Christianity’s Eccentricity: A Religion without an Ethnic Centre

Eccentric means literally off-centre, and more broadly, unconventional. This is key to the Christian faith. No ethnic group, city, or language lays claim as Christianity’s sacred centre. This is illustrated beautifully in a recent music video sent to me by Danny McCain in Nigeria. … More Christianity’s Eccentricity: A Religion without an Ethnic Centre

Sing A New Song for Cultural Renewal: Hymns that Mention the Economy, Media, and Justice

Why are there so few spiritual songs about life on our planet–about the things that most Christians do with most of their time–tend gardens, buy groceries, engage in business, build homes, create artworks, do scientific experiments? There is an inherent dualism in much of our singing that confines it to “spiritual” matters of prayer, praise, church, and loving and serving our neighbours in generic ways. But Christians are called to be culture makers first–this is the blessing that God gives right off in Genesis 1:28: “Prosper! Reproduce! Fill Earth! Take charge!” (MSG) … More Sing A New Song for Cultural Renewal: Hymns that Mention the Economy, Media, and Justice

The Hillsong Worship Industry: Praise, Performance, and Prosperity

This blog was originally published in the Christian Courier April 23, 2018, but its been getting numerous views on my academia account, and so it appears people continue to seek some discernment when it comes to the powerful influence of this Australian church on global worship. I do believe this music is something to resist and use discriminately, even as I play guitar in worship bands that deeply enjoy it. … More The Hillsong Worship Industry: Praise, Performance, and Prosperity

Beyond the High Wall and Open Door Dichotomy in Muslim Immigration: The Christian Pluralist’s Hospitable Table

Matthew Kaemingk. Christian Hospitality and Muslim Immigration in an Age of Fear. (Eerdmans 2018) Book Review Those familiar with the central slogan of early 20th century Dutch Prime Minister and theologian Abraham Kuyper will hear an echo here: “There is not one ‘square inch’ in the entire public square where Christ’s model of hospitality does … More Beyond the High Wall and Open Door Dichotomy in Muslim Immigration: The Christian Pluralist’s Hospitable Table

Campus Ministry: Deep Roots, Wild Branches

The Flourishing Congregations Institute reported a few years back that the United Church in Canada was closing a church every week. That can’t continue very long. Religious “nones” are the fastest growing religious group in the country–up to 25 percent of Canadians, and even a higher percentage of the younger generation. If churches contribute to … More Campus Ministry: Deep Roots, Wild Branches

A Christian Textbook for Africans, Muslims, Women and Martyrs

Wendy Elgersma Helleman and Musa A. B. Gaiya. Early Christianity: A Textbook for African Students. Langham Press, 2019. Wendy Helleman’s co-authored textbook on early Christianity has been called “significant,” “timely,” “substantive,” “indispensable,” “in-depth,” and “comprehensive.” I would also like to add the words “a redemptive influence” to the mix as this is the centre of our … More A Christian Textbook for Africans, Muslims, Women and Martyrs

The Spirit World in Africa and the West: Contextual Theology for the Church

Esther Acolatse frames the problem well: a hermeneutical gap between the church in the global South and modern West. The African church, with its animist cultural heritage and the influence of divination found in African traditional religions, lives in an enchanted world where the conflicts of angels and demons affect the details of everyday life. … More The Spirit World in Africa and the West: Contextual Theology for the Church

Christianity at Risk: A Chastened Missiology for the Post-Christian West

“Each meeting with a non-Christian partner in dialogue therefore puts my own Christianity at risk.”  -Lesslie Newbigin The Open Secret, p. 182 Dialogue with religious others puts one’s own religious tradition at risk. I’m beginning my blog with this quote because Christians have historically too often encountered people of other faiths expecting the conversion of … More Christianity at Risk: A Chastened Missiology for the Post-Christian West