Six Global Trends in Contemporary Missiology – Lindsay Brown

Six Global Trends in Contemporary Missiology - Lindsay Brown
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you I had two options for sharing with you this morning one was to give you five or six global trends but as I reflected on it my suspicion is that many of you have done a lot of reflection on missiological trends and developments so I'm going to go for a more complex presentation because I think there will be some things and that would probably more satisfy you more and if I just gave five or six simple trends which means you absolutely need a pen and a piece of paper or a computer to take notes because I will speak faster as I go along as Welshman tend to do now it was actually my idea and my responsibility to work at putting this document together and it came as we discussed the preparation for the Cape Town Congress I suggested to other leaders in the Lausanne movement that I don't think ever in the history of the church evangelical leaders have ever produced a document which brings together doctrine and praxis in one document it's my persuasion that in the New Testament this is actually out Paul worked so for example as I've mentioned in the introduction here if you read Colossians the first two chapters are on the supremacy in the uniqueness of Christ and then in chapter 3 he switches his argument as Francis Schaeffer says to talk about spirituality with the kitchen sink for the kitchen sink in other words if we believe these things how then should we live he does exactly the same thing in Romans the 11th chapters on the great doctrine of justification by grace through faith and then in Chapter 12 he talks about what are the implications hospitality to strangers and things like this so there's never any separation in Paul's thinking between doctrinal rectitude and convictions and praxis or application that's why we decided to put together a document which brought together we will look through all the major documents and counsels in the history of the church since the first century and try to think of how we could summarize what evangelical Christians have always believed about the gospel when I use the word evangelical by the way I'm thinking of those whose aspiration is to have their lives and their convictions governed by Scripture that's all it is it's gospel orientation it's an old word it predates the Roman Catholic Church coming to existence it was used in the debates with the heretics in 180 ad to describe those who emphasize authentic Christian living they were called evangelical by some of the early church fathers this is very important because many people in recent years particularly in non evangelical circles have said of evangelical Christianity it's really only a product of the Reformation it is not it is a term used before constant kind came to power that is very very important historically in describing authentic Christian living I wish there was more research and writing on that because it would give dignity to evangelical Christians as John Stott used to say evangelical Christianity is biblical Christianity or we aspire to be biblical in our orientation so we looked at the various statements and Chris Wright came up with a brilliant idea for the first time in history writing a series of doctrinal convictions in the language of love this has never been done in history that's the first half of the document that's deliberate because many people resist doctrine thinking it's dry whereas of course in the Old Testament in Moses song in Deuteronomy 32 God says my doctrine will come to you like the rain in the morning like the dew in the morning in other words the purpose of biblical truth is to refresh us spiritually not to bore us so that's why the first document is stating this is what we have always believed whatever our denominational affiliation if we hold to be gospel orientated people but in the second half tries to answer the question how then should we live Messiah logically in the 21st century the first half of the document was written by six theologians from around the world we asked different people who would you like to speak into this and we asked them to work at summarizing and crystallizing core Christian evangelical conviction over the 2,000 years that appeared pretty much all these documents the second section which is what I'm going to speak about this morning is a summary of the feedback we got in Cape Town from leaders from a hundred and ninety seven countries I don't think this has ever been done and the question we essentially asked this if we believe these things what are the implications for mission in the 21st century so we took all the responses from Cape Town this was written up afterwards summarizing what leaders from nearly every country in the world said are the challenges facing us I want to give you a summary of twelve of the key challenges right at the end but before I do that I want to comment on the last 25 years actually I'm a bit computer phobic so I have to work how to use this the growth of the last 25 years my own background is I'm a church historian and so it excuse me if I if I speak about church history a little in the next 40 minutes but I think if we were to live for another 50 years and look back at the period from 1989 onwards my own conviction is it is unprecedented in the history of the growth of global evangelicalism there has never been at a global level such spectacular growth globally not in Europe but globally in terms of the growth of the evangelical church since the critical time of the fall of the Berlin Wall which led to the opening up of by my count at least 30 to 40 countries in the world where gospel work was restricted in our own ministry that meant that ifes work grew from a hundred countries in a hunt I work in a hundred countries to a hundred and fifty in 12 years it's not because of great leadership but it's because