known brands or trademarks in the commercial world today.
The outstanding trademark (distinguishing characteristic) of the Christian is love- love for his brother in Christ, and also for his fellow man created in God's image.
Barriers of nationality, social standing, race, and gender are torn down, in and through Christ. There should be such a spirit of forgiveness within the body of Christ that nothing can part us (just like in the marriage vow).
Without true repentence, it must be noted, there can be no true forgiveness.
If you are an unbeliever, you are walking around in the dark like a blind man.
Martin Lloyd Jones, the great evangelical preacher of mid-20th century England, sayed that the way of the world is to hide itself, frequently in a mask of superficial chivalry.
The power of the gospel is in the magnitude of the grace of God, and in the explosiveness of God's love! And, this power should also be seen in our love to others, through Him.
Let us in the church truly love one another.
Let no divisions of social standing, or race, or nationality, or physical differences rob us of our unity; we have the commonality of the same Savior and Lord.
Let us be willing to give up our perceived freedom, in order not to be a stumbling block to a perceived weaker brother in Christ.
Christ (and the cross) focused worship, will be followed by action. Love will flow to one another. Love for God will be translated into love for our brother.

Acknowledgement: Parts of a sermon preached on the text 1 John 2: 7-11 by Pastor Andy Lutz in early March, 2008, were the basis of much of these notes.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Mission quotes, prayers, reference books for "world Christians"

God does not call every Christian to be a missionary, but He does call every Christian to be a world Christian. John Piper defines a world Christian as one "so gripped by the glory of God and the glory of His global purpose that he chooses to align himself with God's mission to fill the earth with the knowledge of His glory as the waters cover the sea (Habakkuk 2:14)."

The following are some of my favorite quotes, spanning 2700 years, that exalt God and His mission in the world:

Jesus Christ: "Just as the Father sent me forth, so I send you."-John 20:21b

The Apostle Paul: "It has always been my ambition to preach the gospel where Christ was not known, so that I would not be building on someone else's foundation."-Romans 15:20

The Prophet Isaiah: "Here am I; send me."-Isaiah 6:8

Quintus Septimus Florens Tertullian (CA. 160-225): "See how those Christians love one another."

St. Basil the Great (ca. 329-379): "Remember, O Lord, all who in heathen lands are under instruction for Holy Baptism; have mercy upon them and confirm them in the faith; remove all the remains of idolatry and superstition from their hearts, that being devoted to Thy law, Thy precepts, Thy fear, Thy truths, and Thy commandments, they may grow to a firm knowledge of the word in which they have been instructed, and may be found worthy to be made an habitation of the Holy Ghost, by the laver of regeneration, for the remission of their sins, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen."

St. John Chrysostom (ca. 347-407): "Remember , O Lord, this city wherein we dwell and every other city and country, and all the faithful who dwell in them...Grant unto us Thy mercy and loving-kindness, and grant that we may with one mouth and one heart praise and glorify Thy great and glorious name, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, now, henceforth, and forever. Amen."

St. Augustine of Hippo (or, Latin name, Aurelius Augustinus, 354-430): "A whole Christ for my salvation, a whole Bible for my staff, a whole church for my fellowship, and a whole world for my parish." "You made us for yourself, and our hearts are restless until they find their rest in You."
"...grant that we whose lot is cast in so goodly a heritage may strive together the more abundantly to extend to others that we so richly the fulfillment of Thy holy will; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen."

St. Columba (or Columcialle, ca. 521-597): "For the love of Christ."

St. Francis of Assisi (1181-1226): "Preach the gospel at all times, and when necessary use words."

Ramon Llull (or Ramon Lull or Raymond Lully, ca. 1235-1316): "He who loves not lives not; he who lives by the Life cannot die."

John Wycliffe (ca. 1330-1384): "I believe that in the end the truth will conquer."

Desiderius Erasmus (ca. 1466-1536): "The Scriptures should be translated into all tongues."

St. Francis Xavier (1506--1552): "We are therefore determined to make our way into China at all costs, and I hope in God that the upshot of our journey will be the increase of our holy faith, however much the devil and his ministers may persecute us. If God is for us who can overthrow us."

John Knox (1505-1572): "A man with God is always in the majority."

Count Nikolaus Ludwig von Zinzendorf (1700-1760): "I have only one passion and it is Him, only Him"

Phillip Doddridge (1702-1751): "Awake, my soul! Stretch every nerve, And press with vigour on; A heavenly race demands thy zeal, And an immortal crown."

