Classes on the Gospel according to Luke

My short series of classes for a general audience on selected passages from the Gospel according to Luke is now available online. You can watch the videos and download the handouts here. I hope these classes will be of interest and helpful to many people.  

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Guidance for theological students on research

Kibbe From Topic to ThesisIt’s that time of year when life for me and my academic colleagues is dominated by marking essays. Students beginning their theological studies can often feel bemused regarding what they should be doing when it comes to written assignments. To help those in that position, IVP (USA) have just published an excellent little handbook entitled, From Topic to Thesis: A Guide to Theological Research, written by Michael Kibbe of Moody Bible Institute – Spokane. This is a small-format paperback of less than 150 pages that can be read quickly and easily. Kibbe’s writing style is relaxed and reassuring but clear and orderly. Following an introduction in which the basic task is explained and key terms are defined, the book is composed of five main chapters and six appendices. The chapters address the following topics: ‘finding direction’, ‘gathering sources’, ‘understanding issues’, ‘entering discussion’, and ‘establishing position’.

As I read through this book, I found myself thinking to myself, ‘Yes, exactly!’ and ‘That’s what I keep telling my students!’

For example, one of the most challenging tasks for many students is to engage in ‘critical thinking’. Kibbe addresses ‘common research mistakes in interaction’ in an excursus (73-75):

Too much quoting. This is your paper, not a collection of quotes from others. … Excessive quoting will cause trouble in two ways. First it will lead you to believe that something is true simply because a certain prominent scholar says it is true. The value of a secondary source is in its interaction with the primary source, not in the pedigree of its author. Second, it will lead your professor to believe that you did not actually think about the issues at hand. You simply collected some opinions and put them into paragraph form. That is not the impression you want to leave!’

A few pages later (77), Kibbe offers comments on engaging in theological discussion in a paper:

Polite conversation in any setting has certain acceptable norms. One does not enter an already-ongoing conversation and immediately change the subject. One does not repeat verbatim what has already been said, nor does one discount prior statements without giving a reason for doing so. What one says on entering that conversation must be relevant and helpful to that conversation, or one’s place at the table will be called into question.

The same is true for your research paper. In short, … you need to have something to contribute to the discussion.

Kibbe’s book can help a student reach the point where they have something to contribute.

About one third of the book is composed of the appendices, which address various topics. The first is entitled, ‘Ten Things You Should Never Do in a Theological Research Paper’! You will have to read the book to discover what they are, and doubtless a few others might have been identified, but these are well-chosen and should certainly be avoided. Kibbe’s list provides a helpful diagnostic tool that may prevent some unfortunate errors.

I warmly recommend this little book to students (and not only beginning students – sometimes it takes a while for students to catch on to some of the ideas in this book!). Don’t just note this book in passing. Use it!

I would also recommend it to preachers and those who engage in theological writing. With appropriate adjustments made for the different genres of communication, the advice in this book might well bring new sharpness to sermon preparation and articles written for a general Christian readership.

[I am grateful to Inter-varsity Press for providing a copy of this book free of charge.]

Mission Studies and World Christianity Bibliography

This post is intended to encourage readers to develop their knowledge of mission studies and ‘World Christianity’ by providing a bibliography of useful resources. I have published the post at a relatively early stage of development and I will add to it as time allows. Some books may be listed more than once if they are relevant to several different categories. This is by no means an exhaustive bibliography. I have generally listed sources with which I have some familiarity. I have, however, included a few sources that I have not yet used but that are clearly important. I have also restricted the list to works available in English. Given the nature of World Christianity, this must inevitably exclude some works that deserve attention. If readers wish to suggest important titles that are only available in languages other than English, I would be happy to list such works also. Suggestions from readers are very welcome (thesethingsarewritten@gmail.com).

Where to begin (all highly recommended and accessible to any reader)

Escobar, Samuel. A Time for Mission: The Challenge for Global Christianity. Leicester: IVP, 2003.