we were living in a time when doors open not just in Eastern Europe and in Ukraine where I was yesterday but in Mongolia in Nepal which was very restricted Hindu Kingdom in Mozambique in Angola so it wasn't just in a European context it was a global transformation and we saw the rapid growth of the church in various countries just recently I was talking with a Mongolian Christian and I asked him please tell me something about the growth of the church in Mongolia when I was on operation mobilization just after I left University I remember we used to have half nights of prayer praying for Mongolia and the thrill I experienced in the 80s of meeting one of the six no Mongolian Christians in the world who was converted through listening to radio ministry in Russian and she was involved with her husband in Bible translation at the time well today so we hear there are perhaps thirty to forty thousand believers in Mongolia with in excess of three hundred churches this is unprecedented in history this morning I had breakfast with the vice president of the Evangelical Alliance in Albania who was converted in 1992 as a student I remember praying for Albania before 1989 when they were perhaps three known Albanian Christians in one town and several living outside the country in Vienna and elsewhere but no church to speak of there are perhaps he tells me a 10,000 evangelical Christians in Albania today all that growth has occurred since 1989 speaking to Russian church leaders in their conference for 700 pastors in Moscow a couple of years ago I asked them how many evangelical Christians do you think they were in Russia in 18 1989 they said we think there were 80,000 I said how many do you think there are today they said we think 800,000 well I think they're probably exaggerating it maybe 400,000 but even if they're exaggerating as sometimes evangelicals do there has been significant numeric numerical growth the interesting thing is when I asked him why do you think it's arisen they said it's because of the Ukrainians whom Stalin forcibly moved here when he was in power and they were simple believers amongst them not university products they were scattered all across Russia they brought the gospel with them because there were more believers in Ukraine after the that era was over post Gorbachev they planted churches all across Russia and their impact was much deeper than all the Western evangelists who came in the early 1990s and into same thing they said to me was there all those years we wondered what is God doing allowing our best people including Ukrainians to be sent to Siberia some of whom never died and so never saw answers to their prayers for liberation we wondered what God was doing for forty fifty years many of them died and never saw the answer those of us who are alive now in our 40s and 50s we say aha now we see what what God was doing behind the hand of a figure of power like Stalin these people are brought into the country in sort of unconventional missionary terms and God has used them to propagate the gospel across the country become more difficult for Ukrainians now I know but this is an example of God's sovereign activity in a history in history which often we don't trace unless we look back over decades or hundreds of years sometimes people don't see answers to their prayers early some go to heaven when the answers are not evident but we see with the backward look of history what God has done now if we ask which of the five largest evangelical churches in the world in any nation which five would you come up with this is a good test for missie ologists which of the five countries with the largest number of evangelical Christians in the world today I'll give you one USA okay that's your starter who are the other four Brazil is certainly the largest in Latin America and perhaps the fastest-growing even the Roman Catholic Church in its statistics say that four hundred people are leaving the Catholic Church and becoming joining evangelical churches every every day apparently the statistics I was given recently it's a second country brazil third one was china yep tony lambert is probably provided the best statistics in China Inland Mission or all overseas missionary fellowship through very careful analysis he reckons at about sixty million evangelicals in China some people say 7080 million I would go for the lower figure to play it down but it still beats Germany or UK where it's maybe 1.2 million Oh Romania or Ukraine which is somewhere close to that those the largest numbers in Europe so it's pretty spectacular growth especially since the Tiananmen Square massacre and afterwards 1989 and thereafter and the many Chinese students who come to faith in Christ while studying in the West and taken the gospel back that's three to more countries Nigeria is easily the biggest in Africa of course one in five Africans and Nigerians and the fifth would be India India I think they're creating Korea is stagnating it's not growing so rapidly a lot of tension between leaders and Presbyterian leadership pyramidal system of leadership some people would argue influenced more by Confucianism and biblical principle but that's the second risu many students and young people reacting against that form of authoritarian leadership small groups breaking out many young people leaving the pyramidal structure churches becoming part of the smaller house church network but the church not growing significantly numerically at the moment and experiencing some crisis India would be the fifth country some people say thirty million evangelicals it's difficult to quantify that but there's no doubt in the last 2025 years that a lot of people especially from poorer backgrounds including those from the very poorest backgrounds have been professing faith and trusting him so very remarkable growth and we could speak of many other countries in that respect I was once with one of the great theologians from Sweden