Top Ten Mission Trends in the 21st Century: Urban Context of Missions

2. THE URBAN CONTEXT OF MISSIONS Many people still conceive of the typical mission field as a remote jungle area with half-dressed natives who have never heard of a telephone, much less the gospel of Jesus Christ.[1] This mental paradigm has been reinforced through the biographies of Western missionaries from the 19th century who often […]

Rise of the Non-Western Church: Top Ten Mission Trends in the 21st Century

We live in a rapidly changing world.  What is not as evident is how these global changes influence the church’s role in the world.  This is particularly true in the area of missions.  Many people still think about missions as it was in the 19th century. While the missions mandate itself remains unchanged, the context […]

The Gospel is Rooted in History

One of the most important, but often neglected, phrases in the Apostles’ Creed is the statement, “he suffered under Pontius Pilate.”  Some have wondered why the early church would include the name of the very Roman Governor who presided over Jesus’ trial and ordered his crucifixion into this very ancient confession of faith.  Upon reflection, […]

God of Mission

Neill McGregor, the former director of the National Gallery of Art in London, noted a few years ago that roughly one-third of the greatest European paintings in the collection depict an explicitly biblical theme.[1] This reflects the obvious historical impact which Christianity has had on western civilization.  The irony emerges in that the vast majority […]

The Most Important Mirror

Ovid, in his Metamorphoses, is one of the earliest writers to record the ancient myth of Narcissus.  According to Ovid, after Narcissus’ encounter with Echo, he fled to a river where he knelt down to drink.  However, as he was about to drink, he caught sight of his own reflection in the water and fell […]

The Gospel and Innovative Delivery Systems

In the mid nineties two students, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, sat in their dorm room at Stanford University and pledged themselves, “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.”  The result was Google, the most powerful and widely used search engine in the world.  The word Google is a term […]

God’s Dirty Hands (Mark 7:31-37)

It’s fascinating to think about how much time Mark spends demonstrating Jesus’ encounters with human pain and suffering.  According to one early church tradition, Mark himself had deformed hands.  This may explain his special interest in Peter’s eye witness accounts of Jesus’ healings.  Throughout the gospel, we regularly see Jesus encountering the blind, the lame, […]

Seeing Only Jesus (Mark 9:1-7)

The following is the my Sermon I preached in chapel on the Orlando Dunnam campus on February 9, 2010 and in Estes Chapel in Wilmore, Kentucky, on February 11, 2010.  You can listen to the address on iTunes by clicking here. __________________________________________________________________________________________ This Sunday is the Sunday when the church around the world remembers the […]

The God Who Passes us By (Mark 6:45-56)

The title of this reflection is “The God Who Passes Us By.”  This is the kind of title which may cause a few readers to move quickly on to the next chapter.  However, this particular passage falls into a category of miracles in the New Testament of which there are very few examples.  Indeed, this […]

The Three-Mile-Per-Hour God (Mark 5:21-43)

Christianity, when it is true to itself, proclaims the power, healing and transformation which is found in Jesus Christ.  The moment that any Christian movement loses its focus on the person of Jesus Christ, it ceases to be fully, wholly Christian.  It is the person of Jesus Christ which makes us the people of God. […]