Archive for January 2010

Breaking News

After some unforeseen circumstances, it turns out that my trip to Lagos, Nigeria, which would have been the last stop on my world tour, could not happen.  As a result, I made other arrangements, and have returned the U.S. a few days early than I had planned.  I am safe and sound in San Diego. I appreciate the interest you folks have shown in my big adventure.  I’ll continue to post things over the next few weeks that may make it sound as though I’m still away. Among these posts, I’ll do some summarizing of where I’ve been and what I’ve learned.  Stay tuned.

Globalizing Pop Christianity

Setting out on my global journey, one of the things I fully expected to see a lot of was USAmerican/Western influences in the churches and Christian communities I was visiting.  So it came as no surprise to me that Purpose Driven this, and Willow Creek that have been pretty visible in several places, as have been the worship songs (whether in English, or translated).  I’ve been to a church services with a live worship band, but the pastor’s sermon on a screen – a.k.a. video venue.  I’ve seen an African church website advertising it’s latest sermon series that riffs on the U.S. television show “Extreme Home Makeover.”  Even some of the voices from the emerging church are pretty well known around the world. In my opinion, this is one of the things that may most hinder truly missional expressions of church in the years ahead.  While it is true that […]

Disasters and Judgment: Why I (might) Agree With Pat Robertson

I, like the rest of the world, was stunned and saddened to hear of the still-unfolding disaster in Haiti with the massive earthquake and aftermath.  Many have commented on this situation, covering the already crushing economic and political conditions there.  I have no intelligent insight to add, so I’ll not even try. Sadly (but predictably), it didn’t take long for a prominent “Christian leader,” Pat Robertson to make the claim that the earthquake in Haiti represents an act of judgment for their apparent “pact with the devil.” (Of course, he demonstrates his level of ignorance, when in the same video, he talks about how prosperous the Dominican Republic is).  This, too, has stirred up an enormous amount of commentary in the various news outlets.  Memories of other similar comments by Robertson and the late Jerry Falwell quickly surfaced.  I had decided not to spend the time to post my own […]

Malaysia Recap

Once again, apologies are in order for some quiet days on the blog.  Internet connectivity has been spotty at best since I left Malaysia.  I will try hard over the next few days to catch up. While I only spent five or six days in Kuala Lumpur, they were pretty efficient in terms of the number experiences I had and the number things I was able to see.  I must say that this efficiency was due mostly to my most excellent host, Sivin Kit, and the schedule he put together for me.  Here’s a quick run-down of my time: –       Late evening arrival on New Year’s Eve.  It was late, but not so late  that I wasn’t able to have dinner with my Sivin, get checked into my guest lodging, and see three different fireworks displays from my window at the strike of midnight. –  Walked the streets of KL […]

The Christian Allah

The day I arrived in Kuala Lumpur was a significant day for Christians there.  Not because it was the 7th day of Christmas, but because of a High Court ruling.  First, a little background.  Malaysia is officially a Muslim country.  There is a wide diversity of people groups, and along with that, an acknowledgment that there will be a variety of other faith practices, but the default is Islam. The court case, in some ways, goes back to 17th century, when a Dutch-Malay dictionary was created.  When it came to translating the word “God,” they used the word most familiar to the local people – Allah.  This word has been in fairly common use ever since – in Bible translations, as well as other books and training materials.  The specific case in question had to do with a Catholic newspaper’s use of the word Allah, which some people took issue […]

A Conversation Partner in Malaysia

I started this blog – in it’s humble, stripped down, blogspot format – a few months shy of eight years ago.  At that time, the blogging pond was pretty small.  I jumped in because I was interested in engaging conversation that would end up developing into what some refer to as the emerging church.  Back then, I knew nobody in person who was wandering the crazy pathways I was, so I went to this new online community.  Frankly, there weren’t really that many people that were even blogging about issues of postmodernity, deconstruction, and approaching the gospel and the Church from a non/post-Christendom perspective.  So, the few blogs that were out there tended to link to each other quite a lot, so the blogrolls I’d see typically had the same core of names and pages on them. One of those names I used to see on blogrolls (and still do) […]

Update on George Fox Seminary’s New D.Min.

I’ve blogged and tweeted several times in the past about a new Doctor of Ministry program that George Fox Evangelical Seminary is getting ready to launch, and my involvement in it.  I’m still excited about that, but there has been an adjustment recently.  We were hoping to get things off the ground for the inaugural cohort of the Global Missional Leadership DMin this month in Nairobi, Kenya.  Unfortunately, we weren’t quite able to make some important milestone goals for that to happen, and we’ve pushed back the launch date to September of this year – and the first student meetup will now be in London.  We’ll still be going to Nairobi for a cohort meeting, it’ll just be later on in the program. While it’s a little disappointing to push back the start date, I think it’s a good thing – it’ll give us the opportunity to add more students […]

A Quiet Week in Bangkok

Happy New Year everyone!  I do hope that wherever you spent your Christmas and New Year celebrations, you had a good time.  Apparently, I crawled into some dark cave during the holidays, as evidenced by the lack of activity on the blog.  If you come here to check in and see whether or not I’ve avoided contracting some exotic disease during my time away, my apologies for having made you worry. On Christmas Eve, I flew from India to Bangkok, Thailand, checked into an upscale hotel and just let the next week go by in a pretty casual sort of way.  By that point, I had been on this global treck of mine for a solid two months, and fatigue was beginning to show up.  So, while I checked out a couple seminaries in Bangkok online and could have tried to make some contacts with folks, I figured the holidays […]