who taught in Uppsala ogni in Orlando in Ethiopia when he went there about 64 years of age and I asked him to pray at a meeting which we had with African leaders he started a prayer so there was something different about his prayer it wasn't like a cold New Testament sort of theologian there was really life in it I said to my open door mommy asking agnya something happened to you say Lindsey I've been touched by the revival in Ethiopia he said you have to understand what it is like to be in all these this Russian groups in Sweden for 35 years where there were five of us to evangelicals three liberals we always lost whatever the discussion was about whatever we said then he said I've come to Ethiopia and there are many failings here but I've been touched by the revival he said the last five years yeah we baptised 200,000 people every year he said it's a type of spectacular growth so Ethiopia would be another country and we could mention others Algeria may be 80,000 believers one thousand in nineteen in the year 2000 Algeria Tunisia I just met with one of the leaders of the church there who told me she knows personally 200 Muslim converts still persecuted by her family there were maybe 25 known Christians in Tunisia over 6 million people in the year 2000 so there's been growth there and of course the Iranian church is experiencing spectacular growth so if you look globally there's never been a time like it in history there are pockets of significant growth in that time in Europe Albania being an obvious one to some extent Russia and Ukraine if you count them as European but which is the country which percentage-wise has seen the most spectacular growth in evangelicals in Europe in 25 years this will shock you it is France I worked in France in Paris for six years in the 1980s there were 4,000 known evangelicals in the year in 1910 in 1985 was about 220,000 today it's half a million the difference is the church in France is mainly made up of lower-income folks not so many university products working in the professional professions like in the UK so the criticism often of the UK church is it's strong in reaching middle income professionals that's probably because of the effectiveness of the student ministry where the student work has not been so strong in France but through the impact of the diaspora so Philip Philip Jenkins the church historian missiology says through three factors the charismatic movement which has its strengths as well as weaknesses which has introduced people to Bible study the emphasis on church planting which particularly was brought in by Mike Evans of om in the early late 1970s early 1980s which has been bought in buy bought in to buy evangelicals across France and thirdly through the impact of the Diaspora which includes European missionaries but also folks from Cambodia Vietnam Africa the Caribbean who started many churches all across the country that doesn't mean there aren't difficulties there but there has been a time of significant growth in France in the last 25 years almost imperceptible to the rest of Europe and of course there are still huge challenges in terms of the philosophical orientation of the culture very few Christian lawyers there for example we tried to start a national Christian Fellowship for lawyers six people came and it shows how tough it still is in the country but nevertheless significant growth well the whole lecture really could be about the growth of the evangelical church across the world in the 1910 Edinburgh conference there were thought to be four to seven million evangelicals in the world a conservative estimate according to the world Evangelical Alliance now is 300 million think it's probably more and certainly well over half now are in the non-western world the other dimension is course the growth of the missionary force globally huge increases in the number from Brazil's latest statistics I've got 1987 1600 Brazilian missionaries in the world 1997 4000 2010 9,000 2015 anticipated 14,000 historically the the move of missionaries from one culture to another occurs maybe 20 years after spectacular growth in the church it's the last thing where you see the maturation of the National Church and that's why we're only just beginning to see the emergence of some significant evangelical statesmen globally not yet at the level of John Start and Billy Graham but they will appear more in the next 20 years because it takes time for the church mythologically to grow and reflect in this area but certainly the numbers are increasing and key leaders will emerge from those in coming decades similarly from Nigeria Kenya and so on we have them now of course working in Europe as well as many other parts of the world so that should in many ways I suppose excite us I've completely or at least yeah but just for your encouragement of course we struggle in the European context I'll be giving a lecture tomorrow on understanding our European context which is very complex and how then should we work miss illogically in Europe you know in a presentation tomorrow afternoon but it is in my view having worked in IFS for this is my 40th year and having visited over 120 countries now to speak at student groups I think Europe is tougher than the Middle East at least in the Middle East people believe there's a god whereas in most European campuses you have to argue the case for the existence of God so you're starting much further back it's quite tough which is why I want to give the rest of my life to developing a team of Europe European University evangelists but here are some external threats despite the growth global you're just mentioned for pluralism and relativism John stock was a great influence not only in Lausanne but in ifes he was vice president for all the years I was general secretary I remember going to see him just before he died and I said him John what do you think is the biggest challenge facing the global church straight away