Merry Christmas from the Missions Podcast! To celebrate the holiday, we’re honing in on the incarnation of Christ and asking: what do Christian leaders mean when they talk about “incarnational” ministry? Can the incarnation actually be imitated, or does referring to our ministry as incarnational cheapen the uniqueness of Christ’s birth? This week, Scott andContinue reading “Christmas Episode: Can Missions Be ‘Incarnational’?”
Only a big view of God can sustain the people of God on a big mission. Yet have missionaries gotten their very doctrine of God himself wrong? This week, Dr. James Dolezal highlights the doctrines of divine simplicity, immutability, and aseity—aspects of theology proper often lost on modern evangelicalism—and why they matter for reaching pagans,Continue reading “James Dolezal: What Every Missionary Needs to Know About the Doctrine of God”
On August 8, 2020, a simple tweet by Brooks Buser, president of Radius International, ignited a firestorm of controversy: “Thank you for the prayers for Amdu people and team. By God’s grace, there are now members of that people group who are reconciled to God, who no longer have their sins counted against them.” Skeptics,Continue reading “Brooks Buser Answers: How Dare Missionaries Seek to Convert?”
Between global illness, national riots, and the ordinary lump-in-the-throat feeling that often accompanies Christian obedience, the temptations to retreat in fear—or simulate real risk with risk-free alternatives—are plentiful. But this is not the time for cowardice cloaked in carefulness. Now is the time for fearless mission. This week on The Missions Podcast, Charles Smith discussesContinue reading “Fearless Leadership in Fearful Days: Charles Smith Speaks”
Does online worship count as “church?” Is Sunday unique as the Lord’s Day? Does the Bible give us a regulative principle or worship, or a normative principle of worship? The current global crisis has brought up these important questions about ecclesiology—questions that missionaries already face in parts of the world where gathering openly and regularlyContinue reading “When the Church Can’t Gather: Pandemics, Persecution, and Worship on the Mission Field”
The COVID-19 pandemic is challenging churches to be more bold, evangelistic, and loving towards our neighbors than we’ve ever needed to be. But this isn’t the first time in church history that Christians have faced the challenge of a plague. In this episode, our friend Glenn Sunshine returns to share a history of pandemics, theContinue reading “Coronavirus and Plague: Lessons From Church History With Glenn Sunshine”
Nothing requires Christians across tribal lines to work together quite like the Great Commission. However, nothing divides Christians quite like our mission and methods, either. How can we cooperate and disagree agreeably in an age of separatism, without compromising on gospel issues and matters of sound, biblical, conservative theology? How can missionaries understand fundamentalism andContinue reading “Disagreeing Agreeably: An Honest Discussion on Separation, Fundamentalism, and Cooperation with Josh Teis”
What role should our emotions play in motivating us towards missions? The answer is in church history. Jonathan Edwards is noted his biography of the famous missionary David Brainerd, who was among the first to reach the Native Americans with the gospel. But most people don’t know that Jonathan Edwards wrote about Brainerd primarily asContinue reading “Should Emotions Motivate Missions? Jonathan Edwards, David Brainerd, and Religious Affections With Ryan Martin”
Biblical authority is under attack. A missionary’s job is partly to make the transcendents truths of God’s word understandable within human language, context, and culture. But is it possible to know God’s objective truth, or are we always “stuck” within our culture—making modern missions inescapably colonialist? In this episode, Scott Dunford and Alex Kocman dialogueContinue reading “Is All Theology Cultural? Biblical Authority and Contextualization”
Reading well in Scripture, theology, culture, and literature in general is key to preaching and teaching that connects—especially for the cross-cultural worker. What should we be reading? Why does it matter? And how can we who are busy working and doing ministry have time to cultivate the life of the mind as we constantly prepareContinue reading “The Life of the Missionary Mind”
Across the Internet—the place where many missionaries away from home get much of their theology and encouragement—there is a critical drought of deep-thinking resources for women. Many of the women’s resources simply play to one’s emotions or repackage common tropes like “you are loved” or “you are beautiful.” How can we make sure that weContinue reading “Missions and the Need for Deeper Women: Karen Swallow Prior and Anne Kennedy”
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?”
