Engage in a thought-provoking continuation of The Missions Podcast as we delve into the ideas presented by Brad Vaughn in his book The Cross in Context. Join hosts Alex Kocman and Scott Dunford as they explore various perspectives on the relationship between Christianity and Western culture, the diverse metaphors of sin and Christ’s atonement, andContinue reading “The Cross in Context? Exploring Atonement and Contextualization with Brad Vaughn”
Tag Archives: controversial issues
Spiritual Warfare in the News: A Missions Perspective
Headlines across the world are telling a single story: spiritual forces of darkness want to dominate the nations. How should Christians read global news with an awareness of Christ as Lord and a missionary heart? Alex Kocman and Scott Dunford navigate some of the top stories and seek to model a Christian response to worldContinue reading “Spiritual Warfare in the News: A Missions Perspective”
MEGA Episode: A Debate on Prioritism and Holism With Ray Norman and Alex Kocman
What is prioritism? What is holism? Is there a middle way? For decades these questions have reverberated throughout the missions community. They aren’t theoretical issues—they affect the daily work of missionaries. In this special episode, we bring you a dialogue over the relationship between evangelism and social action with Alex Kocman of ABWE, author ofContinue reading “MEGA Episode: A Debate on Prioritism and Holism With Ray Norman and Alex Kocman”
Can We Learn From Movements? JR Stevenson on What the Reformed and Movements Can Learn From Each Other
Many church and missions leaders are concerned that disciple making movements, church planting movements, and other multiplication methodologies are guilty of pragmatism. Conversely, movement practitioners accuse critics of being too tied to tradition. Is there common ground? In a recent article for Global Missiology, Middle East missionary J.R. Stevenson claims the two sides of theContinue reading “Can We Learn From Movements? JR Stevenson on What the Reformed and Movements Can Learn From Each Other”
Should We Use the ‘M’ Word?
For some, missionaries are faith-filled heroes—out on the far reaches of society, sharing the good news in faraway lands. For others, “missionary” might be synonymous with words like “colonizer” or “imperialist.” What’s in a word? In this episode, Alex Kocman and Scott Dunford wrestle with the implications of the “m” word in terms of language,Continue reading “Should We Use the ‘M’ Word?”
Missionary Security, Big Tech, and Cancel Culture
Watch the video version of this episode here. Thanks to modern technology, our every move is tracked and recorded. What does this mean for missionaries living and serving in parts of the world where evangelism is illegal? And what might it soon mean for Christians in the Western world facing an increasingly hostile environment? ThisContinue reading “Missionary Security, Big Tech, and Cancel Culture”
Jesus, Ukraine, and the Soviet Union: Duane Early
Around the time that the Soviet Union fell, Ukraine experienced massive spiritual revival. Duane Early, who served there as a missionary, is convinced that’s part of the reason Ukraine is being targeted today. In this interview, he explains the current situation in Ukraine, miracles that happened during that revival, lessons learned, and missiological takeaways thatContinue reading “Jesus, Ukraine, and the Soviet Union: Duane Early”
The Forgotten Principle of Money and Missions: Conley Owens on ‘The Dorean Principle’
Watch the video version of this episode here. Throughout the ministry world, content is exchanged for money. But is this biblical? Or should the rest of the Christian world take a cue from how missionaries have operated all along? In The Dorean Principle, Pastor Conley Owens analyzes the puzzling biblical teachings on fundraising and reachesContinue reading “The Forgotten Principle of Money and Missions: Conley Owens on ‘The Dorean Principle’”
Ukraine Refugee Update: Caleb Suko Exclusive
When we last spoke with our friend Caleb Suko, the Russia-Ukraine war hadn’t yet begun. Now, he’s taken refuge—along with two million others—in another country. In this episode, he provides live updates from Moldova and explains how God is at work among the body of Christ and the masses of refugees. You can support theContinue reading “Ukraine Refugee Update: Caleb Suko Exclusive”