stat number one clear ilysm the challenge to the uniqueness of Christ and its first cousin relativism that all truth is relative what surprised me was then he went on to say the other thing that concerns me this was maybe five years ago he said I'm really concerned about the growing threat of persecution that I see evidence of around that was five years ago that's 0.3 and that's accentuated now The Times newspaper at Easter time two years ago I produced a four-page spread on the persecuted Church I think they overstated the number of people persecuted sometimes the church is just restricted in what he can do that's different from overt persecution but nevertheless we are seeing very significant growth in persecution the Iranian church the Eritrean church is amongst the worst persecution I've heard and there's hardly anything about it in the Christian press I talked with one Eritrean friend I've known for some years who was in Cape Town and she said she sees her husband on average one night a month because he's travelling around keeping away from the police and she said Lindsey it's terrible what they're doing they're taking pastor's putting them in the front line of the war with Ethiopia just like David did with Uriah so they the first who were killed then she said they put some of them in containers and bury him underground and they just suffocate I've never seen that in any mr. logical journal in the West but it just shows how awful the level of persecution is in some countries and of course you've seen some of it in the Middle East in the North African context it will it's increasing in India too I'm afraid and with the Indian National Party coming back into power their influence was held back for five or six years but they're already signs of significant extra pressure may be more severe persecution will come especially those who come from poorer backgrounds the second of course is the growth of religious fundamentalism over the last 25 years there was an American guy of Japanese origin in the early 1990s after the fall of the Berlin Wall anybody remember his name the end of history was the book that he wrote you read it oh it was a very inferential it made him a millionaire and his thesis and he's a professor now in one of the top universities at the end of history should have a look at it the blockbuster in the 90s and his argument was basically history's over the West is one democracy is triumph was very simplistic very naive totally wrong many Westers were totally taken in by it including leaders in government and then another one was written a few years later by some Wellington called Clash of Civilizations who is Fukuyama Fukuyama fu k uy ama who wrote the end of history Francis Fukuyama Samwell Huntington the third I think he was wrote the clash of civilizations where he talked about the rising tension between the world of Islam and Christian and Democratic traditions and of course we're seeing evidence of that more overtly in the last few years the innocent thing is when the Lausanne Congress took place in Manila in 89 that was the first Lausanne event I went to nobody had any sense that the Burling was going to fall it fell two months later nobody mention it at all and there was there was some Russian pastors there I talked with some of them just and Ukrainian pastors had talked with some of them last week okay but nobody in the sense of what was gonna happen then of course the whole former communist world opened up when we were in Cape Town nobody had a sense of the the the Middle Eastern Arab Spring that was gonna come so soon after we would take so much for our prophetic voices we were totally taken by surprise so I don't know when we should have the next Lausanne Congress for fear of what other global events will occur afterwards which will skewer our attempts to prophesy future developments but the fourth dimension of course external chart challenges hostile new atheism which comes from Richard Dawkins and so on there's a difference in this brand of atheist unlike anything before what Dawkins says is this he said when those planes flew into the Twin Towers in in New York it was almost like a revelation for him I saw that all religions was not just false but it had to be opposed I'm not giving my life to opposing it because it's bad for society and people that's different from saying I just don't believe that God exists that's going on the full frontal attack and needs to be responsible of course for crushing the faith of many simple believers as a consequence with some of these materials which is partly why we started the European Network for European evangelists to answer the questions that students are throwing up in university actually it's created more openings for us because when you tell students don't believe something they say TAF I am going to believe it so when they're told atheism is true and Christianity is not worth even reflecting on they say why not I'm going to read the New Testament documents and having been involved in student evangelism in Europe for 40 years I don't think I've seen as much developing openness as I see in the last few years for 30 years or so since the mid 70s and part of the reason is the reaction that internal threats ethnic divisions acne anor londo said this in Ethiopia despite the great growth of the church the revival was being impeded by the fact that church leaders were trying to keep people apart ethnically and were opposed to inter-ethnic marriage for example rwanda burundi example Yugoslavia is another one and this is why mythologically it's really important that the church and missy ologists and preachers emphasize that one of the most radical things in the New Testament was that Jesus talked about a new community which was trans cultural and multi-ethnic it's really hard to develop a church we have a number of Muslim converts Hindu Condit's and others in a my home church but it's really hard to develop