Missiology, Miscellaneous

August 29, 2011 § Leave a comment

Please Be Careful . . . Jesus came to seek and to save those who are lost, and He commanded them to repent and believe the Good News. The Bible does not consider only blatant Satan worshipers to be lost; it also condemns those who are sincerely following the false gods of other religious systems and those moral, religious people who trust in their own righteousness.

 

Mission and Anthropology There are three things that I’d like to highlight from this post; the need for a biblically informed missiology, the issue of people groups and the problem of eschatology. These are all issues that have been raised more than once here at Kouya Chronicle, though, perhaps not as ably as at Missions Misunderstood.

 

Developing Missional Churches for the Great Commission, Part Seven: Go Where God Sends It is essential for us to go on mission where God has sent us because we are called to a people not a methodology. To be effective we must be passionately in love with the unique people to whom we are called.

 

Musings on the Manifesto, Part 7: Disciple-Making We believe that discipling of the nations is the essential aspect of the mission of God (Matthew 28:18-20). The gospel calls people to respond in faith and repentance to the good news of the Kingdom in and by the gospel’s power. The maturing of believers is inherent to the work of the church ushering those who place faith in Jesus from spiritual infancy to spiritual maturity (Colossians 1:28)

 

A Review of Reaching and Teaching, by M. David Sills Reaching and Teaching is a missiological bombshell. However, it is not written with a view or tone meant to inflict damage on anyone. It is, rather, a gentle and irenic corrective to certain trends and ways of thinking that have caused much missionary strategy and effort to get out of whack in recent years.

 

Thinking Through Missiology Together Pt. 3 Most of the readers indicated that they believe there is a connection between word ministry and deed ministry in the mission God have to the church. Justin Peter, I do not think that making proclamation central necessarily excludes good works and social action from being constituted as mission.

 

Monday is for Missiology: Women, Missions, and Missiologists From what I can tell, the majority of missionaries and those who actively support them are women. Historically, women are always listed in the hall of great missionaries. Every mission board I know says most of its missionaries are women, yet I see less writing and teaching on the unique role and situation that women have faced in the mission endeavor.

Faith at Work, Miscellaneous, June 2011

August 28, 2011 § Leave a comment

All Moral Knowledge and Business Skill Are From God: Jonathan Edwards, in A Divine and Supernatural Light Immediately Imparted to the Soul: All Moral Knowledge and business Skill from God God is the author of all knowledge and understanding whatsoever. He is the author of the knowledge that is obtained by human learning: he is the author of all moral prudence, and of the knowledge and skill that men have in their secular business. Thus it is said of all in Israel that were wise-hearted, and skilled in embroidering, that God had filled them with the spirit of wisdom, Exodus 28:3.

I Row, God Steers” | First Things: At 18 he applied to be a member of the Swiss Guard, the elite group charged since the sixteenth century with the duty of protecting the pope. Anyone who has been to the Vatican knows their colorful striped uniforms and distinctive headgear. Andreas was accepted by the Guard and moved to Rome at age 20.

Is it Biblical to Choose a Job You Love? An Example Yesterday: I argued from the principles in 1 Corinthians 7:39-40 that our own happiness is a legitimate consideration in making major life decisions. This is how Paul sees the choice to marry, and it seems that the same principle carries through to other areas of freedom, such as what job to choose.

12 Ways to Glorify God at Work – Desiring God: Mark Twain once said, “Work is a necessary evil to be avoided.” Although there may be days when we feel like he got it right, we know God has ordained work as a stewardship of his created world (Genesis 1:28; 2:15). He has designed work for his glory and our good. But how might we glorify God at work? This list is not exhaustive, but here’s at least 12 ways —

God Moves Through the Marketplace: One thing I’ve always found intriguing is that as you study church history, as far back as the book of Acts, merchants and soldiers carried the gospel around the world faster and more effectively than the apostles could.

Vocation: Discerning Your Calling: As Christians we are stewards of the resources God gives us for serving the human community. Our vocations are one avenue for doing God’s work in the world.

Sacred-Secular, Miscellaneous, July 2011 (2/2)

August 26, 2011 § Leave a comment

Freedom of Religion Has to Be Freedom for Everyone As the views of evangelicals become increasingly distasteful to many in prevailing culture, some may use these same arguments when they ban your building. How you treat our Muslim minority may very well point to how the majority culture will treat Christians one day.

Scripps: Religion: U.S. evangelicals see secularism as a threat In fact, 92 percent of evangelical leaders from the United States who took part in a new Pew Forum survey said they are convinced that secularism is a “major threat” to the health of evangelical Christianity in their land, a threat even greater than materialism, consumerism and the rising tide of sex and violence in popular culture.

