Philip and the Ethiopian: 14 lessons in cross-cultural evangelism

Philip and the Ethiopian: 14 lessons in cross-cultural evangelism

14 lessons in cross-cultural evangelism from Acts 8

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Is 'Apostolic Base' an oxymoron?

Is ‘Apostolic Base’ an oxymoron?

Is ‘apostolic base’ an oxymoron? Apostles are sent ones. A base is a place from which sending happens. Apostles are mobile. Bases are static. Apostles…

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Do you identify with these 4 roots of fear? (Good!)

There is a great spirit of fear in the Western world at the moment, a lot of which is based on prejudice towards Muslims. Jesus’ method of discipleship involves taking us to the other side to engage with real people, not media caricatures, to expose and unravel our prejudice.

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Always Keep a Column

Always Keep a Column

Living and serving cross-culturally is very complex. Just staying afloat in-country requires a certain amount of administrative gumption. But in your administrative table of life, always keep a column for dreaming!

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Come ye to Bethlehem (like Ruth)

Come ye to Bethlehem (like Ruth)

As we sing “O come ye to Bethlehem” over the coming weeks, I am thinking about the story of someone else who came to Bethlehem. Her name is Ruth.

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On Living in Tents: Jacob, Vulnerability and the Cross-cultural Christian

On Living in Tents: Jacob, Vulnerability and the Cross-cultural Christian

The patriarchs are a lot like Christians living among the unreached. They are an unwanted minority. They are met with suspicion and sometimes outright hostility. They are fighting for a foothold in the land. They live in tents. Fear is a constant companion.

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Handling Crisis (from hot in the middle of one)

Handling Crisis (from hot in the middle of one)

Here are some quick thoughts on crisis, from hot in the middle of one.

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Softening Your Certainty

Softening Your Certainty

We can get used to a degree of control over our lives that is globally and historically abnormal. James invites us to soften our certainty.

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The Bible is a Mirror

The Bible is a Mirror

The Bible is a mirror in which we are supposed to see ourselves. There should not be a large gap between what you know and how you live. If that gap is growing, stop reading and start doing.

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Compassion: Mankind as Victim

Compassion: Mankind as Victim

When reading the parable of the Good Samaritan through the eyes of Augustine, Kenneth Bailey or Matthew Henry as metaphorical Christology, we encounter an important…

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Jerome or Augustine? (How do you view Bible translation?)

Jerome or Augustine? (How do you view Bible translation?)

I have just finished reading When God spoke Greek: The Septuagint and the Making of the Christian Bible by Timothy Michael Law. It’s another one of…

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10 contentions about Christian pioneering mission from Galatians 2.11-14

In Galatians 2:11-14 Paul writes: “When Peter came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he was clearly in the wrong. Before certain…

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Mission, Narrative & Us

Mission, Narrative & Us

Worldview is a story. Here are two narratives common to western Christians that need ripping up and re-laying if we are to be of any use cross-culturally.

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Mission, Language & Us

Mission, Language & Us

In Acts 2 the Holy Spirit fell, and Jesus followers began speaking different languages. What’s the significance of proclaiming God in various languages?

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Mission, Postcolonialism & Us

Mission, Postcolonialism & Us

100 years ago 85% of the world’s territories were ruled by European powers. For a Westerner 100 years is a long time, but for the colonised it’s recent history.

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Mission, Postmodernism & Us

Mission, Postmodernism & Us

Is there such a thing as “missions expertise” or should every church have its own direct involvement with the nations?

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10 Reasons not to read American books on Leadership

10 Reasons not to read American books on Leadership

American books on leadership seem especially laden with tacit values – contextually true in the place of writing, but which don’t apply universally.

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Minibus Theology: Joseph's Dilemma

Minibus Theology: Joseph’s Dilemma

How Joseph responded when he found out about Mary’s pregnancy preaches volumes. Here’s one way to tell the story.

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On De-Westernizing your faith: Equality & Opportunity

On De-Westernizing your faith: Equality & Opportunity

Westerners tend to read the Bible through the lens that all people are, and should be, equal. But that assumption is culturally conditioned.

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On De-Westernizing your faith: Monosense

On De-Westernizing your faith: Monosense

Many people in the world are eager to encounter truth though their 5 senses. Is this something we need to get better at in order to reach more people for Jesus?

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On De-Westernizing your faith: Efficiency

On De-Westernizing your faith: Efficiency

De-Westernizing our faith requires questioning our learned “indisputable laws of leadership” – in this case, efficiency as a measure of success.

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On De-Westernizing your faith: Eschatology

On De-Westernizing your faith: Eschatology

When we view the Kingdom of God as a Hollywood movie – a seed, a struggle, then worldwide success – what are we missing? Is that the story the Bible tells?

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On De-Westernizing your faith: Individualism

On De-Westernizing your faith: Individualism

To cross cultures West to East with the gospel requires that we tackle individualism.

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Vulnerability & the Age of Ultron

Vulnerability & the Age of Ultron

Cross cultural workers often feel the pressure to be good at everything – superhuman, even. But maybe vulnerability packs a secretly beneficial punch…

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How to get water into a duck

How to get water into a duck

The English saying “water off a duck’s back” describes many people’s experience in sharing the gospel cross-culturally. So how do you get water into a duck?

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Minibus Theology: The Vineyard

Minibus Theology: The Vineyard

What is God’s answer to rebellion and dishonor? Prophet, prophet, prophet, Son.

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Why fight for heart language?

Why fight for heart language?

English is the world’s international language. Why struggle to present the gospel in heart languages? AM gives us 3 compelling reasons.

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Take another scroll

Take another scroll

How do you handle disappointment? Jeremiah, Carey, Kipling and John point us to robustness: “Take another scroll”

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The Power of Indirect Speech

The Power of Indirect Speech

Indirect speech. Not backing down, not compromising, but a gateway into communicating in honor and shame cultures.

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Why Narrative Preaching?

Why Narrative Preaching?

Narrative preaching is a powerful way to communicate, especially cross-culturally. But why?

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6 reasons to watch more movies

6 reasons to watch more movies

Watch local movies regularly and it will help you explore language and culture in many helpful ways.

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Why is suffering an indispensible part of cross-cultural gospel work?

Why is suffering an indispensible part of cross-cultural gospel work?

Any good book on cross-cultural ministry has a chapter on suffering. Why?

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Sent like Jesus: on sending and being sent

Sent like Jesus: on sending and being sent

Christmas is the triumph of meekness. Witness God’s soliloquy in Luke 20:13: “What shall I do? I’ll send my son! Maybe they will honour him.”…

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On Memory

On Memory

“Post-colonialism is the world’s strongest form of memory.” I believe the post-colonial world slopes from West to East. It is not a level playing field.

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My top 8 books on Contextual Theology

My top 8 books on Contextual Theology

8 recommended reads on contextual theology, with a highlighted quote from each.

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Appreciation Training Camp

Appreciation Training Camp

One of the great sins in cross-cultural living is non appreciation. But genuine love for people will mean that you cannot dismiss or discount their world.

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The Whale

The Whale

A cross-cultural God-adventurer is like a whale. We dive deep and travel long distances, far from the eyes of our peers back home.

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What do you get if you map the Lewis Model onto contextual theologies?

What do you get if you map the Lewis Model onto contextual theologies?

In which we take Richard Lewis’ business-world model for understanding various cultures and bend it to contextual theology.

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Moving with a Family

Moving with a Family

As our family prepared to move we spoke to many people, read books, assimilated much knowledge in a short time. What stayed with us were a few pithy axioms.

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