a multi-ethnic church but as soon as you start saying as the church growth people did in the 1980s that we should just form churches that are mono-ethnic you castrate the gospel I can't put it more strongly than that because you imply just because it's easier to reach people evangelistically along the lines of the earth the and language we should just keep people in silos but in the New Testament what was really radical was that people like you and me were allowed to worship with Jewish believers and if people in the first century had taught what the church growth specialist taught in the 1980s you just reach people in their own group and you keep him apart very few of us would have been here today we would have been excluded from the gospel message that was coming in through these early Jewish believers so it would be interesting point for debate sure that's working for some folks up but I see no grounds in the Bible for an a mono ethnic Korean Church or Chinese Church or dare I say a Welsh Church and interestingly I was speaking in my own church in this context recently and I said we have Welsh people have more in common with English believers than with Welsh pagans at which point there was an O in the congregation there 800 people F and afterwards at the door an elderly lady whose husband was a great preacher who's in heaven now she said to me about English Christians and English people in Z I know you're right that we have more in common with English believers than Welsh pagans it's just so hard to love them because it will be done to us and that's sometimes how people feel but it is a biblical priority and that's why leaders have to take the lead in saying this we have to create new communities where God hasn't made me Welsh by mistake I love my culture I'm proud of it but I think Patrick ISM is okay biblically I think nationalism is an idol it often divides people sadly and our primary source of identity is not our if' Nissa T or our cultural roots though they are very very important the primary source of our identity is believers is that we're in Christ lack of evangelical statesmen as we're preparing for the K term Congress we decided we tried to find one person in each country the world who is a statesman by which we meant somebody whose concern for the advance of the gospel no matter who is leading in their country and so that they would find people from charismatic non-charismatic reformed tent coastal Baptist and Wiccan no matter where so that the whole church could benefit from the conference in some whole countries we couldn't find one person and it was very noticeable because when these people some folks were in charge of selecting people from their country some would just choose people from their own denomination or their own church including one very experienced leader in Lausanne wanted for people to come from his country from his own church and I said why are you doing this and he said he came up to us and I'm so thrilled there's four people coming from my church to the conference and I said well there are not many more people coming from the country I said what you're doing is a scandal because you of all people at your age should be thinking how can the whole church in my country be blessed by this the market evangelical Statesman is twofold first of all he doesn't care who is on the platform doesn't have to be there himself and secondly when you're talking with him it's hard to work out what he's doing because he's rejoicing so much in what God is doing through other people so sometimes with these people you have to say to them after talking to him for 20 minutes you've been tell me about what God is doing through this Mongolian evangelist or this Chinese preacher can you just remind me what you're doing I haven't got that straight whereas most of us tend to just speak almost obsessively but our own ministry our own mission agency I think that's a mark of spiritual immaturity and we desperately need people like Start and Billy Graham and others not necessarily of their stature but who are just concerned about the advance of the gospel not just their organization the only reason I mean IFES is because I think it's a good agency for propagating the gospel my concern is the gospel it's not ifvs and I think we it's good for all of us to reflect what drives my passion is that the agency I am working for my defending the agency or am I am i passionate about the advance of the gospel who would ever agency the other is lifestyle failure which john stott argued in his last sermon was the greatest hindrance to world evangelization and lastly a quick summary 12 of the major challenges that people highlighted coming out of the conference missa logically when it's not won in terms of the most important but the university world because so many leaders come from that not so much in the business world as a result actually no not that many great business leaders gone to university necessarily but thought influences and I see many people I studied with in University who were entirely in political leadership and many of them in the top echelon of the BBC I was in the same group with Tony Blair for example the director of British Airways and so many others were stood Tony Blair's to come to one of our Bible study groups and it just shows the possible impact of people when they're in that kind of age group that's why Charles Malik the one-time general secretary United Nations Lebanese said if you want to change the world start with the University notice historically there's a there's a very strong argument for saying that the Reformation started in the Universities of Europe Luther was converted as a young University professor in his late 20s in in Germany Calvin in the Institute says he was converted as a student in the university of órale on the gospel came penetrated the universities in northern europe as a result of their preaching so university world is important