Secular Extremism, Evangelicals, and Rick Perry’s “Response” Perry’s announcement of the meeting was followed by the predictable news that secularists at the Freedom from Religion Foundation have sued him, trying to have a federal court forbid the rally as a violation of the First Amendment’s ban on an establishment of religion.

Ed Stetzer – Nomadic Churches in USAToday Churches without buildings are in the news– on the front page of USA Today, no less. There are obviously some legal issues here. I am not a lawyer and have never played one on television, but I think the problem with the NYC school ruling is that it is discriminating on the basis of the “content of the speech.” In other words, they rent to other groups, but want to ban churches because churches talk about God.

Week 1 – religious communities of practice at different scales Through Putnam’s eyes, we looked at one meeting on one morning of one of a Saddleback Church’s morning prayer breakfasts. Over oatmeal, omelets, and French toast 10 professionals enlist each other’s help in prayer and offer support and sympathy in dealing with everything from the challenge of a new client to grief over recent bereavement. Caren Levine sums it up: I am particularly struck by the intimacy of the group, the lay facilitation and distributed leadership, and how they create sacred space together in a public venue which in itself seems to communicate that sacred community can be found anywhere.

Christian festivals: A broader church AT LEAST 25 Christian music festivals are held each summer in America, but they have never catered for theological liberals. Until this year, that is, when the Wild Goose Festival—named after a Celtic symbol for the Holy Spirit—kicked off on June 23rd on 72 wooded acres in eastern North Carolina, not so far from the intellectual hub of Raleigh-Durham.

Sacred-Secular, Miscellaneous, July 2011 (1/2)

August 25, 2011 § Leave a comment

Ever Hear of the First Amendment? An Argument to Watch Monday’s edition of USA Today included an opinion column by a Muslim woman that argued–quite straightforwardly–that the United States government should force a nondiscrimination policy on gender in all places of worship. Asra Q. Nomani, a former reporter for The Wall Street Journal, argues that the Internal Revenue Service should move to deny tax-exempt status to any place of worship that holds to different roles for men and women.

 

Anti-Bias Rules Upheld A federal appeals court on Tuesday ruled that San Diego State University had the right to enforce anti-bias rules when deciding whether to recognize religious student groups. At the same time, the court found that there may be evidence that the university applied those rules inconsistently, which would be unconstitutional

 

The State v. Religious Freedom The ACLU has filed suit against a Vermont inn over the decision of its Catholic proprietors not to host a lesbian wedding. The suit is filed under Vermont’s Fair Housing and Public Accommodations Act, which predated the state legislature’s approval of same-sex marriage in 2009.

 

News: Church, State and a University Hospital A proposal to merge the University of Louisville’s teaching hospital with a Roman Catholic health system — which would prohibit the hospital from providing sterilizations, abortions and other procedures that go against Catholic beliefs — has provoked an uproar in Kentucky, where residents and lawmakers are questioning the role of religiously affiliated health providers in public medical education and health care.

 

Modernizing Secular Addiction Recovery Men and women of all ethnic backgrounds and religious or nonreligious affiliations suffer from debilitating addictions, which have detrimental effects on millions of lives. Addiction recovery treatments shouldn’t discriminate either, but Alcoholics Anonymous does. AA’s Toronto administration recently removed two of its affiliate groups in the area for not holding to its religious standards, which include a belief in God, as stated in the organization’s “Twelve Steps” to recovery.

 

Islam’s philosophical divide: Dreaming of a caliphate Of the 50-plus countries where Muslims are in the majority, only two (Indonesia and Mali) enjoy political liberty as defined by Freedom House, a New York-based monitor of human rights and democracy.

 

A tale of two flotillas Due to severe restrictions on Islamist political parties throughout most of Turkey’s history, charitable foundations and organizations have taken on a particularly important role in developing and defining Islamic politics in a country that is constitutionally secular, but, at least nominally, 99.9 percent Muslim.

Social Entrepreneurship, Miscellaneous

August 21, 2011 § Leave a comment

Social entrepreneurship: Taking stock and looking ahead This essay sets out to take stock of existing endeavors to conceptualize Social Entrepreneurship. We illustrate the context-specific nature of the phenomenon and derive implications for fostering social entrepreneurship as a positive force for social and economic development. The paper has two main objectives: first, to stimulate a productive agenda for future research that goes beyond questions of ‘who’ and ‘what’ by pursuing the important considerations of ‘where’, ‘why’ and ‘how’; and second, in so doing, to generate real insights for advances in both theory and practice.

