Tag Archives: missions

Reflections on Summer Teaching, Part Two: Church Planting, Theological Education, and the Great Commission

Reflections on Summer Teaching, Part Two: Church Planting, Theological Education, and the Great Commission

Last week, I shared some observations gained from a busy summer of teaching internationally. I received a number of replies, both supportive and questioning, that merit some further clarifications. Let me say categorically—I unequivocally support church planting! But I also believe in theological education. Both have their place in world evangelism. My goal last week… Continue Reading

Reflections on Summer Teaching

Reflections on Summer Teaching

In May and July, the Lord gave me the opportunity to travel overseas to teach church history in three different countries. Two of the countries were in Africa and the other was a major Asian country. Two of the countries were new places for me to visit. In all three locations, I was in urban… Continue Reading

The effect of the gospel on culture

The effect of the gospel on culture

This is a fascinating article that both reveals the influence of the gospel upon the culture of a civilization and contradicts the popular evangelical push today that insists that missionaries leave indigenous culture alone. Here’s a snippet: Areas where Protestant missionaries had a significant presence in the past are on average more economically developed today,… Continue Reading

Two messages on the Church’s mission

Two messages on the Church’s mission

There is a lot of talk today about being “missional,” and some of it has caused confusion or even derailed churches from following their actual mission. Here are two recent messages on the subject: A message I preached last month at Bethany Bible Church in Hendersonville, NC – “The Mission Jesus Has Given Us” A… Continue Reading

Help Encourage Biblical Worship in Brazil

Help Encourage Biblical Worship in Brazil

I would like to let you know about an exciting opportunity I have this summer and ask for your/your church’s help. I have been invited to speak at in Crato, Brazil this July at the Congressor sobre teolgia e música (“Congress on Theology and Music”), hosted by the Seminário Batista do Cariri (Cariri Baptist Seminary). I will be one… Continue Reading

Does contextualization heighten the likelihood of a positive response to the gospel?

Does contextualization heighten the likelihood of a positive response to the gospel?

This entry is part 15 of 16 in the series Missions and Music You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Conversations about missions and music often revolve around an insistence that in order to reach unbelievers in a target culture, we need to contextualize the message into their language, be it spoken, acted, or sung. Here are some helpful words from an excellent journal article by Mark Snoeberger that I think get to the heart of… Continue Reading

The Purpose of Music in Missions

The Purpose of Music in Missions

This entry is part 12 of 16 in the series Missions and Music You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

The purpose of culture is not to reach the lost or give authentic expression for Christians; it is to express and cultivate right worship. In my last article I addressed the argument for using contemporary music forms based on a missions philosophy that stresses indigenous ministry. I suggested that such an argument is based upon… Continue Reading

To harmonize the affections

To harmonize the affections

This entry is part 10 of 16 in the series Missions and Music You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

And all would serve, the more speedily and effectually, to change the taste of Indians, and to bring them off from their barbarism and brutality, to a relish for those things, which belong to civilization and refinement. Another thing, which properly belongs to a Christian education, and which would be unusually popular with them, and… Continue Reading

Missions and the antithesis

Missions and the antithesis

This entry is part 8 of 16 in the series Missions and Music You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Last week, I spoke at the Preserving the Truth Conference in Troy, MI. Of the three points that I made in my presentation (notes, audio), one is especially relevant to the discussion of missions. The antithesis, then, presents us a goal: to explore and articulate a Christianity that is Christian all the way down. The… Continue Reading

Edwards on Indians, Language, and Missions

Edwards on Indians, Language, and Missions

This entry is part 7 of 16 in the series Missions and Music You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Jonathan Edwards very much wanted to see the American Indians believe the gospel. His famous grandfather, Solomon Stoddard, had published in 1723 a sermon asking Whether God is not angry with the country for doing so little towards the conversion of the Indians? After being ousted at Northampton over the communion controversy in 1750, his… Continue Reading

Finding common ground in the missions debate

Finding common ground in the missions debate

This entry is part 5 of 16 in the series Missions and Music You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Here’s the reality: those of us blogging here fully realize that our positions are not popular. Not popular, I suppose, greatly underestimates the matter: for many Christians today, our positions are not even fathomable—it is impossible for them to believe that anyone could hold a position as outlandish, and even as offensive, as ours. And… Continue Reading

Differences and Universals in Music Across Cultures

Differences and Universals in Music Across Cultures

This entry is part 4 of 16 in the series Missions and Music You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

A missionary cannot properly evaluate the differences among cultural expressions until he has understood their universals. At the root of the most thoughtful defenses of contemporary worship today is an appeal based on a missions philosophy that stresses indigenous ministry. If, as the International Missionary Council asserted as far back 1938, an indigenous church is… Continue Reading

A Humble Request and Prolegomena

A Humble Request and Prolegomena

This entry is part 3 of 16 in the series Missions and Music You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

In my handful of posts this month, I want to give some anecdotes from church history to inform us as to how missionaries, attempting to plant indigenous church, should approach the issue of music in the culture in which they minister. My posts will not always touch on music per se, but instead explore the… Continue Reading

Missions and Music

Missions and Music

This entry is part 1 of 16 in the series Missions and Music You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

One of missionaries most challenging issues is what kind of music to use as they plant indigenous churches. Two extremes exist: on the one hand are missionaries who simply impose American musical forms on the foreign church; on the other hand are those who indiscriminately adopt the forms of the native culture in their worship.… Continue Reading

Should western music be transplanted to missions church plants?

On Saturdays we repost articles from the archives that apply to current issues. The following article deals with what music should be used for indigenous church planting. _________________________________________ Here is a question about culture and missions I recently received by e-mail: I am intrigued by this idea of culture and music. It seems a number… Continue Reading

The Importance of Music Ministry in Missions

In Titus 1:5, Paul explains that the reason he sent Titus to Crete was to “straighten out” the churches. The churches themselves had already been planted, yet there were still matters to be set in order so that the churches would be strong. Appointing elders is the specific issue mentioned in the text, but no… Continue Reading

Music Ministry in Brazil: A Report

As many of you know, my wife and I recently took a missions trip to Brazil (photos | video highlights. We were invited by Ed Alexander to participate in their annual music conference and sing/preach in some area churches. I thought I’d give a summary and some reflections here from our trip. In many ways,… Continue Reading