Ukraine From the Ground: Caleb Suko Reports
Watch the video version of this episode here. Tensions are rising between Ukraine and Russia. The US is considering involvement. What does that mean for Christian workers and churches in Ukraine? Caleb Suko, pastor and ABWE worker, shares his first-hand perspective. Since 2007 Caleb has served as a missionary in Odessa, Ukraine where he isContinue reading “Ukraine From the Ground: Caleb Suko Reports”
Responding to the Global Abortion Pandemic: John Ensor of PassionLife
Abortion isn’t just a US issue. It’s a global issue—which makes it a missions issue. This week, we talk to John Ensor, author, pastor, and president of PassionLife, about how missionaries can push against the culture of death through the gospel of life. As president of PassionLife, John trains Christian leaders in biblical bioethics and pregnancyContinue reading “Responding to the Global Abortion Pandemic: John Ensor of PassionLife”
Afghanistan, Islam, and Missions: Matt Bennett Joins
What’s happening in Afghanistan isn’t just political—it’s spiritual. This week, Matt Bennett of Cedarville University examines the crisis from a missionary perspective. Dr. Matthew Bennett joined the faculty at Cedarville University in fall 2017 after serving and living in North Africa and the Middle East since 2011. Most recently he wrote 40 Questions About Islam. Hear our previewContinue reading “Afghanistan, Islam, and Missions: Matt Bennett Joins”
#RMC21 Panel 1: Trends in Missions With Chad Vegas, Paul Davis, Wayne Chen, and Brad Buser
There are some shocking—and exciting—things happening in missions. Chad Vegas, Paul Davis, Wayne Chen, and Brad Buser discuss in this panel from the 2021 Radius Missiology Conference. Watch the video version of this episode: youtu.be/rYp5XxOYp-w. Want to ask a question or suggest a topic? Email email@example.com. The Missions Podcast is sponsored by ABWE International. Subscribe: linktr.ee/MissionsPodcast.
Exposing and Fixing Pragmatism in Movements
We hear stories of explosive growth through rapid-reproduction techniques like disciple-making movements (DMM)/church-planting movements (CPM) from various parts of the world. Are all of these stories true? Is pragmatism driving some missionaries? This week, we talk to Brad, a missionary from South Asia, who shares his first-hand perspective seeing pragmatic methods in action and howContinue reading “Exposing and Fixing Pragmatism in Movements”
Navigating Theological Disagreement on the Mission Field
When should missionaries who disagree about theology work together, and when do they need to separate?
Why Every Christian Isn’t a Missionary: Conversations on When Everything Is Missions with Matthew Ellison and Denny Spitters
Not every Christian is a missionary, and not everything that parades itself as missional activity is. This sounds controversial—but should it? We ask Matthew Ellison and Denny Spitters, who discuss these issues in their latest book, Conversations on When Everything Is Missions, the follow-up to book to When Everything Is Missions. Hear our previous interviewContinue reading “Why Every Christian Isn’t a Missionary: Conversations on When Everything Is Missions with Matthew Ellison and Denny Spitters”
Christian Nationalism, Patriotism, and Globalism
Recent political events and rallies have Christians asking: what is nationalism? Is it the same as patriotism? These questions are vitally important to the missionary. Can a missionary truly love his home country that he’s leaving—and if so, how? What does Scripture say about love of country—or countries, for that matter? And what about globalism?Continue reading “Christian Nationalism, Patriotism, and Globalism”
Has the White Savior Complex Infected Evangelical Missions?
The story of American missionary Renee Bach made waves last year when she was implicated in the deaths of more than 100 Ugandan children. But does her complex situation serve as a mirror for us—and for modern evangelical missions in general? This week, Scott and Alex address whether or not Western missions is dominated byContinue reading “Has the White Savior Complex Infected Evangelical Missions?”