William Carey (1761-1834): "Expect great things from God; attempt great things for God."

Adoniram Judson (1788-1850): "The prospects are as bright as the promises of God."

David Livingstone (1813-1873): "I place no value on anything I have or may possess, except in relation to the kingdom of God." "For my own part, I never ceased to rejoice that God has appointed me to such an office. People talk of the sacrifice I have made in spending so much of my life in Africa. Can that be called a sacrifice which is simply paid back as a small part of a great debt owing to our God, which we can never repay?...I never made a sacrifice."

James Hudson Taylor (1832-1905): "I shall have no claim on anyone for anything. My only
claim will be on God." "The Great Commission is not an option to be considered, but a command to be obeyed."

Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1834-1892): "A church that does not exist to reclaim heathenism, to fight evil, to destroy error, to put down falsehood, a church that does not exist to take the side of the poor, to denounce injustice and to hold up righteousness is a church that has no right to be."

Alexander M. Mackay (or Mackay of Uganda, 1849-1890): "But I shall not give up, please God, even temporarily, my plans for the interior, unless all avenues being closed, it would be sheer madness to attempt to carry them out."

John G. Paton (1824-1907): "...if I can but live and die serving and honoring the Lord Jesus, it will make no difference to me whether I am eaten by Cannibals or worms; and in the Great Day my resurrection body will the likeness of our risen Redeemer."

William Borden (1887-1913): "No reserves, no retreats, no regrets." "Say no to self and yes to Jesus every time."

Samuel Zwemer (1867-1952): "The prospects for the evangelization of all the unoccupied fields are 'as bright as the promises of God.' Why should we longer wait to evangelize them?...God can give us power for the task. He was sufficient for those who went out in the past, and is sufficient for those who go out today." "He that believes in Christ does what he can not do, attempts the impossible and performs it...What is it but the glory of the impossible!"

Charlotte Diggs ("Lottie") Moon (1840-1912): "God has first claim on my life." "Surely there is no greater joy than saving souls."

George Vicedom: "One cannot pray the Lord's Prayer without having a world map before his eyes."

John Stam: "Where He leads me I will follow. As for us, may God be glorified, whether by life or death."

Jim Elliot: "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep, to gain what he cannot lose."

John Piper: "Missions is not the ultimate goal of the church. Worship is. Missions exists because worship doesn't. Worship is ultimate, not missions, because God is ultimate not man."

And here are a few better reference books for World Christians:

Bryant, David, IN THE GAP, InterVarsity Press, 1979.

Castle, Tony, LIVES OF FAMOUS CHRISTIANS: A Biographical Dictionary, Servant Books, 1988.

DeRidder, Richard R. and Roger S. Greenway, LET THE WHOLE WORLD KNOW: Resources for Preaching on Missions, Baker Book House, 1988.

Johnstone, Patrick and Jason Mandryk, OPERATION WORLD: When We Pray God Works, WEC International and U.S. Center for World Mission, 2001.

Moreau, A. Scott, editor, EVANGELICAL DICTIONARY OF WORLD MISSIONS, Baker Books, 2000.

Piper, John, LET THE NATIONS BE GLAD: The Supremacy of God in Missions, Baker Boooks, 1995.

Richardson, Don, ETERNITY IN THEIR HEARTS: Revised, Regal Books, 1984.

Stearns, Bill and Amy, CATCH THE VISION 2000, Bethany House Publishers, 1991.

Tucker, Ruth A., FROM JERUSALEM TO IRIAN JAYA: A Biographical History of Christian Missions, Academie Books (Zondervan Publishing House), 1983.

Winter, Ralph d. and Steven D. Hawthorne, PERSPECTIVES ON THE WORLD CHRISTIAN MOVEMENT: A Reader, William Carey Library, 1992.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

The Orphan's Cause

"Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress..."James 1:27 (New Living Translation). The Amplified Bible explains further: "to visit and help and care for the orphans and widows in their affliction and need..."

The orphan's cause is carefully highlighted in The Bible. The word orphan or fatherless (Hebrew: yatom, Greek: orphanos) occurs at least 41 times in the Bible, 39 times in the Old Testament and twice in the New Testament. The New Testament passages are James 1:27 and John 14:18. In some manuscripts the word is in Mark 12:40 as well.

