Church 

Is the World’s Next Missions Movement in Ethiopia?

From Christianity Today. First a little context. In Ethiopia, evangelicalism is growing at a faster rate than even the booming general population, already the second-largest in Africa and projected to exceed 112 million people by 2020. According to the World Christian Database, in 1970 the Horn of Africa nation had about 900,000 self-identifying evangelicals, about 3 percent of its total population. By 2015, that number swelled to almost 19 million, or 19 percent of Ethiopians. Then some grand aims for a church in a developing nation: Each year in January,…

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Church 

Make Sunday Mornings Uncomfortable

Rebecca McLaughlin outlines her & her husband’s three rules of engagement for Sunday worship services: They are: An Alone Person in Our Gatherings Is an Emergency Friends Can Wait Introduce Newcomers to Someone Else So, this Sunday, let’s take a risk. Let’s reach across the small divides to others as we imitate the one who spanned the great divide for us. And let’s urge our friends to do the same, because the harvest in our gatherings is plentiful. We may never know what difference a small act of welcome made.…

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Church 

How Many Christians?

Philip Jenkins asks, ‘how many Christians were there in the year 200?‘ and the answer is not very many. At least not when you consider the population of the Roman Empire. For the sake of argument, let us suggest a global Christian population of perhaps 250,000. That represents a stunning expansion from the small groups we glimpse in apostolic times, but the number is tiny when we think of the vast geographical extent of the large world, from Mesopotamia to Britain. It is also a tiny fraction of that world…

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Church 

The death of the church

Todd Dildine recently did a four-part series on you guessed it, ‘the death of the church’. It’s an analysis of the American scene but I think has much wider implications. In Part 1 he assesses the landscape and sees that in America it’s not only the church that is declining but in fact community organisations of almost every conceivable sort. The collapse of the American church and the breakdown of the American community are tied together. When you take a critical look at our society you will discover that America…

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Church 

The resurrection of Jesus (links)

There are several posts here all dealing with the historical evidence for the resurrection and inevitably they cover similar ground but also with slightly different contributions. But before I share all of that one extract stood out to me from Scot McKnight  I know all of that, I said. I know all of the alternative suggestions and reasons given by some why the resurrection couldn’t have happened. I know about the confusion of the gospel accounts. I know all of that and yet, I’ve come to the conclusion that Christ…

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Church 

Planting a Church Is Lonely

John Starke at The Gospel Coalition has a good article on church planting in major cities. Here are some things that stood out to me and that I have really identified with during the last five years here in Stockholm. The Need Right now, in Manhattan, only 2 percent to 4 percent of the population claims to be evangelical or “traditional” Christian. To get something close to 8 percent to 10 percent, we don’t just need to hear of three or four great stories of growing churches in New York…

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Church 

Five essential marks of biblical ecclesiology

If the church in the West is to recover and rediscover its calling and identity it would help if we knew clearly the New Testament pattern and the marks that characterised the early church. Over at Lausanne Church Planting Network they recently published an article on 5 truths for church planting today by David Miller and Ron Anderson. Their second point is that it’s crucial we have a New Testament understanding of church. They write: Alan Hirsch cogently argues this conviction in his book, The Forgotten Ways: Reactivating the Missional Church. Hirsch believes we…

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