We live in an age of perpetual outrage and cynicism, and lost hope takes its greatest toll upon the missionary endeavor. This week we spoke with Dr. Jason Duesing, passionate missions sender and academic Provost and Associate Professor of Historical Theology at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, author of the new book Mere Hope: Life in An AgeContinue reading “Mere Hope: Jason Duesing on Missionary Hope in a Cynical Age”
Dreams and visions in the Islamic world. Miraculous healings. “Power-encounters.” What is the role of the Holy Spirit in missions? Are miracles still normative in front-lines missions—and specifically, what about the apostolic sign gifts seen throughout the Book of Acts? There’s perhaps no one better to ask than Dr. Thomas R. Schreiner, one of theContinue reading “Tom Schreiner: What Is the Role of the Holy Spirit and Miracles in Missions?”
Christianity isn’t spreading into Africa; it’s already there. But as our guest this week shares, it is afflicted by the problem of syncretism, hyper-charismatic influence, so-called prosperity “gospel” teaching, and weak theology. How can pastors and missionaries confront these threats and help the African church develop theologies that are rich, sound, and historically rooted? ConradContinue reading “Conrad Mbewe: Combatting Prosperity Teaching in Africa”
Protestants in the West have a rich heritage of systematic theology—but it doesn’t always translate easily into new cultural contexts. Is a return to narrative-focused, biblical theology the answer? Chris Bruno, Assistant Professor of Greek and New Testament at Bethlehem College and Seminary, joins us to answer and weigh in on his own cross-cultural experiencesContinue reading “Chris Bruno: Biblical Theology Versus Systematic Theology in Missions”
On this episode, ABWE President Paul Davis joins us to share why it’s crucial that missionaries be theologians. We dive into why a “big God” theology that acknowledges the absolute supremacy of Christ is the only theology weighty enough to compel an unbeliever to convert and commit “treason” against their old gods. It’s also the onlyContinue reading “Paul Davis: Why Missionaries Must Be Theologians”
You’ve probably heard that Muslims are coming to Christ throughout the Islamic world in record numbers, many of them prompted by dreams and visions. Perhaps you’ve also heard of related disciple-making movements and church-planting movements that report exponential multiplication of converts and fledgling churches. But what’s the real story behind these stats, and are these explosive growth movements really healthy and biblical? Zane Pratt joins us today to answer.
What is a biblical definition “social justice” and how does it relate to the gospel? What bearing does the recent conversation about racial reconciliation—and the resulting controversy—have for missionaries ministering to disparate and people groups and ethnicities? How can the church do a better job of addressing social justice and racial issues without proposing leftistContinue reading “Collin Hansen: Social Justice, Racial Reconciliation, and Missions”
There’s a theological famine across the majority world. How can we fix that? Are translated English resources the solution? How can we encourage more theological educators to serve overseas? And why does the chasm between the gospel-centered, big-God theology movement and the missions world seem so large? On April 12th, 2018 at Together for the GospelContinue reading “T4G Panel on Theological Training in Missions”
Is Reformed theology antithetical to missions? Can Calvinists and Arminians partner together in gospel ministry? Today, Scott and Alex take a swing at these hotly-debated topics and provide answers from a biblical perspective recognizing that God’s sovereignty is fully compatible with the call to repent and believe the gospel—and how the fact that Christ hasContinue reading “God’s Sovereignty, Human Responsibility, and Missions”
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?
We’re joined again by Jonathan Arnold to discuss another critical question regarding the Reformation—why should those involved in missions care?
Special guest Jonathan Arnold, an Oxford graduate, author, and professor as the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, joins us to discuss a critical question as we remember the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. Did the Reformers really believe in missions and evangelism?
In our first episode, we lay it down straight about missions agencies. Are they biblical, or are they just modern constructs that exist to fill the gap when the local church drops the ball? Do they even work?