The word orphan or fatherless (Greek: orphus, Latin: orbus) means "bereft of parents or of a father." The word "orphanos" in the Greek is used in the Bible in the more general sense of being "desolate", "comfortless". or "friendless". In the King James (Authorized) Version the word is rendered "fatherless" instead of "orphan" , except in Lamentations 5:3 where the word "orphan" is used. Newer translations, however, mostly use the word "orphan" rather than "fatherless".

From earliest times, caring for orphans was a priority concern of the Israelites, and even of some surrounding nations. Yet God's people were often chastised by the prophets for neglecting and defrauding the orphans. God works on their behalf (Deut. 10:18) and condemns those who oppress them (Deut. 27:19, Mal. 3:5). When men fail the orphans (Ps. 27:10), God shows special concern (Ps. 10:14,18; 48:15; 146:9; Hosea 14:3 cf. John 14:18). The orphan is directly contrasted with the wicked in Psalms 146:9.

We definitely see a priority, even a mandate, for aiding and for caring for the orphans, as well as other helpless and hopeless of the world. Orphans, widows, and aliens (or foreigners) are often mentioned in the same Bible passage, as in need of our help and support.

The orphan cause is, therefore, very important, especially now when there are so many orphans and abandoned children in the world because of AIDS, wars, genocide, famines, and poverty. Remember to pray for the orphans, and for specific orphan ministries and Christian adoption organizations.

"See the orphan as the opportunity, not the tragedy." -Paul Myhill, World Orphans

Invisible Soldiers

Children are trapped as conscripted soldiers in the conflicts of at least 13 countries around the world. They are usually denied access to humanitarian groups. Often they are abducted, raped, and killed.
The children are victims of 58 waring groups in these 13 countries. The 13 countries, in alphabetical order are: Afganistan, Burundi, Central African Republic (C.A.R.), Democratic Republic of Congo (D.R.C.), Myanmar, Nepal, Somalia, Sudan, Chad, Columbia, Philippines, Sri Lanka, and Uganda. Several countries, where things have improved, are no longer on the U.N.'s list, including Ivory Coast and Sierre Leone.
Please pray for the children, the countries, and the leaders of these countries. Pray for the leaders of the waring factions, as well, that God would turn their hearts to end this child abuse.


Tuesday, February 26, 2008

William Whiting Borden (1887-1913): No Reserves, No Retreats, No Regrets

William Borden, a relatively unsung hero of the Student Volunteer Movement, died at the age of only 25 in Cairo, Egypt, never having realized his goal of sharing the gospel of Christ with Muslims in China.
Heir of the vast Borden fortune, he was converted under the ministry of D.L Moody, graduated from Yale, attended Princeton Seminary, signed the "Princeton Pledge" as the result of Samuel Zwemer's preaching, gave away hundreds of thousands of dollars to Christian organizations (while at the same time refusing the luxury of an automobile), and later joined Zwemer, who was then in his first year in Cairo. Samuel Zwemer, himself, went on to become the most recognized and scholarly missionary to the Middle East of the modern era. Zwemer also conducted Borden's funeral.
During his first year at Yale, William Borden started a Bible study with his room mate, which then grew to 150 freshmen. By his senior year the Bible study involved 1,000 of the 1,272 students.
In Cairo, he rode his bike around the steamy streets distributing tracts. His motto became: "Say no to self and yes to Jesus every time."
He died, after only 4 months in Cairo, of spinal meningitis. He was buried at the American Cemetary in Cairo.
Borden Memorial Hospital in Lanzhou, China was named after him.

In his Bible he had written these lines, one at a time, over a short period of time:


For further Study:

Broomhall, Alfred J., Hudson Taylor and China's Open Century, volume 7, Hodder & Strougton and O.M.F., 1989. Section: "It is Not Death to Die."

Campbell, Charles Soutter, William Whiting Borden: A Short Life Complete in Christ, 1909.

Erdman, Charles Rosenbury, An Ideal Missionary Volunteer: A Sketch of the Life and Character of William Borden, London: South Africa General Mission, ca. 1913.

Taylor, Mrs Howard, Borden of Yale '09, Philadelphia: C.I.M., 1913. Moody Press reprint 1923.

The Billy Graham Center at Wheaton College has an archive 0n William Borden.

