Friday, April 27, 2007

Simply Lewis

Haven't read this yet, but want to... So I'll share it first, trusting my instinct that it will be valuable.

Lewis has, of course, been a profound influence on evangelism and apologetics for the last 60 years. NT Wright speaks with profound influence today. So this should be good.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Outreach Resource Awards

Outreach Magazine's latest edition features their annual "awards" for Outreach resources.

Lots of resources highlighted there. Good place to see the latest available.

In the area of personal evangelism, Hybels & Wiersma's Just Walk Across the Room received top honors. It is, of course, a fully developed package (book, training, audio, dvd, etc.). Well done and very useful.

Two friends' books received finalist status - Rick Richardson's ReImaging Evangelism, a book I used in the two classes I taught this term; Randy Newman's Corner Conversations. I haven't read Randy's latest yet, but used his previous book, Questioning Evangelism, in one of the courses on conversational evangelism & apologetics. Great job, men!

Campus Evangelism - Decisions Rising

Here's a quick update on "reported decisions for Christ" from the local campus ministries of Campus Crusade for Christ.

The numbers are up 75% for the first three-quarters of this school year.

There could be many factors influencing this, all of which would suggest encouraging progress. But it will be a little while till someone has the time to get to the bottom of what is leading to this significant increase -- the first such increase in many years!

Impact - Growing Ministry among African-American Students

Just read this on an Impact anouncement. Encouraging progress...

Impact now has 60 fully certified campus chapters and a presence on over 100 campuses. Student involvement has grown over the last two years from more than 1200 students to over 2100 at the present time.

God's hand is upon those who labor and serve to build the body of Christ among African-American students! Congratulations and commendations are in order!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Campus Crusade for Christ & VA Tech Shootings

Here is a summary about how CCC was touched by the VA Tech shootings:

Notes from our VA Tech staff and related resources:

Call for Prayer for VA Tech

This is an excerpt from CCC's National Campus Director...

The staff at Virginia Tech have asked us to specifically pray for the following things:

1. The families of the students who were killed
2. The students who were injured and still in the hospital
3. 4 students that were involved with Campus Crusade were killed. Please pray for their families and friends.
4. Survivors of the shootings who witnessed the horrors of that day. Pray for God¹s grace and comfort
5. Pray for wisdom for the CCC Staff and other campus ministers and pastors as they seek to counsel and love the hurting students

I have so appreciated hearing from each of you. We've also created another way for you to express your love and commitment to pray through messages. We believe that more people than we can even imagine will join with us on Thursday as this opportunity is made available through Facebook. We've created a Facebook group called "Call to Prayer Thursday!" Probably several of you have already received an invitation to join this group.

If you have not yet joined the "Call to Prayer Thursday!" group and God is leading you to join us in praying, please click this
link: to join the group.

If you've not yet joined Facebook, you will need to fill out a very brief form to join Facebook. Once you've completed their process, just do a search for "Call to Prayer Thursday!" and join the group. You can also go to and visit the Call to Prayer page to read messages from around the world.

Creation's Witness

Ask students what image they would choose to represent their view of God. That is one of the interview questions with Soularium, the "dialogue in images" utilizing 50 different photographs. Most commonly chosen are two of the nature scenes -- either a majestic mountain scene or a beach sunset shot.

Ever wonder why people feel close to God when enjoying creation? Psalm 19:1 says, "The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork." Hmm... Perhaps its because people really do hear the voice of God through creation. They should.

Augustine said,
“Some people, in order to discover God, read books. But there is a great book: the very appearance of created things. Look above you! Look below you! Read it. God, whom you want to discover, never wrote that book with ink. Instead, He set before your eyes the things that He had made. Can you ask for a louder voice than that?”
Luther wrote,
“God writes the Gospel, not in the Bible alone, but also on trees, and in the flowers and clouds and stars.”
Calvin penned,
“The creation is quite like a spacious and splendid house, provided and filled with the most exquisite and the most abundant furnishings. Everything in it tells us of God.”

What a powerful witness to call to the stand as we engage in spiritual conversations today!

More quotes at:

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Conversational Evangelism

Dave Geisler, founder of Meekness & Truth Ministries, recently sent me a link to his Conversational Evangelism training. Why don't you take a few minutes, check it out, and let us know what you think (with a comment on this post)?


His website has other resources, as well.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Is Atheism Alive and Well?

USA Today has a fascinating response to latest outpouring of books on atheism in a column by Don Feder.

Feder invites the writings of the atheist perspective, as “the great enemy of belief isn’t disbelief but indifference.” His column broad strokes 200 years of attempts at declaring religion and faith obsolete, including efforts to eradicate it within the communist nations. He muses what the world would look like with God.

