Showing posts from May, 2012

Heathen Europe and the greater Carey legacy

William Carey, the Cobbler from Kettering who became the 'Father of modern missions', was famously rebuked 230 years ago. At a Ministers meeting, agitating about the possibility of foreign missions, Carey was put in his place by this patronising reply, 'Young man, sit down! When God chooses to save the heathen, He will do it without your help or ours!'

Could there ever have been a more monumental misunderstanding of how God chooses to work in the world to fulfill His great plan? Undaunted, Carey wrote his 'Enquiry' pamphlet - An attempt to show that the Great Commission remained valid, and probably the first missionary survey of the nations in the English language, showing regions, languages, main religious groups.

Carey was both disdainful and pragmatic in dealing with some of the main objections to missions amongst the nations.'First, as to their distance from us....' He puts this down by saying modern boats have a compass and that sailing is now more …

Bankrupt worldviews and the developing world

Materialism and consumerism are probably the two defining worldviews which operate within our Western culture in the 21st Century. More than 'operate', they have us in their vice like grip - worse than this, we are blind to it, stumbling unaware through our lives filled with plenty of stuff but devoid of any real meaning.

One of the best ways to spot whether you are being lied to by a defective worldview is to get outside of your own culture and enter someone else's paradigm. There is no bigger jolt to our system than landing amongst people who don't see the world in the same way as us, who don't value the stuff that we thought was of primary importance. For many of us, we get the occasional hit in this area through watching Comic Relief. Seeing through our TV's the lives of the have nots, only to be astounded that those who go without are actually happier than we are - happier than us, with all our stuff? And suddenly a bankrupt worldview is exposed.

One of my…

Mad Priests, Angry Mobs and Biblical Plagues!

Operation World, the fine prayer catalogue for every nation on planet earth, is right when it asserts that there is more opposition to the churches in Romania from the Orthodox Church than there is from the state.

Last Sunday I was taken to preach in a small town in the north of Romania called Solona. There is now a church plant there, an established, growing work in this rural community. I had the privilege of appointing a new leader whilst I was with them, and afterwards, heard the amazing true story of their inception.

A group of believers from a nearby town had been making regular evangelistic forays into Solona, they had seen some early converts and were looking to step up their mission. One Sunday, they travelled together in a convoy of 3 or 4 cars to visit the town after their own Sunday meeting was over. About half a mile outside of Solona a man could be seen in the road walking towards them.

Pulling over as the stranger waved them down, this group of believers were not surpris…

The Scream of expensive religion

Norwegian expressionist Edvard Munch's 'The Scream' painting sold at auction yesterday for £74m, making it the most expensive art work sold to date.

Surely there are few paintings which give a window into the soul of a man than this one? For me, The Scream is as much inspired by the claustrophobic effects of dead religion more than any other hidden angst in the life of this troubled artist.

Munch was raised by his father in small town, reformed Norway, his mother died of TB when he was still only five. Here is where the seeds were sown which produced the kind of work that now sells to billionaires.

Writing about his troubled and strange home life, Munch said, 'My father was temperamentally nervous and obsessively religious - to the point of psychoneurosis. From him I inherited the seeds of madness. The angels of fear, sorrow and death stood by my side since the day I was born.' Not the warmest family tribute you could read.
Later, Munch spoke about how his father w…