Category Archives: culture > disciple making

Newbigin applied

I first heard of Lesslie Newbigin at a conference in 2007. I’ve been a fan of his writing since. In an article in CT Newbigin is applied to church planting but it has a broader appeal to all churches, especially the “embassy” bit. Read on by clicking HERE.

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more Keller on prayer as disciple making conversation

Prayer is simply the key to everything we need to do and be in life. We must learn to pray. We have to.

I’m reading the @YouVersion plan ‘Prayer: A 14-Day Devotional By Tim Keller’. Check it out here:

http://bible.com/r/K0

This app could provide you and a fellow disciple with great disciple making conversations.

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Orwell on Fascism

In the article I referenced yesterday, the author quotes George Orwell. Orwell wrote about Hitler and Fascism in the context of his review of Mein Kampf. Consider these words:

Fascism is psychologically far sounder than any hedonistic conception of life… Whereas socialism, and even capitalism in a more grudging way, have said to people “I offer you a good time,” Hitler has said to them, “I offer you struggle, danger, and death,” and as a result a whole nation flings itself at his feet… We ought not to undermine it’s emotional appeal.

When I read this I immediately thought of Putin sounding a similar call to his people as they take on so many of their neighbors over the years , the most significant being the current war with Ukraine.

Yet last week he was welcomed in Budapest as an economic savior of sorts. Of course the Hungarian PM is sometimes prone to such speech himself isn’t he?

There is a warning against such nationalism in Nicholas Wolterstorff’s Until Justice and Peace Embrace:

Idolatrous nationalism is not healthful; it is intensely poisonous. When a nation suffers from nationalism unchecked, the life of his members is twisted and distorted, and the nation becomes a menace among nations because it accepts no standards for international peace and justice.

Be very careful that your love of country does not become an idol that takes your attention away from God’s sovereign rule of the universe which should include your heart and mind.

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Looking back to Sarajevo

On this trip I was on my own a lot and was able to explore beautiful Sarajevo on my own terms.

Here are a series of pix I took in a neighborhood up the hill from Old Town. They are of a kind of neighborhood mosque with many graves from 1992-1995 and the main mosque in the Old Town.

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My assumption is that these died in the siege during the war when Serbs bombarded the city from the surrounding mountain tops.

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Down the hill, I went to the main mosque, it’s minaret was visible down this alley…

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And upon entering you are given the rules…

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On Fridays this mosque is filled with Muslims…

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Walking by the side I noted the extra prayer rugs stacked in the window…

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Martin Luther said that Muslims (among many others including Jews and many “Christians”) worship the same God, but they worship him incorrectly. As I study Islam (for my Cross Cultural Studies program) and read from many sides of this discussion, it seems Luther makes a sound argument. The enemy of God wishes to keep people away from him and the best way is a way that looks right while being wrong. A one degree error send KAL 007 into Soviet airspace and hundreds died when the Soviets shot it down. Worshipping the right God the wrong way, through works, may look good, but is not His way.

We depend on grace alone, trusting in the final and complete work of Jesus: death, burial and resurrection. In Christ alone.

Allow not a desire for pluralism to water down the way and the truth.

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Home

Not unpacked: either baggage

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or in my head, but it is so good to be home after a great trip. Some fresh thoughts on disciple making are brewing after this trip.

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Where cultures meet: Sarajevo

In the old town of Sarajevo one finds endless little shops selling, primarily, Turkish coffee sets hammered out from brass that, presumably, comes from a seemingly endless supply of brass shells left over from the war. A testament to how many shells were fired at this city.

On the main walk to the old town from, what I call downtown, (it’s old too, but is more of what I call a downtown), kinda where the old town and downtown meet, is this…

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This really is a place of cultures meeting.

This city is, according to a reliable source, over 90% Muslim, I counted 13 minarets visible from my window…

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Which a friend told me includes this one, the main mosque…

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I was here to visit my friends who serve among these people and his focus is the study of Islam toward helping Muslim friends come to a true understanding of Jesus.

With my doctoral studies in mind and what I had learned from our conversations and the books I’d read in preparation, I struck up a brief conversation with a young economist. I asked him who Jesus is. He replied that it depends of what you believe and that he wasn’t religious.

He may not have been, but I made one observation that is not scientific. When I first came to Sarajevo in ’07, there were not many women wearing head coverings. 8 years later, head coverings are common. My count, based on video survey was that as much as a third of women are now covered.

While waiting…

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for my favorite Sarajevo food, burekški…

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we observed that all the women working in the eatery were covered. This is a sign, I concluded, of increasing emphasis on the Islamic culture becoming more defined in this city where cultures meet.

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