Social Entrepreneurship: The Role of Institutions A relatively small segment of business, known as social entrepreneurship (SE), is increasingly being acknowledged as an effective source of solutions for a variety of social problems. Because society tends to view ‘‘new’’ solutions as ‘‘the’’ solution, we are concerned that SE will soon be expected to provide answers to our most pressing social ills. In this paper we call into question the ability of SE, by itself, to provide solutions on a scope necessary to address large-scale social issues.

Bornstein, D.: 2004, How to Change the World (Oxford University Press, New York). What business entrepreneurs are to the economy, social entrepreneurs are to social change. They are, writes David Bornstein, the driven, creative individuals who question the status quo, exploit new opportunities, refuse to give up–and remake the world for the better. How to Change the World tells the fascinating stories of these remarkable individuals–many in the United States, others in countries from Brazil to Hungary–providing an In Search of Excellence for the nonprofit sector.

How A 21-Year-Old Design Student’s Sleeping-Bag Coat Could Break The Cycle Of Homelessness As a design student in Detroit, Veronika Scott was keenly aware of the increasing numbers of homeless people suffering deeply during the relentless winters. At the tender age of 21, she created The Detroit Empowerment Plan not to solve homelessness, but to provide much-needed warmth to the city’s 20,000 street dwellers.

The World’s Cheapest Lightbulb Is Made Of Just A Plastic Bottle In places where there is no grid, houses can be dark. But a simple solution–a plastic bottle stuck in the roof–can light up a room. The simple technology can be installed in less than an hour, lasts for five years, and is equivalent to a 60-watt bulb. It works simply: The water defracts the light, letting it spread throughout the house instead of focusing on one point. The bleach keeps the water clear and microbe-free.

For Benevolence and for Self-Interest: Social and Commercial Entrepreneurial Activity across Nations We conceptualise social entrepreneurship as a source of social capital which, when present in the environment, enhances commercial entrepreneurship. We also argue that social entrepreneurship should be recognised as a second form of Baumol’s (1990) productive entrepreneurship and that it will therefore compete at the individual level for resources with commercial entrepreneurship. Unlike institutional void theory, we see social entrepreneurship as conditional on institutional quality, but consistent with the institutional void perspective we see it as filling the gaps where government activism is lower.

Social Entrepreneurs 2011: How a Business Can Change the World It used to be that if you wanted to make a difference, you joined a nonprofit. And if you wanted to make money, you launched a business. These days, it’s not so simple. More nonprofits are being run like fast-growth start-ups. And more traditional companies are being built around social missions.

How to Become a Social Entrepreneur Many of us feel the need to serve a greater good in life, but turning a passion into a successful nonprofit takes serious business acumen.

Harvard Prof Highlights Booming Enterprises in War-Torn Pakistan Pakistan may be war-torn, but that hasn’t stopped a dynamic entrepreneurial culture from taking shape, as evidenced by a recognition made this week by Harvard Professor Michael Porter’s AllWorld Network of the country’s Fast Growth 25 winners.

Strategic Niche Management of Social Innovations: the Case of Social Entrepreneurship Strategic niche management (SNM), a tool to understand and manage radical socio-technical innovations and facilitate their diffusion, has always departed from a technical artefact. Many radical innovations, however, do not revolve around such an artefact. Social entrepreneurship is a new business model that combines a social goal with a business mentality and is heralded as an important new way to create social value such as sustainability.

How China’s Entrepreneurs Are Helping It Win The Washington, D.C.–based venture capitalist produced a provocative documentary, 2 Million Minutes, which tracked six students—two each in the U.S., India, and China—during their senior year of high school. It showed the Indian and Chinese students slogging to learn mathematics and science, and the Americans partying and playing video games

Sociology of Religion, Miscellaneous (3/3)

August 17, 2011 § Leave a comment

Contending Modernities Based on the premise that Catholic, Muslim, and secular modernities each bring distinctive resources to the task of illuminating and resolving an array of characteristically modern problems, the project will examine the dynamic co-existence and competition of these “multiple modernities”—as well as the conflicts and contentions among them—with the aim of opening “new paths for constructive engagement between and among religion and secular people and institutions.”

God endures, even as religion wanes The nature of the American religious experience is changing as a rising number of people report having no formal religious affiliation, even though the number of Americans who say they pray is increasing, according to a new survey.

