Shadows from Light Unapproachable:
AFM’s Silver Anniversary Book
Tad de Bordenave, ed.
We are familiar with shadows and signs of God’s work in many places in the world. The focus of this book, however, is on shadows overlooked or not recognized. These shadows come from the Gospel spreading to each and every ethnic group. Shadows of Light Unapproachabledraws the mind’s eye to behold the beauty of the searching love deep in the heart of “Light Unapproachable.”
The book traces the origins, the people, and the continuing foundations of Anglican Frontier Missions at its 25th year. I open my chapter with this brief profile of AFM: “The passion of AFM is the humbled and amazed awe before the slender glance we have of the love of God. The direction of our path is to those who do not yet know of this love.”
The ensuing chapters describe the way this missionary society has served God’s vision. They cover the basic questions of who,where, and how.
For the who, three chapters give transparent stories of ordinary people called into this ministry. One traces a couple’s very surprising call to Nepal. Another describes the strategic efforts by a creative husband and wife to plant the first church in a remote population. A third gives the adventures of a couple carrying out pastoral care for the missionaries in very far-flung areas.
The where takes us to about a dozen countries and ethnic groups within them. The dominant religions in these are Buddhist, Communist, traditional religions, Hindu, and Islam. Missionaries recount their challenges, their persevering efforts, and the support of God directly and through his church.
The how comes in two ways. First, we are given deep insights into the major religious forces of today. One who interacts with Muslims and teaches Islamics gives a clear analysis of Islam and Muslim goals. Two workers in India tell of their strategies among ethnic groups in highly resistant areas of that great country. We read of the remarkable missionary expansion of the Diocese of Singapore, initiated about the same time as AFM.
The other section on howcomes from three essays that uncover what are called “the treasures of Anglicanism in the world of frontier mission.” These chapters show the application of the plain essences of our tradition and the enormous advantages they bring to the world of church planting in frontier settings. These chapters will increase our appreciation for what may be familiar in our tradition but will become more valued in this new light.
Chris Royer begins his Introduction with Yogi Berra’s wisdom that if you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up somewhere else. In fact, as Chris goes on to say, AFM follows a vision that is not our own. He states this clearly in his final chapter, titled “Pressing Onward,” where he concludes with the hope and the future of AFM:
And so, AFM’s vision remains unchanged from our founding days: to mobilize the church to pray for and send missionaries to the largest and least-evangelized people groups and geographical regions, that churches might be established among all the 16,833 ethnolinguistic nations on our planet. Before this became our vision, it was Christ’s vision. And human history is marching forward toward the fulfillment of this vision: ‘With your blood you purchased for God persons from every tribe and language and people and nation. You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth’ (Revelation 5:9-10, New International Version).
The above press release is by the Rev. Tad de Bordenave. I was privileged to contribute a chapter titled “The World of Islam”. Download the PDF here: Duane Miller The World of Islam.
Hace poco me entrevistó Darren Lorente-Bull, editor de Escritorio Anglicano. Hablamos sobre mi libro nuevo Two Stories of Everything, Cristianismo, Anglicanismo, Islam y el futuro de Europa. Aquí hay una de las preguntas:
Mientras que Jesús predica la pobreza y un reino que ‘no es de este mundo’ el profeta Mahoma se convierte en un hombre de estado. ¿Que podrías decirnos al respecto teniendo en cuenta que la iglesia ha estado envuelta en escándalos de poder y riqueza durante su historia?
La iglesia siempre ha mantenido algún tipo de división entre el poder eclesiástico y el poder civil. En la edad media era una división entre los clérigos y la realeza. De vez en cuando uno podía encontrar en duque-obispo, pero por lo general ha habido una división de alguna forma entre los dos mundos. Esto viene de nuestro fundador, quien dijo que su reino no era de este mundo, y quien reconoció una diferencia entre cesar y Dios. Cuando hemos departido de este sendero original, la iglesia ha comenzado a morir. Por ejemplo, hace años intentamos a copiar a los musulmanes con su guerra santa. Estoy hablando de las llamadas cruzadas. Después de unos pocos siglos reconocimos que era una desviación drástica del sendero original de Jesús, y lo dejamos. Eso nunca ha sucedido en el Islam y nunca podrá suceder, como explico en el libro. Como dijo el Ayatolá Jomeini, “O el Islam es política, o no es Islam.”
Lee toda la entrevista aquí.
From my latest post at Covenant, the blog of The Living Church:
So, let’s imagine a country where the Communion has no presence. Let’s imagine a country where having a Bible is against the law and where citizens who become Christians might be executed. Let’s think about a place where there is not a single church building. In the words of John Lennon, “It’s easy if you try.”
What would establishing a missionary diocese there look like?
Read it all HERE.
My colleague Spencer Reece and I recently had this brief article published in the magazine Anglican World. It is about some of the ministry going on here in Spain among Arabic-speaking migrants here.
Click Anglican World Article to read the PDF.
I’m glad to share a new article just published at the blog of The Living Church. I am basically asking why Anglicans have a concrete approach to music, theology, and architecture, but don’t seem to have anything like this when it comes to global mission. Here is the lead:
Like most Christians, we Anglicans tend to love our traditions and cherish our identity, from the prayer book and particular holy days, or to the very idea of being a via media, Reformed and Catholic at the same time. We are excited when a new church plant or satellite campus opens, and in some Anglican circles there has been a veritable revival in church planting in North America and the United Kingdom. We usually appreciate our diversity — that one can be catholic or evangelical or liberal, though the last decade has tested some important boundaries. We like to send our ordinands off to seminaries within our tradition, we read books by our tradition’s authors (though not exclusively, of course), and we even have our styles of architecture and hymnody.
But then something funny happens on the way to world evangelism. When it comes to cross-cultural missionary work, we quickly forget about our Anglican distinctives. This doesn’t happen in other areas, so why does it happen with cross-cultural and global mission?
Check it all out here.