La Señal de Jonás y el Missio ad Gentes

Jonah thrown into the Sea.jpg
Jonah being thrown into the sea. (Public Domain), Link

Me da gusto compartir que mi primera publicación para Escritorio Anglicano ya ha sido publicada. El artículo es un analysis de este pasaje:

Vinieron los fariseos y los saduceos para tentarle, y le pidieron que les mostrase señal del cielo. Mas él respondiendo, les dijo: Cuando anochece, decís: Buen tiempo; porque el cielo tiene arreboles.  Y por la mañana: Hoy habrá tempestad; porque tiene arreboles el cielo nublado. ¡Hipócritas! que sabéis distinguir el aspecto del cielo, ¡mas las señales de los tiempos no podéis!  La generación mala y adúltera demanda señal; pero señal no le será dada, sino la señal del profeta Jonás. Y dejándolos, se fue.

                                                                                 —Mateo 16:1-4 (RV60)

La referencia de Jesús al signo de Jonás a la vez cautiva nuestra atención porque Jonás parece ser un tipo relativamente menor para Cristo dado las alusiones más pronunciadas y frecuentes a los paralelos entre Jesús y David (un rey salvador) y Jesús y Moisés (a legislador). En este documento veremos el significado de esta frase y su relación al misso ad gentes.

Puede leer mas aquí.

The New Christians of North Africa (Tunis)

Pharos Journal of Theology, which is published by the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria, has recently published an article of mine on the new Christians of North Africa, specifically in Tunis. Here is the abstract:

In the last few decades a substantial number of Tunisians have converted to Christianity. This article seeks to better understand their context and based on two weeks of fieldwork in Tunis in the summer of 2014, this article outlines the history of three of the principal churches in the city—one Catholic, one Anglican, and one Reformed—describes some facets of their worship and spiritual life, and then, based on interviews with church leaders and members, explores key challenges facing the churches. Utilizing the framework of Shoki Coe’s contextual theology, the findings are then analyzed in order to better understand the priorities, aspirations and ministry strategies of the local churches.

You can download the PDF from the journal’s website or from my own page.

“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.

Photo of the Grave of Temple Gairdner in Cairo

Photo of the Tomb of Temple Gairdner in Cairo

Public Domain, 2007.

Temple Gairdner is one of the great figures in the history of Anglicanism in Egypt, and in the history of Christian witness to Muslims as well. A colleague took this picture of his grave in Old Cairo and gave me permission to publish it in the public domain.

History of Christianity and Mission in Palestine

Some time ago I gave a class named ‘History of Christianity and Mission in Palestine’. It is a survey of, well, Christianity and mission in Palestine from the 1st C. through the Middle Ages.

I thought I should put all the lectures on one page:

Lecture 1: What is Contextual Missiology?

Lecture 2: When Christianity became a Religion

Lecture 3: The Content and Method of Jesus’ Mission

Lecture 4: The Roman Empire and Expansion of Christianity

Lecture 5: The Church in the Roman Empire

Lecture 6: Constantine and Helena

Lecture 7: Donatists, Penance, and Penance

Lecture 8: Pilgrimage and the Holy Land

Lecture 9: Monasticism

Lecture 10: Origin of Islam

Lecture 11: ‘The People of the Book’

Lecture 12: Dhimmitude

Lecture 13: Eastern Orthodoxy

Lecture 14: Templars and Crusaders

Lecture 15: Protestants and Mission

The Origins of the Insider Movement

I have recently published this article on the origins of Insider Movements in reference to an obscure document that I recently became aware of.

‘The 1938 Riggs Report on the “Near East Christian Council Inquiry on the Evangelization of Moslems”: an aborted beginning to the Insider Movement strategy’ in St Francis Magazine, Vol (2), April 2013.

Here is one section:

This is, in a nutshell, the Insider Movement strategy of mission to Muslims – not seeking to make Muslims into Christian, but Sunni [or Shi’a] Muslims into ‘followers-of-Jesus’ Muslims. Riggs explicitly points out that some other term than ‘Christian’ must be found and some other terminology must be developed’ (Part II, point 8). With updated spelling, some of the specific phrases used could be straight out of a contemporary journal article, as when he talks about, ‘believers who thus remain a part of their Moslem social-political group’ (Part II, point 11).

Read it all here, or at Scribd, or at

Suspicion of Church of England ‘Archbishop’s Mission’ in Persia

I have known about the mission of the High Church Anglicans in Persia for some time, and how they supported the Nestorians over and against their fellow Protestants from the USA. But it is always interesting to see a first-hand source contemporary to the matter. Here is a little snippet from The Missionary Herald (Vol 62, 1866, p 237) showing concern.

Duane Miller interviews Bob Blincoe on contemporary missions and Islam

In the January, 2013 issue of Global Missiology (English), you can find my interview with Bob Blincoe, the director of Frontiers (USA). Here is a section:

It is no exaggeration to say that for the first time in history large numbers of Muslims are coming to faith for the first time. We had the sensational experience in Indonesia in the 1960s when the government ordered every citizen to choose a religion, and that is how millions of Muslims came to Christianity. But today they are coming to Christ, and to be clear I mean to the Christ of the Bible. No one is doing this so well that a strategy that works in one place can work in others, but we should pay attention. One person that has paid attention is Jerry Trousdale, who wrote the book Miraculous Movements. He has done the research on more than 30 movements of Muslims to faith in Christ. We should watch and pray for a bright future for many millions of Muslims whom the angels will gather on the last day.

Click to download the PDF, Word Doc, or just see the HTML.

Blincoe, Bob and Duane Alexander Miller. ‘The Day of Salvation for Muslims Everywhere: an interview with Bob Blincoe’ in Global Missiology 10:2, January 2013.

Why did the Reformation not lead to greater missionary activity?

Don Warrington has posted this segment at his blog:

From J. Herbert Kane’s A Concise History of the Christian World Mission:

One would naturally expect that the spiritual forces released by the Reformation would have prompted the Protestant churches of Europe to take the gospel to the ends of the earth during the period of world exploration and colonisation which began about 1500.  But such was not the case.  The Roman Catholic Church between 1500 and 1700 won more converts in the pagan world than it lost to Protestantism in Europe.  Why did the Protestant churches take so long to inaugurate their missionary program?  What were some of the contributing factors?

The first, and perhaps the most potent, factor was the theology of the reformers.  They taught that the Great Commission pertained only to the original apostles; that the apostles fulfilled the Great Commission by taking the gospel to the ends of the then known world; that if later generations were without the gospel, it was their own fault–a judgement of God on their unbelief; that the apostolate, with its immediate call, peculiar functions and miraculous powers, having ceased, the church in later ages had neither the authority nor the responsibility to send missionaries to the ends of the earth…

Moreover there were the Predestinarians, whose preoccupation with the sovereignty of God all but precluded the responsibility of man.  If God wills the conversion of the heathen, they will be saved without human instrumentality.  If God does not will the salvation of the heathen, it is both foolish and futile for man to intervene.  Calvin wrote: “We are taught that the kingdom of Christ is neither to be advanced nor maintained by the industry of men, but this is the work of God alone”.

Added to this was the apocalypticism which anticipated, with some dismay, the rapidly approaching end of the age.  Luther particularly took a dim view of the future.  In his Table Talks he wrote: “Another hundred years and all will be over.  God’s World will disappear for want of any to preach it”.