All posts tagged “Lausanne Movement

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Repaso: February 8, 2013

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1. Lausanne’s new leader
If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you may remember that last spring I did a series of posts on the Lausanne Movement, focusing on the important contributions of René Padilla, Samuel Escobar, Carl Henry, and Chris Wright at different points in its history. This week the movement named its new leader, a young(er) Korean-American guy named Michael Oh:

Oh is president and founder of Christ Bible Seminary in Nagoya, Japan, a vibrant and growing seminary in Japan, which is making an impact among young Christians seeking a renewed vision for the next generation of Christianity in Japan. He has been involved in Lausanne since 2004, serving as keynote speaker and part of the planning team for Lausanne’s Younger Leaders Gathering in 2006, and as a member of the Lausanne Board since 2007. He will be formally installed at The Lausanne Global Leadership Forum in South Asia in June.

2. Nicaragua as paradise
Nicaragua, considered the second poorest country in the western hemisphere, hasn’t been particularly high on tourists’ lists of destinations. While living in Costa Rica, I took a trip to Managua to work on a story, but some Ticos tried to dissuade me. Anyway, one wonders what luxury resorts would do for Nicaragua’s reputation (and its economy, for that matter):

What transforms a country from tourism pariah to hot destination for wealthy travelers? First, you need a place for opulence-seeking people to stay. Last week, one of Nicaragua’s richest men, Carlos Pellas, opened Mukul, the country’s first full-fledged luxury hotel. Nicaragua, with its charming colonial city of Granada, active volcanoes and reliable Pacific waves, is already popular among backpackers and surfers. And it is a new favorite among travel writers… Nicaragua hopes to follow in the footsteps of other spots—think Vietnam, Colombia and Croatia—that have overcome difficult histories and made the transition to upscale hot-spot. Its Central American neighbors Costa Rica and Panama are attracting luxury-resort developers.

3. Vocational stewardship
Amy Sherman shares ten great ideas for encouraging vocational stewardship in local congregations, related to her great book Kingdom Calling. Thanks to Bob Robinson at (re)integrate for re-posting the list (and to Katie for pointing me to it). I particularly like this part:

Conduct “commissioning” ceremonies at appropriate times for different individuals/groups in the church who serve in particular vocations. For example, at the start of the school year, you could invite all congregants who are engaged in the educational field to come forward to receive a word of blessing and prayer. At a Maundy Thursday service, consider bringing forward congregants whose vocation involves them bringing succor to the suffering: medical personnel, social workers, counselors. At a Thanksgiving service, consider honoring the flock’s farmers and others engaged in industries that help ensure that food gets to hungry people.

4. Better partnership in mission
Jeff Haanen has an interview in Christianity Today with Brian Howell, the author of a recent book on short-term mission trips and how to make them better:

As an anthropologist, I’m absolutely for people traveling and encountering what God is doing in other parts of the world. I am for people understanding more about their own culture and the cultures of others. To the extent that these trips are a significant vehicle for people to do that, I am for them. I am not for the narrative that has typically driven these trips: “We are going because there’s this tremendous need out there that we have to meet. And there’s this burden that we have as the wealthy country to go and do something in another place.” I support transforming this narrative so that it becomes, “How can we connect with what God is doing in other parts of the world? How can we learn to be good partners with Christians already in these places? How can we participate in what the church is already doing in these countries in effective ways?”

5. Abundant life

Abundant Life from The Work Of The People on Vimeo.

Repaso is intended as a thought-provoking compilation of news and commentary related to the intersections of faith, development, justice and peace. As always, I welcome your thoughts on any of the links and ideas in this roundup!

[Photo credit: centurion-magazine.com]

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Repaso: November 23, 2012

1. The measure of meaning
Last week Sandra McCracken released her latest record, Desire Like Dynamite, and (along with the new Indelible Grace project) it has provided a wonderful soundtrack for our return visit to Lancaster for Thanksgiving. She shares some of the album backstory here, in particular what she’s learned from poet-farmer-essayist Wendell Berry:

This is my great hope and belief about art: it is culture-making. Do with it what you will. Poetry can change people. Story can change the world. Global good starts as tiny as a Truffula seed. And if the sun and the bees and the rain and the birds give us their graces, we could have ourselves a harvest of renewal by summer’s end.

2. Wanting to be made well
Marlin Vis, who lived among Palestinian Christians in Jerusalem for five years, writes for Think Christian:

“Do you want to be made well?” This was Jesus’ question to the man laying by the pool of Bethzatha, where he had been for 38 years. Stop with the excuses, Jesus told him. Stop blaming your situation, stop blaming the angels in heaven or the devil in hell or anyone or anything else for that matter. Pick up your bed and get out of this place of sickness and despair. Do you want to be made well or not? Until the Israelis and the Palestinians want healing more than they want killing, the rest of us are doomed to helplessness.

