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Showing posts from March, 2009

Do We Really Need Theology and Doctrine?

As one involved in the training of 100s of people for ministry, this is more than just an academic issue. It cuts to the heart of what we believe and why we believe it. This question might seem a bit odd, even heretical, but consider the following quotes:

Culture warrior Bill Muehlenberg sent an email dated 19 March 2009 with the subject line ‘Time to Fight Truth Decay.’ Near the end he makes this comment:

 ‘Finally, for those of you into theology (OK, I know: I have just lost 98% of you!).’

 The principal of an Australian Bible college once made the comment, ‘We don’t use the word “doctrine” in our school.’

On the back cover of the book, ‘Who Needs Theology’ by Grenze and Olson, it says:

 To many Christians today theology means something alien, overly intellectual and unappealing. Even seminarians are known to balk at it.

Why is there such an allergic reaction to the words ‘theology’ and ‘doctrine,’ even in Bible schools and seminaries? A second question, which will not be covered, is: …

Is Judgement on the Way?

David Wilkerson has issued an urgent message called ‘An Earth-Shattering Calamity is about to happen.’ It apparently will be so universal and cataclysmic that ‘we are all going to tremble—even the godliest among us.’ You can read it for yourself at: http://www.worldchallenge.org/coverletter/an_urgent_message

This message comes on the heels of the horrendous Black Saturday 2009 bushfires in the Australian state of Victoria, near Melbourne, described as the ‘greatest natural disaster in Australia’s history.’ With Victorians bruised, battered, bleeding and burnt, just the mere suggestion that there was a link between the bushfires and the ‘judgment of God’ created a firestorm in itself.

Since the global economic meltdown began in earnest, if not before, talk of judgment has been in the air. When times are good, such apocalyptic voices are rare. Whenever a milestone is reached or a calamity hits, these voices rise again. Y2K and September 11th are two examples.

What do we make of the above? …

A Pearl in Troubled Waters

On my desk was a paid ticket to Colombo, Sri Lanka. In front of me on the computer screen was an Australian government travel advisory. It recommended that Australian citizens reconsider any travel plans to visit Sri Lanka. Strife in the north and east, abductions, a vulnerable international airport, and general instability, were the reasons cited. What is a man to do? Wait on the Lord!

The Holy Spirit said that He had set before me an open door; go in faith (II Corinthians 5:7)! I am very glad I did! My recent visit to Sri Lanka (7th to 14th October) was my fifth, and what a joy it was. Of the five, four have occurred within a two years period. My first visit as in 1980. It was my first ministry trip and I made it with my new wife. We were delegates at Impetus ’80 in Colombo, a conference for the third world church. The convener was Colton Wickramaratne, pastor of the People’s Church and Superintendent of the Assemblies of God in Ceylon. Impetus ’80 became the launch of our public min…

Great North Asia Adventure:

China, Russia, Mongolia, Hong Kong


This ministry is called to global outreach; so travel is nothing new. But going to a new, far away, and remote region does not happen everyday. It did in September. Call it the ‘Great North Asia Adventure.’

Genesis of An Adventure: The adventure began back in February 2007 during a two week intensive that I taught at the Asia Pacific Theological Seminary in Baguio, Philippines, a Pentecostal school that trains Christian leaders from across the continent and the isles of the Pacific. My subject was New Testament History and my 9 students were in the MA program. Most were Filipinos but one that caught my attention was Bayaraa (born 1978) from Mongolia. This soft-spoken young man had a sharp intellect and outstanding command of the English language, as does his wife Enkhee. Mongolians are hospitable people and Bayaraa and Enkhee were no exception. During a meal in their home it became clear that I was to be invited to teach in Mongolia. This was the fifth…

Why Africa Matters

When a westerner thinks of Africa, what comes to mind: jungles full of lions and tigers (sorry—they are in India); a single country whose President is Nelson Mandela (Africa consists of 54 countries and Mandela is the former President of one of those countries, the Republic of South Africa); a populous and impoverished continent riddled with AIDS and the dreaded Ebola virus. What westerners do not yet understand is that this large and little understood continent is very rich--in massive mineral resources like gold, diamonds, cooper, silver, and timber. Yet without question Africa's greatest resource is not in its natural resources or people, but in the church of the Living God.

Africa is a growth area for the church and it can best be described in four waves.

First Wave: In the early centuries of the Church, the only parts of Africa to be affected by the Gospel was North Africa. St. Mark, who wrote the Gospel that bears his name, was considered the great apostle to Africa, being ba…

Australian Aboriginal Outreach

Australian Aboriginal Outreach
Halls Creek, Western Australia

A Missions Trip Unlike Any Other!

‘Go into all the world’ is a command that has become second nature to Dr. Kameel Majdali, Director of Teach All Nations Inc. Sixty plus countries on five continents proves it. Yet nothing would compare to the trip he made to the great Australian outback to be the guest speaking at the annual Australian Aboriginal Outreach (AA0) in Halls Creek, Western Australia (a mere 3,000 kilometers N.W. from the state capital, Perth, and 1,200 kilometers S.W. from Darwin, Northern Territories. All other towns are a minimum 300 kilometers away!

This annual gathering would host delegates from all over Australia who would need to travel long distances, often for days. His host, Max Wiltshire, would do teaching sessions on Effective Aboriginal Ministry (EAM) while he was asked to speak on ‘End Times’ and how they dove-tail with current world events.

By every measure, Max Wiltshire is a remarkable. A ‘bear-sized’…