Goheen, Michael W. Introducing Christian Mission Today. Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 2014.

Moreau, A. Scott, Gary R. Corwin, and Gary B. McGee. Introducing World Missions. Encountering Mission; 2nd edition; Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2015 [2004].

Peskett, Howard and Vinoth Ramachandra. The Message of Mission. Leicester: IVP, 2003.

Wright, Christopher J. H. The Mission of God’s People. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2010.

Where to begin (Digital resources)

The Cape Town Commitment (Lausanne Movement. Available in various languages.)

Encountering Mission (Series)

Moreau, A. Scott, Gary R. Corwin, and Gary B. McGee. Introducing World Missions. Encountering Mission; 2nd edition; Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2015 [2004].

Pocock, Michael, Gailyn van Rheenen, and Douglas McConnell. The Changing Face of World Missions. Encountering Mission; Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2005.

Steffen, Tom. and Lois McKinney Douglas. Encountering Missionary Life and Work. Encountering Mission; Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2008.

Muck, Terry and Frances S. Adeney. Christianity Encountering World Religions. Encountering Mission; Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2009.

Ott, Craig and Stephen J. Strauss, with Timothy Tennent. Encountering Theology of Missions. Encountering Mission; Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2010.

Terry, John Mark and J. D. Payne. Developing a Strategy for Missions: A Biblical, Historical, and Cultural Introduction. Encountering Mission; Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2013.

Moreau, A. Scott, Evvy Hay Campbell, and Susan Greener. Effective Intercultural Communication: A Christian Perspective. Encountering Mission; Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2014.

Terry, John Mark and Gallagher, Robert L. Encountering the History of Missions. Encountering Mission; Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2017.

Moon, W. Jay. Intercultural Discipleship: Learning from Global Approaches to Spiritual Formation. Encountering Mission; Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2017 [FORTHCOMING].

Missiological Engagements  (Series)

Fleet, John G. Apostolicity: The Ecumenical Question in World Christian Perspective. Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 2016.

Sunquist, Scott W. Explorations in Asian Christianity. Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 2017.

Sunquist, Scott W. and Amos Yong  (eds). The Gospel and Pluralism Today: Reassessing Lesslie Newbigin in the 21st Century. Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 2015.

Van Engen, Charles E. The State of Missiology Today: Global Innovations in Christian Witness. Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 2016.

Wrogemann, Henning. Intercultural Hermeneutics. Intercultural Theology , Volume 1; Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 2016.

Bible and Mission

For an extensive bibliography relating to Bible and Mission, see especially the Missional Hermeneutics Bibliography, curated by Michael Goheen and Tim Davy.

Ådna, Jostein and Hans Kvalbein (eds). The Mission of the Early Church to Jews and Gentiles. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2000.

Bauckham, Richard J. Bible and Mission: Christian Witness in a Postmodern World. Carlisle: Paternoster, 2003.

Bolt, Peter, and Mark Thompson (eds). The Gospel to the Nations: Perspectives on Paul’s Mission. Leicester: Apollos, 2000.

Flemming, Dean. Contextualization in the New Testament: Patterns for Theology and Mission. Leicester: Apollos, 2005.

Gallagher, Robert L. and Paul Hertig (eds). Mission in Acts: Ancient Narratives in Contemporary Context. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 2004.

Goheen, Michael W. (ed.). Reading the Bible Missionally. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2016.

Grams, Rollin G., I. Howard Marshall, Peter F. Penner, and Robin Routledge (eds). Bible and Mission. Swartzenfeld: Neufeld Verlag, 2008.

Hays, J. Daniel. From Every People and Nation: A Biblical Theology of Race. New Studies in Biblical Theology; Downers Grove, IL/ Leicester, UK: IVP Academic/ Apollos, 2003.

Larkin, Jr., William J. and Joel F. Williams. Mission in the New Testament: An Evangelical Approach. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 1999.

Schnabel, Eckhard. J. Early Christian Mission. Volume 1: Jesus and the Twelve. Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 2004.

