Oxford History of Anglicanism, Vol 3

I am happy to share with you all that volume 3 of the Oxford History of Anglicanism is now available. My own chapter is ‘Anglican Mission in the Middle East up to 1910’.

Volume 3 focuses on the partisan era and Anglicanism’s expansion into a global community up to 1910. Volume 4 concentrates on Anglicanism in the contemporary period and its history after the 1910 EdinburghWorld Missions Conference.

More info on volume 3 can be found at the OUP website and much of my own chapter can be read at books.google.

Why tradition is central to education

My girls are doing arts and crafts here at the Southwest School of Art and I’m catching up on blogs.

Happened across this brilliant article arguing for more tradition and less relevance in education.

Here is one particularly excellent section:

The real objection to relevance is that it is an obstacle to self-discovery. Some sixty years ago I was introduced to classical music by teachers who did not waste time criticizing my adolescent taste and who made no concessions to my age or temperament. They knew only that they had received a legacy and with it a duty to pass it on. If they did not do so the legacy would die. They discovered in me a soul that could make this legacy its own. That was enough for them. They did not ask themselves whether the classical repertoire was relevant to the interests that I then happened to have, any more than mathematicians ask whether the theorems that they teach will help their students with their accounting problems. Their assumption was that, since the musical knowledge that they wished to impart was unquestionably valuable, it could only benefit me to receive it. But I could not understand the benefit prior to receiving it. To consult my desires in the matter would have been precisely to ignore the crucial fact, which was that, until introduced to classical music, I would not know whether it was to be a part of my life.

Enjoy!

The Virtue of Irrelevance

Al Kresta interviews me on Christianity in the Holy Land

It’s always a pleasure to be interviewed by Al Kresta from Ave Maria Radio.

In this interview, released on January 12th, we shift over to the central topic of Arab Evangelicals in Israel  and, indeed, Christianity in general in the whole region.

The opening question: does Christianity in the Middle East have a future? Listen and enjoy.

Also, visit Al’s website and consider subscribing to his podcast.

Early Church 6: What would Jesus Do? Become a monk: the rise of monasticism

This is the last of six lectures I gave at Christ Church in San Antonio in Sep/Oct of 2016.

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Me at Christ Church, San Antonio

In this lecture I talk about how the church handled the transition from being a persecuted church of the martyrs to being a church with imperial permission and then imperial favor.

We explore how church leaders dealt with a large influx of converts whose motives were not always entirely sincere, and the initiative of St Antony of the Desert who asked, what would Jesus do? And then, he did it, imitating Jesus of Nazareth in poverty, chastity, and obedience.

Early Church 5: Discerning the New Testament Canon

The Church was born in the 4th decade AD, but not until near the end of the 4th century AD do we have a single canon of apostolic, inspired writings being used by the churches throughout Africa, Asia and Europe. Why did the Church decide a canon was needed? And how was the process carried out? These are the questions we will explore in this lecture.

Early Church 3: The Rise of the Bishops

By the year 200 the polity of the church was settled and dioceses were the norm. In these dioceses a single bishop/overseer was appointed from among the elders/presbyters, and these were aided in various ways by the deacons of the churches. How do we get from the melange of forms of church government in the New Testament to a universally applied system called the monarchal episcopate so quickly? That is the question we address in lecture three.

Delivered at Christ Church in San Antonio on October 2nd.

“Power, Personalities and Politics: The Growth of Iranian Christianity since 1979” in Mission Studies

I am pleased to share with you this article which was published in Mission Studies, a Brill journal.

Here is the abstract:

While Christianity has existed in Iran/Persia since the fourth century, if not earlier, at the middle of the twentieth century almost all Iranian Christians belonged to an ethnic minority, especially the Assyrians and the Armenians. Ethnic Iranians were almost all Muslims, and then mostly Shi’a Muslims. Since the Revolution of 1979 hundreds of thousands of ethnic Iranians have left Islam for evangelical Christianity, both within and outside of Iran. This paper seeks to explore the multifaceted factors – political, economic and technological – that have helped to create an environment wherein increasing numbers of ethnic Iranians have apostatized from Islam and become evangelical Christians. A concluding section outlines Steven Lukes’ theory of power and analyzes the growth of Iranian Christianity in the light of his theory.

Brill allows for authors to post a copy of their article on their personal website, so click here to download the PDF.