The Dangers of Insider Bible Translations: The Arlington Statement
Scripture calls Jesus Christ the Son of God and the Lamb slain for sinners. These glorious names run directly counter to the sensibilities of those belonging religions including Islam and Hinduism. Should Bible translators soften these words and concepts to contextualize God’s word? The framers of the recently-published Arlington Statement on Bible Translation say no.Continue reading “The Dangers of Insider Bible Translations: The Arlington Statement”
Throwback: The Greatest Injustice With Chad Vegas
In 2020, it’s impossible to escape the topic of privilege. This week, we dive into the archives and bring back our May 2019 interview with Chad Vegas, founding board member of Radius International and lead pastor of Sovereign Grace Church, and our discussion of “gospel privilege.” Perhaps it has never been more timely. Chad is the founding pastorContinue reading “Throwback: The Greatest Injustice With Chad Vegas”
Critical Theory, Post-Colonialism, and Missions: Neil Shenvi on Social Justice
Watch the video version of this episode on YouTube. Social justice. Critical theory. Post-colonialism. Intersectionality. These issues have divided believers and unbelievers alike in the church over the last few years, and in 2020 the issue is impossible to escape. Is conservative evangelicalism beginning to compromise biblical teaching on complex social issues? And if so,Continue reading “Critical Theory, Post-Colonialism, and Missions: Neil Shenvi on Social Justice”
Missions History in a ‘Cancel Culture’ Age: Jonathan Arnold Explains
Christians live in an age of iconoclasm. How can we do church history and modern missions history responsibly—without falling into the opposite errors of hero-worship or “cancel culture”? Jonathan Arnold, Associate Professor of Church History and Historical Theology at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, weighs in from his perspective as a church historian. For three years,Continue reading “Missions History in a ‘Cancel Culture’ Age: Jonathan Arnold Explains”
Disciple-Making Movements: A Critical Discussion With Dr. Glenn Sunshine
Disciple-making movements (DMM) and church planting movements (CPM) are more than just buzzwords—they represent controversial methodologies that are dividing missionaries along organization and theological lines. Do these methodologies represent faulty views of conversion or ecclesiology, or are the critics guilty of prayerlessness and quenching the Holy Spirit? We’ve explored these topics in the past onContinue reading “Disciple-Making Movements: A Critical Discussion With Dr. Glenn Sunshine”
How Many Unreached Are There Really? A Chat on Statistics With Justin Long
How do we really know how many unreached people groups there are—and is that the thing we should be counting, anyway? What can statistics tell us, and what can’t they? We ask these and other tough questions to expert missions researcher Justin Long, Director of Global Research for Beyond, adept cataloguer of missions statistics and enthusiastic documenterContinue reading “How Many Unreached Are There Really? A Chat on Statistics With Justin Long”
What Is Gospel-Centered Missions?
What is the gospel? It’s a question missionaries can’t afford to take for granted. Specifically, what would a distinctly gospel-centered approach to missions look like, and how would it differ—or not differ—from forms of mission that focus heavily on meeting physical, tangible needs? What is the relationship between gospel proclamation and cultural engagement? Scott and AlexContinue reading “What Is Gospel-Centered Missions?”
John Chau: Missions, Methodology, and Martyrdom
Today we’re taking a break from our regular interview lineup to address the recent death of missionary John Allen Chau. In his final letter before being arrowed to death by the hostile North Sentinelese islanders, Chau penned, “It’s worth it to declare Jesus to these people.” As we mourn Chau’s loss, how should discerning ChristiansContinue reading “John Chau: Missions, Methodology, and Martyrdom”
How Much Contextualization Is Too Much?
Today in missions there’s a lot of talk about contextualization. The “C scale” developed by John Travis makes a case for so-called insider movements—professing believers in the Islamic world who follow Jesus, yet remain culturally and religiously Muslim. Is that biblical? How can we adapt the gospel to new cultures—and how far is too far?