Schnabel, Eckhard. J. Early Christian Mission. Volume 2: Paul and the Early Church. Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 2004.

Schnabel, Eckhard. J. Paul the Missionary: Realities, Strategies and Methods. Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 2008.

Wright, Christopher J. H. The Mission of God. Nottingham: IVP, 2006.

Mission History

Neill, Stephen. A History of Christian Missions. Revised Second Edition; London: Penguin, 1986 [1964].

Shaw, Ian J. Christianity: The Biography. London: IVP, 2016).

Stanley, Brian. Christianity in the Twentieth Century: A World History. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2018. [FORTHCOMING]

Sunquist, Scott W. The Unexpected Christian Century. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2015.

Terry, John Mark and Gallagher, Robert L. Encountering the History of Missions. Encountering Mission; Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2017.

Walls, Andrew F. Crossing Cultural Boundaries: Studies in the History of World Christianity. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 2017.

Walls, Andrew F. The Cross-Cultural Process in Christian History. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 2002.

Walls, Andrew F. The Mission Movement in Christian History: Studies in the Transmission of the Faith. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 1996.

Mission Theology

Bavinck, Johan Herman. An Introduction to the Science of Missions. Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R, 1960.

Bevans, Stephen B. And Roger Schroeder. Constants in Context. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 2004.

Bolt, John, James D. Bratt, and Paul J. Visser (eds). The J. H. Bavinck Reader. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2013.

Bosch, David. Transforming Mission: Paradigm Shifts in Theology of Mission. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 1991.

Conn, Harvie M. Eternal Word and Changing Worlds: Theology, Anthropology, and Mission in Trialogue. Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R, 1984.

Dowsett, Rose (ed.). Global Mission: Reflections and Case Studies in Contextualization for the Whole Church. Pasadena, CA: William Carey Library, 2013.

Gallagher, Robert L. and Paul Hertig (eds). Contemporary Mission Theology: Engaging the Nations. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 2017.

Hill, Graham. GlobalChurch: Reshaping Our Conversations, Renewing Our Mission, Revitalizing Our Churches. Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 2016.

Kwiyani, Harvey C. Sent Forth: African Missionary Work in the West. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 2014.

Maggay, Melba Padilla. Global Kingdom, Global People: Living Faithfully in a Multicultural World. Carlisle: Langham Global Library, 2017.

Newbigin, Lesslie. The Gospel in a Pluralist Society. London: SPCK, 1989.

Newbigin, Lesslie. The Open Secret.  Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1978.

Ott, Craig and Harold A. Netland (eds). Globalizing Theology: Belief and Practice in an Era of World Christianity. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2006.

Ott, Craig (ed). The Mission of the Church: Five Views in Conversation. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2016.

Saayman, Willem. and Klippies Kritzinger (eds). Mission in Bold Humility.  Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 1996.

Sanneh, Lamin. Translating the Message. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 2009 [1989].

Sexton, Jason (ed.). Four Views on the Church’s Mission. Counterpoints: Bible and Theology; Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2017.

Sexton, Jason and Paul Weston. The End of Theology: Shaping Theology for the Sake of Mission. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress, 2016.

Stinton, Diane B. (ed). African Theology on the Way: Current Conversations. London: SPCK, 2010.

Stroope, Michael W. Transcending Mission: The Eclipse Of A Modern Tradition. Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 2017.

Sunquist, Scott W. Understanding Christian Mission: Participation in Suffering and Glory. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2013.

Tennent, Timothy, Invitation to World Missions: A Trinitarian Missiology for the Twenty-first Century. Invitation to Theological Studies Series; Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Academic, 2010.

Van Engen, Charles. Transforming Mission Theology. Pasadena, CA: William Carey Library, 2017.

Van Engen, Charles, Dean S. Gilliland, and Paul Pierson. The Good News of the Kingdom: Mission Theology for the Third Millennium. Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock 1999 [Orbis, 1993].

Walls, Andrew F. and Cathy Ross (eds). Mission in the 21st Century: Exploring the Five Marks of Mission. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 2008.