David Livingston: The Smoke of a Thousand Villages

"I direct your attention to Africa...I go back to make an open door for commerce and Christianity." David Livingston (1813-1873) spoke these words before an elite audience in Cambridge, England, in 1867, while on furlough from Africa.
Livingston, both missionary and explorer, and trained in both theology and medicine, travelled 29,000 miles in Africa, starting in 1840, in an attempt to reach "the smoke of a thousand villages", where the gospel had never been preached. His goals, in doing this, were to extend the Kingdom of Christ and to see slavery abolished.
In Africa he contended with many difficulties, which would have broken many men: jungle fever, drought, wild animals, superstition, slavery, hostile tribes, foreign traders who opposed his mission and exploited the nationals, and even sharp critics back in England.
He recommended training nationals in order to do away with dependency on the Europeans.
His resonse to critics and others was, "We can afford to work in faith, for omnipotence is pledged to fulfill its purpose."
When he died at Lake Tanganyika, in what is now Zambia, his attendants carried his body 1500 miles to the coast, and later one of them even attended his funeral service in Westminster Abbey, England. His wasted body had been found in a position of prayer. His diary was found to read: "I am trying to establish Christ's Kingdom in a region wider than Scotland...Fever seems to forbid it, but I shall work for the glory of Christ's Kingdom, fever or no fever."

Reference books:

Blaikie, W.G., D.D., The Personal Life of David Livingstone, Murray, 1910.

Campbell, R. J., D.D., Livingstone, Benn, 1929.

Charles, Eizabeth, Three Martyrs of the Nineteenth Century: Studies from the Lives of Livingstone, Gordon, and Patteson, London, Society for Propagating Christian Knowledge, 1889. 396p.

Coupland, Sir R., Livingstone's Last Journey, Collins, 1945.

Fraser, Mrs. A. K., Livingstone and Newstead, Murray, 1913.

Hughes, Thomas, Life of Livingstone, NY: John B. Alden Publisher, N.D. (ca. 1910). 204p.

Johnston, Sir H. H., Livingstone and the Exploration of Central Africa, Philip, 1891.

Livingstone, David, Missionary Travels, Murray, 1857. Narrative of Expedition to the Zambesi, Murray, 1865. Last Journals, ed. H. Walter, Murray, 1874. Cambridge Lectures, ed. W. Monk, Deigton Bell, 1860. Zambezi Expedition Journals, ed. J. P. R. Wallis, Chatto and Windus, 1956.

MacNair, James I., Livingstone The Liberator, London and Glasgow: Collins Clear-Type Press, 1940. 382p., index, endpage map, 16 illustrations.

Matthews, B., Livingstone the Pathfinder, Oxford University Press, 1932.

Moreau, A. Scott, editor, Evangelical Dictionary of World Missions, Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 2000.

Morrison, J.H., The Missionary Heroes of Africa, NY: Doran, 1922.

Northcott, Cecil, Livingstone in Africa, Lutterworth, 1957.

Seaver, George, David Livingstone: His Life and Letters, the definitive biography of the great missionary-explorer-scientist who opened up Africa, NY: Harper & Brothers Publishers. 650p., index, 6 maps, frontispiece photo of Livingstone in 1864.

Simmons, J., Livingstone and Africa, E. U. P., 1955.

Stanley, Sir Henry M., How I Found Livingstone, Sampson Law, 1872.

Tucker, Ruth A., From Jerusalem to Irian Jaya: A Biographical History of Christian Missions, Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1983.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

The African Bush-millions of lives saved?

It was, not NBC, CBS or the New York Times, that recently acknowledged that President Bush's policies "have saved millions of [African] lives and lifted others from abject poverty." It wasn't an American, but Irish rock star and African activist, Bob Geldof, that said Bush "has done more than any other president so far", though it was "unexpected of the man". He talks about "the triumph of American policy", but chides the American media for ignoring the Bush legacy in Africa.
The African public and media, however, have noticed Bush's commitment to helping Africa, as we saw as thousands lined the route all the way between the airport and Dar es Salem, in Tanzania. Some danced wearing "Bush" shirts and waving American flags.
Why does Bush get so much more respect in Africa than elsewhere?
Bush's aid programs have targetted AIDS and Malaria, two of the biggest killers in Sub-Saharan Africa. The massive 5 year, $15 billion AIDS relief drive has increased the number of people on anti-retrovirals from 50,000 to 1.3 million.
The 5 year, $1.2 billion anti-malaria project has provided 25 million Africans with insecticide- treated mosquito nets, an effective yet simple solution to what is still the the biggest infectious-disease killer in Africa.
The Millenium Challenge Corporation started under Bush has approved $5.5 billion to 16 countries, 9 of which are in Africa. The assistance is limited to countries that support democracy and a free market economy, invest in health and education, and fight corruption.
Bush increased developement and humanitarian assistance to Africa from $1.4 billion his 1st year in office, to $4 billion per year currently.
In tiny Benin, his first African stop, Bush has promoted an anti-malaria program, the training of 1000's of teachers, as well as judicial, financial, and port reform. Tanzania, Rwanda, Ghana, and Liberia are also being visited by Bush. These countries , though poor , are making progress in regards to economic growth, better living conditions, and the rule of law, all with U.S. aid.
Bush says " My trip here is a way to remind future presidents and future Congresses that it is in the national interest and in the moral interests of the United States of America to help people."
Please pray for wisdom for our President and his staff, and for these nations in Africa, that the money, medicines, and training provided, will have lasting impact into future generations. May we as individuals and NGO's, also do whatever we can to help, as we pray for God's leading.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

