March 27, 2019

Part 1 examined ways that missionaries sometimes misapply or misinterpret the Bible when talking about mission practice. Perhaps they want to find biblical support for “best practices.” In this post, we’ll look observe other ways that good missionaries can get the Bible wrong. Read more

March 20, 2019

Last year, I suggested that China’s 5-year plan to Sinicize Christianity is political, not biblical. It is syncretism, not contextualization. A year later, we can speak with even more clarity: “Sinicized Christianity” is not Christianity. Why would I say this? Read more

March 13, 2019

Someone advised me not to write this article. But silence is exactly why we have so many poorly written mission books. Missionaries are hesitant to disagree in print. And so, we stifle dialogue. Nevertheless, we must engage one another about the ways the Bible influences our mission methods. Read more

March 6, 2019

For so long, Christians have tried to conjure a guilty conscience in the minds of those who hear the gospel. Until recently, few people typically spoke of shame and evangelism in the same sentence. This is unfortunate because shame is a far bigger obstacle to people coming to saving faith than are guilt-feelings. In this post, I explain three reasons that shame fosters inaction and hinders people from changing in their lives. Why Shame Kills Change Fear Shame concerns a… Read more

February 27, 2019

Chris Flanders gave a game-changing presentation on the role of guilt and shame in evangelism at the 2018 conference of the Evangelical Missiological Society. Here’s why. According to Christian “common sense,” successful evangelism must satisfy an important requirement. It must evoke a sense of guilt in the minds of hearers. This message abounds in missionary literature, which emphasizes the importance of guilt through the study called “elenctics.” Are we guilty of defining “elenctics” wrong? This strange sounding word stems from… Read more

February 20, 2019

Imposter syndrome is the belief that you’re “an inadequate and incompetent failure, despite evidence that indicates you’re skilled and quite successful.” You fear being exposed as the fraud you are (or at least think you are). Imposter syndrome affects countless people in a wide range of ways. Our job might be the most common area we might experience imposter syndrome. We think, “How in the world did I get this job, promotion, or praise from my supervisor? If they really… Read more

February 13, 2019

Three untruths have coddled the American missionary mind. I summarized them in my previous post. The Untruth of Fragility: What doesn’t kill you makes you weaker The Untruth of Emotional Reasoning: Always trust your feelings The Untruth of Us Versus Them: Life is a battle between good people and evil people. These untruths are the focus of Haidt and Lukianoff’s The Coddling of the American Mind (which is the most important book I read from 2018). In this post, we apply them… Read more

February 6, 2019

The most significant, insightful, and provocative book of 2018, in my opinion, was The Coddling of the American Mind (by Jonathan Haidt and Greg Lukianoff). I’m far from the first person to make that claim. However, fewer people have identified ways that the book’s key ideas might impact the church and especially missionaries. This post prepares us to do just that. The book expands on the authors’ article originally published in The Atlantic. I cannot write a summary that could possibly… Read more

January 30, 2019

Our family was engrossed in a family night movie when I barely hear my daughter’s soft voice ask, “What’s a n***er?” A part of me would rather have the s*x talk. But that’s not my wife and I signed up for when we adopted her years ago. Read more

January 23, 2019

It’s good to see people thinking about the relationship between grade and honor. Because of the way early Christians understood grace, they adapted honor codes from the ancient Greco-Roman world in ways that are insightful for the contemporary church. Read more

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