In 2009 I attended a conference in Birmingham to mark a 100 years since the birth of Lesslie Newbigin. I found it a disappointing experience. The conference engaged with Newbigin as a theologian and thinker but neglected the thrust of his life as a missionary. There was a lot on his views on modernism and… Continue reading ‘The Church and Its Vocation: Lesslie Newbigin’s Missionary Ecclesiology’ by Michael W. Goheen [review]
I have spent most of the last 20 years working for social action organisations founded on a Christian ethos. As they grew they developed services in some of the most complex areas of social care, such as housing high risk offenders, those with chronic addictions and those with acute physical and learning disabilities. Along with… Continue reading How Lesslie Newbigin has helped me bring my faith to work
This week I went to see a Salvation Army Officer who runs a church centre in London. As I walked in, he and a colleague were speaking with three women. As I waited, it became obvious that the women had problems with homelessness and drug addiction and that he knew them well. He and his… Continue reading The Cross: the ultimate place of grace and truth
Vincent Donovan was a Catholic missionary who worked among the Masai tribes-people in Tanzania in the 1960s. He became increasingly concerned about the state of missionary work. After a 100 years of missionary activity in East Africa, the Catholic Church was very busy, running several schools, a major hospital and health outreach over a vast… Continue reading Is the Church just ‘an NGO with a pointy roof’?
"Mission begins with a kind of explosion of joy. The news that the rejected and crucified Jesus is alive is something that cannot possibly be suppressed. It must be told. Who could be silent about such a fact? The mission of the Church in the pages of the New Testament is more like the… Continue reading ‘I am neither an optimist or a pessimist’ – the hope of Easter
Last year I spoke at a weekend away for St Mary's Church in Islington. When I arrived in my room at the conference centre, there was an envelope on my bed with a card welcoming me. And inside the card was a single piece of a jigsaw puzzle. The card asked me to bring the… Continue reading Jesus did not write a book but formed a community
‘Long before and after Jesus, prophets and philosophers have been trying to reconcile the fullest individuality with the most just community. Greatness of servanthood may have been as good an answer as any ever found. The best woman or man was the one who did the most for the community.’ Stewart Burns To The Mountaintop:… Continue reading ‘Everyone can be great, because anyone can serve’