African Revivals of the 20th Century

Revival! A People Saturated With God, by Brian H. Edwards (Evangelical Press, 5th impression, 1997) lists five Christian revivals that have taken place in Africa, all in the 20th century. Errol Hulse's Give Him No Rest: A Call to Prayer for Revival, Evangelical Press, 1991, also describes some of these revivals.
1) 1904 South Africa, at Fransch Hoek
2) 1910 Malawi
3) 1930's onwards East Africa, especially Uganda
4) 1937-1943 Ethiopia, Wallamo Tribes
5) 1953 Congo (Zaire)

1) Regarding the first African revival of the 20th century, this is written by Edwards: "In 1904 at Fransch Hoek in South Africa a Young People's society heard of the Spirit elsewhere and a prayer meeting of 12 was soon attended by 600."
2) In Malawi in 1910 the events are similar, as described in Edwards book: "An elder began to pray confessing before all the sin of having cherished a spirit of revenge for an evil done him. Then another began to pray, and another and another, til 2 or 3 were praying together in a quiet voice, weeping and confessing, each one conscious of the other. Suddenly there came the sound of a rushing wind...It was the thrilling sound of 2500 people praying audibly, no man apparently conscious of the other...Not noisy or discordant, it filled us with great awe."
4) In Ethiopia in 1937 after 9 years of work by Western missionaries there were only 48 known indiginous believers. In 1943, after period of cruel persecution by fascist Italian colonialists, missionaries returned to find 10,000 believers. this increased to 240,000 in 1950, and to 3.5 million Christians in 1990.
Pray that God will bring more revivals like these to Africa and elsewhere.

For Further Reading about Revival, and also African Revivals:

Brown, Michael L., The End of American Gospel Enterprise, Shippensburg, Pennsylvania, Destiny Image Publishers, 1989.

Coleman, Robert, The Spark That Ignites, Minneapolis: World Wide Publications, 1989.

Duewel, Wesley, Revival Fire, Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan Publishing House, 1995.

Edwards, Brian H., Revival: A People Saturated with God, Evangelical Press (UK), 1997.

Hulse, Errol, Give Him No Rest: A Call to Prayer for Revival, Evangelical Press (UK), 1991.

Johnstone, Patrick and Jason Mandryk, Operation World: When We Pray God Works, WEC International and Paternoster Lifestyle (UK), 21st Century Edition, 2001.

Jones, Martyn-Lloyd, Revival, Westchester, Illinois: Crossway Books (a division of Good News Publishers, 1987, 2nd printing 1988, forward by J.I. Packer.

Moreau, A. Scott, Evangelical Dictionary of World Missions, Baker Books and Paternoster Press, 2000.

Morrison, J. H., The Missionary Heroes of Africa, George H. Doran (NY), 1922. Reprited by Negro Universities Press (A division of Greenwood Publishing Corp.), 1969.

Olford, Stephen F., Heart Cry for Revival, revised edition, Memphis, Tenn.: Encounter Ministries, 1987.

Orr, J. Edwin, The Eager Feet, Chicago: Moody Press, 1975.

Prime, Samuel, The Power of Prayer, Edinburgh: The Banner of Truth Trust, 1991 (reprint of an 1859 classic).

Ravenhill, Leonard, Revival God's Way, Minneapolis: Bethany House, 1983.

Rice, John R., We Can Have Revival Now, Wheaton, Illinois: Sword of the Lord Publishers, 1990.

Wallis, Arthur, Revival: The Rain from Heaven, Old Tappan, New Jersey: Fleming Revell Company, 1979.

White, John, When the Spirit Comes with Power, Downers Grove, Illinois: InterVarsity Press, 1988.