Theology of Religion

Cotterell, Peter. Mission and Meaninglessness: The Good News in a World of Suffering and Disorder. London: SPCK, 1990.

Glaser, Ida. The Bible and Other Faiths: What Does the Lord Require of Us? Carlisle: Langham Global Library, 2004.

Glaser, Ida, with Hannah Kay. Thinking Biblically About Islam: Genesis, Transfiguration, Transformation. Carlisle: Langham Global Library, 2016.

Muck, Terry and Frances S. Adeney. Christianity Encountering World Religions. Encountering Mission; Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2009.

Netland, Harold A. Christianity and Religious Diversity: Clarifying Christian Commitments in a Globalizing Age.  Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2015.
Netland, Harold A. Dissonant Voices: Religious Pluralism and the Question of Truth. Leicester: Apollos, 1991.

Strange, Daniel. ‘For Their Rock Is Not As Our Rock’: An Evangelical Theology of Religions. Nottingham: Apollos, 2014.

Church Planting

Paas, Stefan. Church Planting in the Secular West. GOCS; Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2016.

Stetzer, Ed. and Daniel Im. Planting Missional Churches. Second Edition. Nashville, TN: B&H Academic, 2016.

World Christianity

Adeney, Miriam. Kingdom Without Borders: The Untold Story of Global Christianity. Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 2009.

Bediako, Kwame. Christianity in Africa: The Renewal of a Non-Western Religion. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 1995.

Burrows, William R., Mark R. Gornick, and Janice A. McLean. Understanding World Christianity: The Vision and Work of Andrew F. Walls. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 2011.

Greenman, Jeffrey P. and Gene L. Green. Global Theology in Evangelical Perspective: Exploring the Contextual Nature of Theology and Mission. Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 2012.

Hill, Graham. GlobalChurch: Reshaping Our Conversations, Renewing Our Mission, Revitalizing Our Churches. Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 2016.

Jenkins, Philip. The Next Christendom. Third Edition; Oxford: OUP, 2011.

Johnson, Todd M., Rodney L. Peterson, Gina A. Bellofatto, and Travis L. Myers (eds). The Changing Contours of World Mission and Christianity. Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock Publishers, 2011.

Johnson, Todd M. and Cindy M. Wu. Our Global Families. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2015.

Kim, Sebastian and Kirsteen Kim. Christianity as a World Religion: An Introduction. Second edition; London: Bloomsbury, 2016.

Rah, Soong-Chan. The Next Evangelicalism: Freeing the Church from Western Cultural CaptivityDowners Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 2009.

Sanneh, Lamin. Summoned from the Margins: Homecoming of an African. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2012.

Sanneh, Lamin and Joel A. Carpenter. The Changing Face of Christianity: Africa, the West, and the World. Oxford: OUP, 2005.

Sanneh, Lamin and Michael J. McClymond. The Wiley Blackwell Companion to World Christianity. Oxford: Wiley Blackwell, 2016.

Walls, Andrew F. Crossing Cultural Boundaries: Studies in the History of World Christianity. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 2017.

Winter, Ralph D. and Steven C. Hawthorne. Perspectives on the World Christian Movement. Fourth Edition; Pasadena, CA: William Carey Library, 2009.

Anthropology

Kraft, Charles H. Anthropology for Christian Witness. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 1996.

Kraft, Charles H. Christianity in Culture. 25th Anniversary Edition; Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 2005 [1979].

Member Care

Hay, Rob,  et alWorth Keeping: Global Perspectives on Best Practice in Missionary Retention. Pasadena, CA: William Carey Library, 2007. [Available on WEA web site: Worth Keeping]

O’Donnell, Kelly. Global Member Care. Volume 1: The Pearls and Perils of Good Practice. Pasadena, CA: William Carey Library, 2011.

O’Donnell, Kelly and Michèle L. O’Donnell. Global Member Care. Volume 2: Crossing Sectors for Serving Humanity. Pasadena, CA: William Carey Library, 2013.