He raises interesting questions. Would morality be possible without God? Would society become ego-centric without faith? While evil has been done in the name of religion, has more been done in our modern era through deeds perpetrated under the influence of godless political creeds? His final thoughts reflect on “God’s footprints” left through the Jewish influence on western culture and America’s unique rise to pre-eminence, a greatness that some ascribe to the influence of people of faith.

So what do you think? Is atheism on the rise? Or is it just becoming more vocal? Curious, how many true atheists do you know?

Monday, April 9, 2007

Further Reflections on Darwin's faith (or lack thereof)

Last week, I published a quick post after stumbling on a mission's reference to Darwin's influence. ( I revised the post after a comment from an anonymous friend shed more light on the matter by steering me to a brief account of Darwin’s spiritual journey at: Hmm… Fascinating.

But I left the posting up as it is a good reminder (and a bit humbling one, at that) of how easy it is for us to commit a logical fallacy – in this case, a “hasty generalization,” also known as the “fallacy of a lonely fact” or jumping to conclusion. Reminds me of James’ words, “we all stumble in many ways, and if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man…” (James 3:2.) I know that James didn’t have logic in mind here. He was concerned with more grievous verbal faults (such as, cursing fellow humans.) But I suspect our failings show up in our logic, as well.

But also, this is a curious look at human nature. If, in fact, Darwin remained a life-long supporter of this mission (as claimed) and yet rejected the Christian faith (as chronicled), one must ponder why. Contradictory behavior can be found in lives of both the believing and unbelieving. We are a broken people.

But perhaps the most (personally) profound – I just happen to be at Colossians 1:23 in my personal Bible meditation this morning. Very applicable. “…if indeed you continue in the faith.” To continue implies that one hasn’t left (in the past), won’t leave (in the future) and thus is currently there (in the present.) “stable” that is, not wavering, resistant to change or deterioration. “steadfast” or firmly fixed in a place or position, in this case, “in the faith.” “…not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation…” Comparing the saving faith that Paul describes with the spiritual journey of Darwin (as chronicled on the above site), is sobering, to say the least.

Okay, now I am back to where I was before last week’s post – I am not interested in being “Darwinian,” even in my missiology. But I do wonder, how much common ground (if any) would we have had at the end of his life?

Friday, April 6, 2007

Exploring the World of Missions

If you have an interest in the global view of world missions (as I do), take 10-15 minutes and explore the current picture... well, not picture, but maps (and I do mean the plural, maps!)

The objective of WorldMap is: To create maps of languages and people groups for each country of the world while linking appropriate missions related data.

Fascinating Discussion of Communities for Lost Students

Here is a fascinating discussion regarding the creation of communities for lost students on campuses. The comments take the matter below the surface, teasing out critical issues for ministry philosophy.

Good job for stimulating the conversation, Gilbert!

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Revised: Darwin: A Big Supporter of Missionary Work - Nah...

My original post is below. But, oh the glories of the web, I was soon guided to a fuller understanding, thanks to the comment (below) of an anonymous friend. Darwins faith journey (or journey to "unfaith") is more chronicled at: Thanks. Sorry for posting my discovery without further investigation. Another good lesson in humility.

Okay, I didn't know this. (At least, until a moment ago.) I guess its because I have never felt compelled to read a biography of Charles Darwin. (I have thought about doing it. Just never got there.) Or maybe its because I am a bit limited in my knowledge of Anglican missions.

But did you know that Charles Darwin not only supported (throughout his lifetime), but helped start a missionary soceity? Here it is...

The South American Missionary Society has been in existence for over 150 years, starting in England during the travels of such explorers as Charles Darwin and Allen Gardiner. Darwin was so shocked at the living conditions of the people he found living in South America that he said “It is hardly believable that they are fellow creatures and inhabitants of the same world”. The explorers returned to England and appealed to the people to help; thus SAMS was born. Darwin became a life long supporter of SAMS when on a later visit he saw the transformation the society had made.

I wonder how popularizers of 21st century "Darwinism" feel about such an association? Maybe I do want to read that biography after all. Who knows, maybe I am more of a 19th century Darwinian than I knew--at least in missiology.

The Gospel of Prothero

Here is an interesting article in Newsweek on current cultural/religious realities in the US.

Americans are ignorant of religion. They are very spiritually oriented, but religiously ignorant.

The review states:

In spite of the fact that more than 90 percent of Americans say they believe in
God, only a tiny portion of them knows a thing about religion.

Those of us engaged with the spiritual journeys of ordinary people, are not surprised by this, of course. But it is intriguing to read a scholar's take on it, especially one whose own spiritual journey is revealed in the article. Prothero is, BTW, a Boston University professor.

This is worth five minutes to read… ten more to reflect. Maybe thirty more to have a discussion with co-laborers in the harvest.