The Future of Religion As new forms of worship and belief continue to evolve in the twenty-first century, we have asked thought leaders from a variety of religious traditions to talk about the future of religion.

Religious America, Secular Europe? A Theme and Variations This slim volume is a useful compendium of contrasting observations about religion in Europe and the United States. Each chapter contains sensible summaries of major issues such as the impact of state churches, the class correlates of religion, differences in education and legal systems, and the gender difference in religious commitment.

Social Sources of the Spirit: Connecting Rational Choice and Interactive Ritual Theories in the Study of Religion This study synthesizes interactive ritual theory with the rational choice concept of strictness, which highlights the level of behavioral prohibitions religious groups place on adherents.

Religion as a catalyst of rationalization For Habermas, religion has been a continuous concern precisely because it is related to both the emergence of reason and the development of a public space of reason-giving. Religious ideas, according to Habermas, are never mere irrational speculation. Rather, they possess a form, a grammar or syntax, that unleashes rational insights, even arguments; they contain, not just specific semantic contents about God, but also a particular structure that catalyzes rational argumentation.

Secularism, secularization, and why the difference matters First, there is the completion of the process of the differentiation—or rationalization—of social spheres. Second, in order to prevent the undeniable effectiveness of “steering mechanisms” from overpowering all other potential social aims including the “semantic potentials” of religious beliefs and their ethical systems, would need to be preserved through a process of “communicative action” that based such beliefs on rational argumentation alone.

Religious Giving and the Boundedness of Rationality We develop a model of religious giving that is based on ideas from recent studies of bounded rationality and related concepts, heuristics, religious identification, and theological–interpersonal interactions. In general, we predict that the positive association between religious service attendance, importance of religion, or beliefs about the bible and religious giving is conditioned by the strictness of the group.

Motivations for and Obstacles to Religious Financial Giving This paper extends previous findings on religion and generosity by developing and assessing a conceptual typology of potential motivations for and obstacles to religious giving.

Sociology of Religion, Miscellaneous (2/3)

August 16, 2011 § Leave a comment

Roger Finke on Religious Persecution takes us on a journey around the globe to discover how and why religious persecution arises in some nations but not others. Prof. Finke makes the argument that religious liberty is a vital component of all civil liberties in society.

tocqueville’s religion Tocqueville saw the two institutional forces, religion and democracy, as being linked through more than just associations. Religion is thus vitally beneficial, but not only because it equalizes. It also places crucial checks on equality’s equalizing tendencies—it cleans up its own joyous mess.

The Political Influence of Churches Alexis de Tocqueville called religion America’s “first political institution” and this book shows us why. It will be required reading for religion and politics scholars, whatever their discipline, but will also appeal to anyone concerned with the mechanisms of political influence

American Civil Religion and the Gospel of Jesus Christ (David Rogers) My main point in all of this, though, is that no form of civil religion, whether that favored by political conservatives or liberals, is the equivalent of the biblical gospel of salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. And, the moment we begin to mix the concepts of spiritual revival and Christian unity in with civil religion, we have seriously compromised the exclusivity of the Christian faith.

Catholicism, conservatism, and antihumanist politics French antihumanism, in its theoretical mode, was based on a radicalized “negative anthropology,” i.e., the idea that man is a negating animal

How a Hollywood Church Appropriates Religion for Workers in the Creative Class The “creative class” is a growing stratum of American labor consisting of nomadic workers who master self-promotion for economic survival. Using ethnographic and interview data from a Los Angeles church with a majority of attenders working in the entertainment industry, the paper demonstrates how a congregation oriented around a softer form of Word of Faith/Prosperity theology provides moral guidance for creative class believers T.

Why Evangelicals Like Wal-Mart: Education, Region, and Religious Group Identity This paper tests the influence of evangelical identity upon a particular social issue by investigating Americans’ attitudes about Wal-Mart—a company that has historically appealed to evangelicals but not higher-status Americans.

Becoming an Atheist in America: Constructing Identity and Meaning from the Rejection of Theism This study explores the identity formation process of self-avowed atheists in the context of American culture. I argue that an atheist identity is an achieved identity, and one that is constructed in social interaction.

The Sociology of Religion: A Substantive and Transdisciplinary Approach How does the sociology of religion differ from other academic approaches to religion?

X-studies and the “trivialization” of disciplinary scholarship « orgtheory.net For instance, there is the sociology of religion, and there are “religious studies.” This also seems to agree with my impression that the work done under the interdisciplinary banner tends to be a little loosey-goosey, more descriptive and generally less interesting (with exceptions) than its more disciplinary classical or post-classical counterparts.


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