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Showing posts from 2016

Strangled for Scripture : A tribute to William Tyndale

480 years ago today, one of the greatest Englishmen to have ever lived was first strangled, then burned at the stake in Flanders.
William Tyndale's terrible crime was to have translated the New Testament, and large parts of the old into the English language. His mission, simply for ordinary Englishmen to be able to hear the scriptures in their own tongue, and therefore understand the gospel for themselves.

Tyndale's big idea was a terrible threat to the Catholic monopoly, their need for control meaning that most of the population never understood a word that was being said by Priests. More significantly than just understanding the words spoken, the gospel itself was shrouded in medieval mystery and superstition.

That psychotic monster Henry VIII was the worst player in all of this. Remembered wrongly for his reforming zeal, Henry's earlier years were defined by a robust defence of the Pope and violence against reformers. The royal title,'Defender of the faith' which r…

Voting remain for a new European reformation.

Back in March of this year I drafted these brief notes to consider why I intended to vote 'no' to a Brexit. On the eve of the referendum, my view hasn't changed. 

My decision should be defined by a gospel paradigm more than personal preference or political sensibilities. We have a higher governance and a more important consequence than just fears over the economy, sovereignty, trade or migration.
History shows us missionary movements always push outward more readily with open borders. The gospel spread rapidly in the Roman Empire. It was possible to travel freely and relatively safely to modern day Iraq from the north of England. That's certainly not the case today. Neither was multicultural Britain a new phenomenon either. An inscription from the 2nd century at the eastern end of Hadrian's Wall attests to the tender affection between a Syrian and his British wife Regina.
Open borders are always better for the gospel. The spreading flame of the Reformation was fuel…

Animation map of the spread of the gospel.

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As someone who loves church history, missiology, geography and maps, this short animation about the spread of Christianity across the planet ticks all my boxes!

There are obviously some approximations and generalisations that will frustrate the detail pedants. Questions too over the spread eastward and of course the recognition that much of what we call Christianity today may be miles wide but only inches deep. For sure, no serious missiologist or church planter is looking at the final map of Europe and thinking that we've got the job done!

However, as a general overview, this is a hugely encouraging and stirring map which will help people in praying for the continued spread and growth of the gospel across planet earth. The speed and spread into the global south since the Pentecostal revival of 100 years ago should be a stimulus to all of us as we continue to pray and work for breakthrough into the 10/40 window and secular Europe. So also should the rise and fall of regimes and ru…