Posts Tagged ‘ globalization ’

A Seattle Tribute

I sit in an apartment surrounded by boxes, along with other items that will soon be in boxes. It’s reality check time. In less than two weeks (which is six years and eight months after I arrived in the Seattle area) I will leave this city. Not forever, but for a long time. And even though I’m not necessarily leaving Seattle for good, it has left good in me. I could write in a number of different directions about the things I’ve loved and will miss about living here, but here are five: Seattle is globally aware. Many cities in the U.S. have a large mix of people groups living in them, but few are as consciously connected to issues and events around the world as Seattlites. I can have conversations about financial aid to Africa, food shortages, Burmese monks, or Bollywood stars with people at the produce market, park, […]



2 Days to Exegeting A City

I write this from a café in London. I arrived in this amazing city less than 24 hours ago, and am going to be getting on a train out of town in just a couple hours. Not a lot of time for all things touristy, which is fine by me, because I’m a terrible tourist (and proud of that). Good tourists, though, use an array of guidebooks that can take you on a tour of any given city according to their favorite criteria – “London on $5 a Day!” or “Top Ten Restaurant Experiences in New York” or “The Two Day Guide to Copenhagen.” I haven’t ever read those guides, but I’m sure they’re fun ways of learning a city if you on a limited time frame and/or budget. As a blue collar missiologist/theologian, I’m much more interested in the process of “reading” a city than I am in seeing […]



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 […]



India Journal: Progress in the Midst of Pain

As I mentioned in another recent post, I just completed spending several days in India.  I also said that, having spent nearly three weeks in Delhi, and some of the north/central parts of the country about 18 months ago, I was eager to come back, and to explore some of the other cities that I’ve heard so much about, namely Mumbai and Bangalore. While these two cities are very different in some obvious ways, they are still India.  And for someone from the outside, that can be jarring.  I think that given that I’d been here before, I underestimated the impact that being here would have on me.  My hotel in Mumbai was within a half-mile of one of the largest shanty cities in the world – go watch this clip from Slumdog Millionaire, and you’ll see it for yourself.  It’s right there next to the airport.  I’m glad I […]



On Sophisticated Thinking

In my time in Costa Rica, I was able to spend time with a good guy named Anthony Chamberlain.  He’s the director of the Latin American Studies Program for a U.S. collective of Christian colleges.  Students go to Costa Rica for a semester abroad program.  Anthony is USAmerican, but has lived in Costa Rica for 20 years, and has raised children there, so that’s home for him by now. I talked with him about a number of different topics, from his observations about changes in students he’s noticed over the past twenty years, to topics of globalization, to Latin American politics, to theology.  I really enjoyed that time with him, and actually discovered that we’ve got a couple of common friends. As our conversation progressed, one of the themes that Anthony touched on in multiple topics was the lack of sophistication that people tend to have when thinking about life […]



The Questions of Caribbean Theology

Within just a couple of hours of being in Puerto Rico, I had the opportunity to sit with Professor Agustina Luvis in her office at the Seminario Evangelico de Puerto Rico.  Dr. Luvis teaches a broad range of courses, including Systematic Theology, courses on Pentecostalism, Feminist Theology, and Caribbean Theology.  I learned a lot in my brief time with her, and left with a lot more questions than I had gone into our meeting with – which is usually a very good sign. I asked her about some of the distinctive elements between Caribbean Theology and other Latin American theologies.  She has written an article about this in the Global Dictionary of Theology.  She told me that in Caribbean Theology, there is a stronger focus on the impacts of colonialism than in other Latin American theologies.  When she teaches her class on this topic, she helps her students methodically deconstruct […]



What if we started over?

Last week, in an effort to fool myself into thinking that I’m a tech geek (even though I know zero coding languages, don’t know most of the fancy acronyms, and don’t use the tools I have access to very elegantly), I watched the 80 minute video from Google’s I/O Conference, in which they rolled out their latest brainchild, Wave.  The video demonstrates some pretty cool stuff that will be game changing – like integrating e-mail, instant messaging, blogging, Twitter, wikis, collaborative projects, and entertainment.  If you’d like, you can watch it here. The video stimulated a lot of questions and thoughts in me, particularly about the implications of these technologies, and how they will be used (both well and poorly) by Christians.  But the statement from the video I keep going back to actually happens very early on (at about 5:00 or so).  The lead developer, who is doing the […]



Dissertate this! pt. 3

O.k., so I’ve mentioned the fact that there are major movements of growth in Christianity around the world – well, except for the Western world, where Christianity is in a bit of decline lately.  I’ve mentioned that these movements are taking place at a time in which globalization is changing everything.  One interesting thing to note as a backdrop to these discussions is the fact that globalization and Christianity have gone hand in hand for hundreds of years by now. Back in pre-Reformation Christianity, when the Church of Christendom ruled the day, explorers set sail to find new trade routes and new lands in which to trade.  They typically went with the blessing (and/or military backing) of their homeland.  When they encountered new people groups, they developed “trade partnerships” with swords and spears in hand.  They colonized these places and subdued them through physical force and intimidation.  Another of the […]



Dissertate This! pt. 2

Here’s my second post taking a trip through the dissertation that kept me busy over the past few years.  In my previous post, I talked about the rapid spread of Christianity in the global South and East, even at the same time as there has been a noted downturn in Christian practice here in the Western world.  While asking questions about what “we” in the West can learn from our sisters and brothers in other contexts, I thought it was also important to address one of the essential realities of our time – globalization.  <PAUSE: I just got THE biggest guilty pleasure inserting that link for globalization – the link is to Wikipedia.  Citing Wikipedia as a source in academia is a major no-no, so I had to do it here for kicks> Thomas Friedman brought the topic of globalization to the masses in his book The World is Flat, […]



A milestone passed

Yesterday morning I was able to successfully defend my doctoral dissertation, and I have now officially completed the Doctor of Ministry degree through George Fox Seminary.  It’s a bittersweet kind of day for me – I’m certainly glad to have this thing done, and have the opportunity to breathe a little and bring a bit of harmony back into my schedule and life, but it also marks the close of a process that I’ve definitely enjoyed. In part because of my busy-ness with school reading and writing, the frequency of my blog posting has dropped over the past couple of years.  I’ve also not posted very heavily on the areas of my dissertation research.  Maybe it’s just that I’ve been writing so much in academic forms about the research that I haven’t been highly motivated to do more of it here.  At any rate, I am now prepared to reveal […]