3. On Sandy and art loss
I’m a little late in including this one this week, but artist Mako Fujimura writes movingly about the experience of learning what was lost – and what was saved – in the storm:

When you are a professional artist, meaning that you are making a living off your work, you do learn to say good bye to your work every day. That is what it means to be making a living. A friend recently told me that this is similar to a farmer not getting too attached to animals that will be slaughtered. Not a pleasant thought, but appropriate, somehow, as the art is feeding us, and my attachment cannot be too deep either. But the attachment to your creation IS deep and abiding. No amount of rational persuasion will change the depth of my pain as I heard the list of works destroyed.

4. Call to action on creation care
Members of the Lausanne Movement – theologians, church leaders, scientists, and creation care practitioners – have been considering what the gospel has to do with creation care. They’ve issued a call to action based on two primary convictions. Here’s the first one:

Informed and inspired by our study of the scripture – the original intent, plan, and command to care for creation, the resurrection narratives and the profound truth that in Christ all things have been reconciled to God – we reaffirm that creation care is an issue that must be included in our response to the gospel, proclaiming and acting upon the good news of what God has done and will complete for the salvation of the world. This is not only biblically justified, but an integral part of our mission and an expression of our worship to God for his wonderful plan of redemption through Jesus Christ. Therefore, our ministry of reconciliation is a matter of great joy and hope and we would care for creation even if it were not in crisis.

5. Africa for Norway
As one with Norwegian blood, I sincerely appreciate this:

Repaso is intended as a thought-provoking compilation of news and commentary from the past week related to the intersections of faith, development, justice and peace. As always, I welcome your thoughts on any of the links and ideas in this roundup!

[Photo credit: boston.com]

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New series: The Lausanne Movement (and faith, development, justice & peace)

 A lot of the content that appears on this blog has to do with books I’m reading, events I go to, writing projects I’m working on, and other stuff I think might be worthwhile for the kind of folks who’d read a blog like this in the first place. That tagline at the top — “exploring the intersections of faith, development, justice & peace” — is as much for me as for you, reminding me to only post stuff that somehow fits within these set parameters (I make occasional exceptions in Repaso, my weekly roundup of all kinds of good stuff from around the internet).

From time to time I do a series of posts about a given topic that has something to do with those intersections. Two years ago this month, I did a six part series on the “Seek Social Justice” study produced by WORLD Magazine and the Heritage Foundation. Last April I ran a five part series on John Perkins and the Christian Community Development Association, focusing specifically on Perkins’ book, Beyond Charity: The Call to Christian Community Development. I’ve done a couple of other smaller series as well, like a three part look at Nicholas Wolterstorff’s book, Until Justice and Peace Embrace, which I posted last October.

These series have been meaningful for me, allowing me to reflect for a few weeks at a time on a particular thinker, theme or issue. And I’ve received positive feedback from them, which is always nice, and leads me to believe they’re helpful for others as well. So with all of that in mind, I introduce my next series

Those of us in the evangelical stream of Christianity who are interested in one way or another in the intersections of faith, development, justice and peace, stand on the shoulders of a lot of faithful women and men who have gone before us. Not so long ago, there were significant roadblocks for those seeking to understand how an evangelical, missional Christian faith might relate to and inform one’s understanding of what it means to serve the poor, mediate reconciliation between actual enemies with weapons, seek the welfare of the city, and to otherwise contribute to the common good in meaningful and tangible ways. We’ve come a long way from the height of the fundamentalist-modernist divide in the early twentieth century North American church, and no, it hasn’t primarily been my generation that has brought this about; we’re just starting to reap the benefits of the faithfulness of others. Rather, I’d suggest it has a lot to do with the Lausanne Movement and some of its key early leaders, people like Billy Graham, Rene Padilla, Samuel Escobar, Carl Henry and John Stott.

The First Lausanne Congress was held in Switzerland in 1974, with 2,700 participants from more than 150 countries. TIME called it “a formidable forum, possibly the widest ranging meeting of Christians ever held.” Here’s a three-minute video about that first gathering.

After the congress, a group of theologians and other Christian leaders drafted The Lausanne Covenant, with John Stott as its “chief architect” (more on Stott’s important contributions here). It’s a remarkable document, and it’s worth reading slowly and thoughtfully. For the purposes of this blog I want to highlight one section in particular, titled “Christian Social Responsibility.” Here’s how it reads (I know it’s a lengthy excerpt, but trust me, it’s worth it):

We affirm that God is both the Creator and the Judge of all people. We therefore should share his concern for justice and reconciliation throughout human society and for the liberation of men and women from every kind of oppression. Because men and women are made in the image of God, every person, regardless of race, religion, colour, culture, class, sex or age, has an intrinsic dignity because of which he or she should be respected and served, not exploited. Here too we express penitence both for our neglect and for having sometimes regarded evangelism and social concern as mutually exclusive. Although reconciliation with other people is not reconciliation with God, nor is social action evangelism, nor is political liberation salvation, nevertheless we affirm that evangelism and socio-political involvement are both part of our Christian duty. For both are necessary expressions of our doctrines of God and man, our love for our neighbour and our obedience to Jesus Christ. The message of salvation implies also a message of judgment upon every form of alienation, oppression and discrimination, and we should not be afraid to denounce evil and injustice wherever they exist. When people receive Christ they are born again into his kingdom and must seek not only to exhibit but also to spread its righteousness in the midst of an unrighteous world. The salvation we claim should be transforming us in the totality of our personal and social responsibilities. Faith without works is dead.

