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Showing posts from June, 2014

Why Foreign Missions? 22a The Good News: A Personal Hope of Life in Heaven?

Why Foreign Missions? 22a The Good News: A Personal Hope of Life in Heaven?
Introduction
Much of the present focus in New Testament studies is on understanding the Gospel message in terms of prophetic passages in the Old Testament that speak of Israel restored from captivity and entering God’s rule.  Well and good—this has been a needed correction to our understanding of many New Testament passages.  Also, much of the present focus in mission studies has been on the social dimension of missions—not simply ‘pie in the sky’ but also and emphatically ‘steak on the plate.’  Thus we speak now of a ‘holistic Gospel,’ one that is not only about spiritual matters but also about making a difference in people’s lives and communities here and now.  Both the focus on Israel’s story and the focus on a holistic Gospel emphasise the social, corporate, and community focus of the Gospel—and this is Scriptural.
However, one result of these emphases in Biblical studies and mission studies is that a quest…

Why Foreign Missions? 21 Naming God During Tribulation (the Revelation of John)

Why Foreign Missions? 21 Naming God During Tribulation (the Revelation of John)
Introduction:
What is in a name?  Muslims speak of ninety-nine names for God. In Revelation 15 and 16 we are not only interested in knowing what to call God; we are interested in knowing how to name God in tribulation, in the situation of the first readers of this book.  I remember a woman from Rwanda speaking of the genocide in the 1990's in her country: 'Sometimes things are so bad that one forgets God,' she said.  The book of the Revelation of John is a call not to forget God in times of tribulation, persecution, injustice, and unrighteousness.  This apocalypse at the end of our Bibles helps us to name God in the midst of terrible suffering and trials.  It does this through revealing God's covenant faithfulness and coming judgement through the Lamb--both Davidic King and slain sacrifice--on the throne of God (Rev. 5.5-6).
A Challenge: God as ‘Hidden’ and ‘Incomprehensible’ in the Face of S…