Partnership/ Finance/ Poverty Relief

Corbett, Steve and Brian Fikkert. When Helping Hurts: How to Alleviate Poverty Without Hurting the Poor … and Yourself. Chicago, IL: Moody, 2012 [2009].

Johnson, Andy. Missions: How the Local Church Goes Global. Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2017.

Digital Resources

World Evangelical Alliance Resources

Regnum Edinburgh 2010 Series (Digital versions of many volumes may be downloaded free of charge.)

Lists on other blogs or web sites

Several people have responded to my post with further suggestions on their own blogs or have pointed to lists on their web sites. Rather than add many items to my own list (a number of which I have not used personally), I am providing links to these lists here. I am sure that there are more such lists and I may add others in due course.

Eddie Arthur’s Suggestions

Justin Long’s List

Mark Pickett’s Suggestions

 

Peter Gentry on the Biblical Languages

Peter Gentry on the importance of the biblical languages, even for those who have to work really hard to learn languages.

LXX Studies

PGentryThe following article is reproduced from The Gospel Witness 65.6 (1986): 22 (102) with permission. The Gospel Witness is a publication of Jarvis St. Baptist Church in Toronto, Ontario that would devote one issue per year to Toronto Baptist Seminary. Dr. Peter Gentry taught the biblical languages faithfully at Toronto Baptist Seminary from 1984–1999 and 2008–2017, and he still teaches at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY. Enjoy!

GREEK AND HEBREW—WHY BOTHER?

By Professor Peter Gentry

During the past fifteen to twenty years many Bible colleges and seminaries have reshaped their curricula and programmes, cutting content-oriented requirements like Biblical languages, church history, exegesis of the original text and systematic theology in favour of method-oriented requirements such as Christian education, counselling skills and psychology. Certainly a balance between content and method must be maintained, but the present trend tends toward highly skilled communicators and counsellors with nothing to say.

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Kwame Bediako on the impact of the Enlightenment on theology

Walls Understanding World ChristianityDiscussing the impact of the Enlightenment on ‘Western theology’, Ghanaian theologian Kwame Bediako writes,

‘By its exaltation of reason over against revelation, of the autonomous individual self over against community and collective consciousness, of the present and so-called modernity over against the past and tradition, the Enlightenment turned much of European traditional thought, informed by Christian teaching and practice, upside down. The Western Christian theology that emerged from the bruising struggle was Enlightenment theology shaved down to fit the Enlightenment world-view.

But it is with the southward shift in Christianity’s center of gravity that the profound undermining of the Christian faith by the Enlightenment can now be seen, and perhaps one should agree with Andrew Walls that “part of the strength of Christianity in the South today is the fact that it is independent of the Enlightenment.” There is so much that happens in Christian life and thought, particularly where the Transcendent impinges upon everyday human existence, that the Enlightenment maginalized, discounted, or simply ignored in earlier Western Christian experience. We can understand how Andrew Walls, writing about Africa, comes to suggest that, as a consequence, “Western theology is not big enough for Africa.” It may not be big enough for the church in the North either.’

Kwame Bediako, ‘The Emergence of World Christianity and the Remaking of Theology’, in William R. Burrows, Mark R. Gornik, and Janice A. MacLean (eds), Understanding World Christianity (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 2009), 253-54.

Bediako’s words offer a provocative challenge to every reader: To what extent has my theology been shaped by Enlightenment thinking? Is my theology ‘big enough’?

Logos Free Book of the Month, October 2017

If you use Logos software, you should consider getting the Free Book of the Month for October. This month, Logos are offering Joseph Fitzmyer’s commentary on Romans in the Anchor Yale Bible Commentary free of charge. If you wish to pay a few dollars more, you can have volumes on Habakkuk and Galatians from the same series too. These are detailed technical commentaries written from a variety of theological perspectives. If you don’t already have the Logos Basic software so that you can read these books, you can download it completely free here.