Monthly Archives: December 2012

Christianity’s Transition from a Regional to Global Faith in 100 Years

Until I saw the headline, I never thought of it this way…

As Philip Jenkins in The Lost History of Christianity: The Thousand-Year Golden Age of the Church in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia–and How It Died noted, the Church of the East died out in many ways due to persecution. What allowed the West to flourish was it’s relatively remove access to trade routes like the “Silk Road” that allowed first the Church, and then its persecution, to travel freely.

How did the Church move from being “regional” and confined largely to the West to becoming global… here is the story…

Christianity’s transformation from regional to global in the last 100 years


How do we share a common commitment to the core gospel, obedience orientation in all things, and yet escape divisiveness? Escaping divisiveness can come, potentially, by recognizing that our “denominations” and “emphases” are “contextualiztions” if only because not every variant can be absolutely correct. Here are some more thoughts on contextualization…

From the Desk of John King

Every gospel dialogue is contextualized. The issue is not “if,” but how and by whom. It can be done well or poorly. It can be done intentionally or accidentally. Some accidental contextualization can turn out well, but it will likely be difficult to apply to a new context until the accidental becomes intentional. Not all intentional contextualization goes well, either.

Some might question me doing this article/series on Christmas day. “Give it a rest, John!” I can hear someone mumbling.

Where are the primary sources for what we call “the Christmas story” found? Yes, in the Gospel According to Matthew and the Gospel According to Luke. Two of our four “gospels” record the details about the birth of Jesus. But anyone who has read these two accounts closely realizes they are very different in their emphases.

Why would Luke include the details about the shepherds while Matthew focuses on the…

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Christians the Most Persecuted Religious Group

Christians most persecuted…

This reality is hitting the larger media outlets, today’s Wall Street Journal featured this article:

Cooper, Huffman and Adlerstein: The Most Persecuted Religion


HT: WorldChristians

Is Christ For The City?

An interesting post for all the “For the City” Churches.

One thing worth observing is that while Paul is said by many to have an URBAN strategy, the pattern in Luke-Acts is a HOUSEHOLD (oikos) strategy that stands out as much or more than the urban side. Of course urban areas were much more likely to host the extended family/business relations envisioned by the concept of Household/Oikos.

(I suppose it begs the question as to whether a first century city is exactly equivalent to a modern city sociologically, but that’s another question as well!)

A technical study on the topic of the “Household Conversion” being the focus of St. Paul’s ministry is found in:Household Conversion Narratives in Acts: Pattern and Interpretation (JSOT Supplement)

A much more popular, affordable, and practical exposition written by an actual evangelism practitioner and critic of the “prosperity gospel” (it’s worth the cost just to read the zingers!) is: The Luke 10 manual

It demonstrates how the “oikos” model is considered a viable mission strategy even today for a variety of reasons but does not address the “city” per se.


It’s funny how trends change, and it’s even funnier how church trends change.  There was once a time when Presbyterian intellectuals made the argument that agrarian living was better than city-living.  John Murray said this went back to the city’s founding-father, Cain, and the Southern Presbyterians often argued that agrarian living allowed one to be most human, in touch with the soil and protecting a certain “slow” pace that left time for community, literature, and family.  If you can believe it, there was even a time when GK Chesterton and Hilaire Belloc argued that the suburbs were closest to the Christian ideal, allowing modern man to retain his economic freedom while yet also giving him his own space for land and a family.  Now of course, the city is all the rage.

We are told that the church is itself a city, a “polis,” that the Biblical vision of the…

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Great CS Lewis books at a great price on Amazon…

College students seeking an internship opportunity in a mission setting in Tanzania may want to check this out… The missionary in charge is familiar with Discovery Bible Study and principles of Disciple Making Movements and Agricultural Access Ministries.

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