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Why Foreign Missions? 18b. John 20.20-23 and Mission of the Disciples in John’s Gospel

Why Foreign Missions? 18b. John 20.20-23 and Mission of the Disciples in John’s Gospel
In the following short study,[1] I will suggest a possible explanation for what unites the three verses of John 20.21-23 with their three foci of mission, receiving the Holy Spirit, and the forgiveness of sins. The passage reads as follows in the New Revised Standard Version:
John 20:20 After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. 21 Jesus said to them again, "Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you." 22 When he had said this, he breathed on them[2] and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained" (NRSV).
My suggestion is that these verses are both theologically related and appear to be based on an Old Testament passage, Ezekiel 36-37.  This Old Testament background brings out the theological p…

Issues Facing Missions Today 13: The Local Church’s Direct Involvement in Foreign Missions

Issues Facing Missions Today 13: The Local Church’s Direct Involvement in Foreign Missions
A clear trend in foreign mission support by local churches in recent years in North America has been to seek direct involvement.  Robert Wuthnow examined this trend five years ago, and the following discussion uses his statistics to describe this trend.[1]  While recognizing that his description is still too general for detailed planning, it does seem somewhat helpful for trying to get a handle on what Western missions and missionaries are experiencing in the last decade or so.  I would like to suggest that Wuthnow helps us see how and why changes in the local churches’ involvement in missions is both a positive trend that at the same time undermines needed missionary work by long-term missionaries engaged in proclamation ministries.  The discussion that follows is too brief for such a thesis, and it will undoubtedly frustrate those who wish that it were nuanced in one way or another.  Neverthele…