but the converse of that is unreached people groups now of course this was a concept that was emphasized by Ralph winter in the 1974 conference I'm sure everybody knows about it he said up until now we've all talked about reaching the nations and we thought in terms of nation-states which historically is a construct of political theorists in the last 250 years in Europe in the Bible and we talked about it talks about nations it's ethany ethnic groups defined by their language and culture and he said if you if you think of the world in these terms that means in some nation-states like Nigeria you might have hundreds of people groups ethnic cording to the New Testament now Paul Eshleman in relatively controversial II in his presentation in Cape Town argued that there were six hundred and thirty nine of these people groups in the world where there were a hundred thousand people who spoke the same language where there has never been a missionary where there are no churches or small groups and they don't have the scripture in their language so his point is whether you agree with his statistics or not why should we preach the gospel twice in some situations when many people have never heard it once and he argued the vast majority of the money that we spend in Mission is spent on maintenance and he said we maintain too much and we pioneer too little it's very interesting that historically since 74 this emphasis from Ralph winter the the unreached people groups it penetrated the budgets of churches all across North America and many churches developed and adopt the people profile it hardly touched Europe it's not really influenced that match most mission agencies from my observation over the last four years in Europe some are beginning to think now of targeting people groups and challenging their church membership to think about penetrating those groups many mission agencies have just said well we've served in this country for a hundred years so we'll just carry on doing so that's not necessarily wrong but it perhaps shows a potential inflexibility faced with one of these mythological challenges in the world third is Bible translation one of the great things about the Manila Congress in 89 which was perhaps less influential and 74 in 2010 was that all the Bible agencies International Bible Society United Bible Society Wickliffe and so on they all not met together in a private meeting and said look this is nonsense we're all competing against one another some countries we have two translations at the same time why don't we have an annual meeting of the leaders to decide which of the languages which don't have a scripture in their tongue and their will will Jarett out they've been doing that every year for the last 23 years and actually the meeting of the Bible societies around the world is one of the best models that we can see of trans denominational and trans agency cooperation and I think this is important because many people criticize evangelicals for being schismatic and we we start a mission agency at the drop of a hat I remember Michael Griffis in the taymyr conference in 1977 when I was a student haranguing people who were had their stores in the which I thought were wonderful but so many of them had five or six workers and he said you're all doing the same thing that might have been a little bit harsh from the platform but nevertheless there are some good examples in the last 25 years of many mission agencies really trying to work harder in Norway as an example with Norma and so on really trying to work at the idea of partnership together the fourth would be oral learners the direct opposite of the university world the many millions who learn through visual or through listening rather than through textbooks or lectures or a university context and it may be that sometimes those who emphasize the university world and wittingly miss out on the aural learners who learn through other means many mission agencies are doing much better in that respect fifth is diaspora or migrating peoples where the churches come to us so a huge change in the last 25 years I went to see Tom Houston the former director of of Lausanne before I started working with seconded from IFES to Lausanne and I asked him he's a great missionary Statesman he's in his mid 80s now from Scotland I said Tom what do you think this this would have been eight or nine years ago what do you think is the defining or the the number one missiological challenge or development in the early part of the 20th century was before the Cape Town Congress he said this the impact of migrating peoples in the course is on our televisions all the time now that doesn't mean that European can't government's shouldn't have an appropriate immigration policy which you have to have given that we are fallen human beings and we can't handle change which is too rapid so you've got to be realistic about how much change a home culture can handle in terms of migrating peoples on the other hand the Bible clearly teaches us that we are to love thee what you in English the Old Testament says lovely alien as you love yourself and it is very interesting for example how many Chinese leaders and Iranian leaders back in Iran and elsewhere were converted as a result of Christians reaching out to them over the last 25 years and many many others from Vietnam in a small coal mining town which I grew up it grew up in at the end of the Vietnam War we had 250 Vietnamese people turn up in our town because the government took people in and he was one of the poorest towns in the whole of the UK with 30% unemployment highest number of single-parent families highest number of people on Social Security for programs on TV in the BBC in the last month on the poverty in that country that town which I grew up and yet they absorbed 250 Vietnamese and local authority came to our church after three months and said nobody and just nobody else in the town is interested in