(Acts 17:26,31; Gen. 18:25; Isa. 1:17; Psa. 45:7; Gen. 1:26,27; Jas. 3:9; Lev. 19:18; Luke 6:27,35; Jas. 2:14-26; Joh. 3:3,5; Matt. 5:20; 6:33; II Cor. 3:18; Jas. 2:20)

There were three papers presented at that first Lausanne Congress that, according to pastor, professor and missiologist Dr. Al Tizon, “laid the theological foundation for evangelicals to engage wholeheartedly in ministries of community development, justice for the poor, advocacy for the oppressed and the transformation of society, alongside ministries of evangelism, personal discipleship and church expansion.”

Those three presentations were by Rene Padilla (“Evangelism and the World”), Samuel Escobar (“Evangelism and Man’s Search for Freedom, Justice, and Fulfillment”), and Carl Henry (“Christian Personal and Social Ethics in Relation to Racism, Poverty, War and Other Problems”).

Over the next three weeks, I’ll take each of those papers/presentations in turn, providing a bit of background on Padilla, Escobar and Henry, respectively, and drawing out some of the key concepts and arguments they make. I think you’ll see that what they had to say in 1974 is in many ways just as relevant to us today, if not more so. And just as they served to correct some of that generation’s blind spots having to do with the intersections of faith, development, justice and peace, they can do the same for us today. Following these three installments, if all goes well, I’ll take a look at some of the more recent contributions of the Lausanne Movement, specifically related to the 2010 Cape Town Congress.

I’m excited about this series. I hope you are too.

[Photo credit: Wheaton College Archive]

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Repaso: Portland, OR; meaning of Lent; rocking the boat; immigration & biblical justice; creation care & mission; judging faith commitments

Today and tomorrow, Katie and I are at The Justice Conference in Portland. Look for blog updates of some sort, if not over the weekend, then early(ish) next week.

1. The meaning of Lent
I’m grateful that Katie and I are able to observe Lent this year as part of Christchurch Mesa:

The Christian calendar season of Lent originated in the very earliest days of the Church. The ancient church that wrote, collected and canonized the New Testament also observed Lent, actually believing it to be a commandment from the apostles. The season has traditionally served as a preparatory time for Easter, when the faithful rededicated themselves and when converts were instructed in the faith and prepared for baptism. Therefore, Lent has always been a season of soul-searching and repentance – for reflection and taking stock.

2. Rocking the boat
Tom Becker, who lives in Lancaster and heads up The Row House (“nothing is not sacred”), writes for Catapult Magazine on the dangers of being, of all things… nice:

[W]hy should debate be considered taboo? Why are we so uncomfortable with those who rock the boat, even if they are motivated by love?  I’m going out on a limb here, but maybe we Pennsylvania Dutch tend be just plain cowards. Cowardice is a sin of omission I find myself confessing regularly. I create so many missed opportunities to speak truth lovingly. Guilty as charged.

3. Immigration and biblical justice
Tyler Johnson, one of the pastors at Redemption Church here in Phoenix, had a great essay on the issue of immigration “through the eyes of biblical justice” in last week’s Capital Commentary:

[As] Christians we must acknowledge that our current approach to immigration does not honor God or advance justice. We must confess that God’s command to love our neighbors includes loving people who don’t look like we do, who don’t speak English, and who weren’t born in the United States. And we must work together as leaders and citizens to develop a plan that brings together and commits to uphold the biblical mandates to love our neighbor.

4. Chris Wright on creation care
Chris Wright, whose talk on faith in the marketplace I summarized here, was interviewed by Jim Ball at the Evangelical Environmental Network about creation care and how it relates to Wright’s work with the Lausanne Movement:

5. Franklin Graham’s comments on politics and faith
This week Franklin Graham, head of Samaritan’s Purse and son of the world’s most famous evangelist, made some unfortunate comments speculating on the authenticity of various political figures’ identities as Christians. Peter Wehner, who was part of the Bush administration and is co-author of the excellent City of Man: Religion and Politics in a New Era (which I blogged about here), writes wisely:

The problem here is Graham is judging President Obama’s faith commitment based on a political, not a theological, basis. What Graham seems to be arguing is that Obama is a liberal, he’s wrong on “moral issues,” and so a question mark has to be put over the faith of the president, who has spoken in moving terms about his own journey to Christianity.This is dangerous territory for Graham to reside in. For one thing, it sounds as if the Reverend Graham is questioning whether one can be a political liberal and a Christian at the same time. Of course one can be and to suggest otherwise is offensive. (I’m tempted to say some of my closest friends are Christians who are politically liberal.)

Repaso is intended as a thought-provoking compilation of news and commentary from the past week related to the intersections of faith, development, justice and peace. As always, I welcome your thoughts on any of the links and ideas in this roundup!

[Photo credit: oregontravelcenter.com]