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Showing posts from July, 2015

Issues Facing Missions Today 34: ‘Radicalized’

Issues Facing Missions Today 34: ‘Radicalized’
A peculiar word, ‘radical’.  The English word really relates to the word ‘root’ (Latin, radix)—getting to the heart or root of what something truly is.  But we hear the word used differently: someone who is ‘radical’ is ‘out there,’ ‘on the edge,’ even ‘dangerous’.
The word is now being used in the media’s phrase, ‘radical Islam.’  If someone commits murder as a Muslim the Western press will say that this isn’t real Islam but a radical form of Islam.  The person is said to have been ‘radicalized.’  The question is, ‘Is real Islam the opposite of radical Islam, or is radical Islam real Islam?’  Are these radicals getting to the root of their faith, or are they departing from it?  As far as politicians and the press are concerned, it would be terribly inconvenient in a politically correct world to identify radical Islam with real Islam. 
So much for confusing the word ‘radical’ with the opposite of its original meaning.
The question I would li…

Issues Facing Missions Today 33: Jettisoning the Leadership Paradigm for Ministry in Africa

Issues Facing Missions Today 33: Jettisoning the Leadership Paradigm for Ministry in Africa
Three challenges to ministry posed by certain concepts of leadership are: (1) ministry from a position of power; (2) elitism; and (3) personal rule.  The present post examines these three points with respect to Africa through three authors.  Clearly, certain people rise to positions of responsibility and have to exercise certain duties in the course of their ministry, but understanding this in terms of ‘leadership’ rather than ‘ministry’ seems to open Christian mission and ministry up to various abuses.  Perhaps, I would argue, it is time to return to the simple notion of ‘ministry’ and drop the language of ‘leadership’ altogether.[1]
Ministry from a Position of Power
In 1990, Gottfried Osei-Mensah warned of a connection between power and Christianity in Africa.  He wrote,
The entrance of the Gospel in Africa through the modern missionary movement coincided with the spread of western colonial po…