these people except for your church we put some money aside you have it and look after them many of them became Christians because the church readout reached out to them that didn't mean he was difficult actually if you read the actually the Apostles your heart pushed to contain any people who became Christians at home very few the Philippian jailer starting with Pentecost 18 language groups converted at the day of Pentecost who came from other parts of the Middle East and most others including Lidia Cornelius Paul himself maybe Timothy was converted at home but most others were converted away from home and that says something about God's two-fold strategy why which is to send us into the world the other is to bring the world to us so that we can reach them and even some some missionaries we weren't anticipating like Filipinos and Filipinos and others can tell you a wonderful story but that by dint of time number six is the growth of mega cities the thing that Tim Keller emphasizes mega cities is a term that geographers professional geographers use to describe any city with 1 million population or more in 1900 there were eleven of them nineteen fifty eighty three two thousand five hundred three years ago the University of London put together a report called the endless City by where the author was Bosnian his name was Judea dudich and he said he talked about the endless city and he said thus it the growth of the city is the only game in town he said at the moment fifty percent of the world is in urban context by 2050 we anticipate seventy five percent of the world's population will be in the major cities with all the implications for gospel witness for more to finish off with deeper discipleship or the Christian mind when we met with many mission leaders before the Cape Town Congress from around the world we asked them what do you think should be some of the key emphases of the conference and I heard this term for the first time in my life several people especially from Latin America and Africa said we think one of the emphases in the conference should be on deep level discipleship never this is sounded like deep level pizza so I said what you mean and the Latin Americans said we're tired of more people going out the back door of our churches and coming in the front that's what sociologists are saying and that's because it's insufficient emphasis on making disciples in the churches and the Christian minds were separation from Sunday and Monday very rarely heard any theology of the workplace the impact of prosperity theology which is devastating many churches large churches in Latin America and Africa where people are over-promised what they will receive in this life again i asked john stott what do you think is the week the theological weakness of prosperity theology and you know he was so brilliantly clear and succinct he said I think there are two problems with prosperity theology the notion that if you're really God he will prosper you financially and if you're a strong Saint you'll be healed of your diseases he said I think the two problems are a very inadequate theology of suffering that actually it's one of the means by which the gospel advances I'll speak about that tomorrow afternoon some illustrations and secondly and inadequate eschatology by which he meant most of the promises in the Bible refer to what we get after we die not before well you can debate that one new approaches to Muslims Hindus and Buddhists many people say and some books coming out it's in the last three or four years or indicating more Muslims seeming to become believers in some places like Algeria Tunisia Cairo leaders and churches they're telling me great openness amongst people who are disillusioned with Islam because of the previous government it's very interesting they said in the last five years I said what's your biggest problem they said one of them is how do we deal with atheism we've never had this before in Egypt I said what do you mean we have Muslim atheists who are disillusioned with Islam because they're ashamed at what the previous government portrayed our government as our country ours aren't people cutting heads off and they're drifting so in one of the big churches in the center of the city they said we have five five people in the pastoral team this was in June last year they said the last four weeks we can't deal with all the Muslims who are coming to the congregation on their own in the morning just to find out more about the gospel and not Christians aren't bringing them they're just turning up nevertheless we need to look at fresh approaches to Muslims Hindus and Buddhists I don't know that there's one country where we can talk about a huge breakthrough amongst Muslims and certainly perhaps even less so amongst Buddhists and that is a mythological challenge facing us now in the use of technology in media including the social media is something people of my age are very poor at I can can't even work this properly but I think younger people are helping us here to see that there are many wonderful ways of connecting with people through social media but also through film which we use a lot in university missions and the example of groups like sat salmon in North Africa has broken up the ground for others who have subsequently been able to take the gospel in the last one would be partnership without dependency and this is a challenge for a szubin in mission work for many years how do you work to a situation where there's genuine partnership were you leading your learning from one another rather than creating long-term dependency many mission agencies might were doing better in this respect there's more sensitivity especially among some of the older ones been around for a long time who are showing great humility in this respect in terms of how then should we live and fulfill God's calling to us in the 21st century you

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