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Issues Facing Missions Today: 40 Naming God in the Face of Suffering and Tribulation

Issues Facing Missions Today: 40 Naming God in the Face of Suffering and Tribulation
Introduction: Islam speaks of the 99 names for God.  Names in many cultures have meaning.  They reveal something about the person—the day of his or her birth, an event, something significant about the child, and so forth.  So, too, our naming of God.  Moses famously asked after God’s name in Exodus 3 and was told by God, ‘I AM has sent you’ (3.14).[1]
The following study concerns naming God in the context of tribulation.  This is a deeply personal concern, but it is also missiological: the revealing of God in an evil world full of suffering and persecution—as the two witnesses prophesying in sackcloth in Revelation 11.  For this study, Revelation 15 and 16 will be the focus texts as they provide significant depth to our understanding as Christians about naming God when there is suffering and evil.  We are not only interested in knowing what to call God.  We are interested in knowing how to name God in…

Issues Facing Missions Today: 39.2 ‘The World is Coming to Us’

Issues Facing Missions Today: 39.2 ‘The World is Coming to Us’
The second point for discussion in our imaginary ‘Mission 101’ course (module) is:[1]
Point 2: ‘We really no longer need to go anywhere for mission work: through immigration, the world is coming to ‘us.’’
In the previous post, which challenged the suggestion that there are no mission fields today, the issue of immigration was already raised (and reading on this from Andrew Walls and Timothy Tennent placed on our indicative bibliography for the course).  Two very important points in missions are acknowledged: there is in our day an amazing movement of people to the West, and the West increasingly offers new mission fields for missionaries coming from what used to be mission fields in their own right.  Immigration to the West is an important part of present-day missions (as it was in, say, Augustine’s day!).  Yet there are also problems with the statement as it appears in Point 2 and in many off-handed conversations.
One pos…

Issues Facing Missions Today: 39.1 ‘Missions is not from the West to the Rest?’

Issues Facing Missions Today: 39.1 ‘Missions is not from the West to the Rest?’
Introduction:
In post number 36 of 'Issues Facing Missions Today,' I raised 20 topics for discussion in a hypothetical ‘Missions 101' course (or module).  Dr. Mark Royster tossed me an irresistible bone in a comment on that post: he suggested that I set up an opportunity for discussion around these points, giving me a limit of 500 words for each one.  (I will try to keep things in the neighbourhood of 1,000 words.)  Knowing that much discussion has already taken place around these topics, I’m somewhat reticent to gnaw on these 20 points, but it is also unfair of me to leave things as I posted them earlier.  So, with the caveat that what is said here is incomplete and introductory, I will attempt to offer some commentary to which others might respond with corrections and expansions as they see fit (allowing for some moderation on my part if the need arises).  The goal here is to identify truth in …