Tuesday, February 25, 2003

Electric Toothbrush for Missionaries in the Bush

So how's a frontier missionary to keep her teeth truly clean out where there's no power, save the solar-powered battery for her computer? Wonder workers in Japan have come up with the answer - a USB-powered electric toothbrush! See it here.

Thursday, February 20, 2003

Credo for the Kingdom’s Expansion

by Dave Hackett

Presbyterian Frontier Fellowship offers this Credo for the Kingdom’s Expansion to help the church fulfill its biblically faithful missional calling.

We believe in God's gracious love toward all the peoples of the world and in God's plan to draw home all who would receive him in faith through Jesus Christ, our Lord, whose death and resurrection opened the only gateway to peace with God.

We believe the Church is God's holy, mission-oriented community through which disciples are brought to faith, redeemed, baptized into Christ's life, mission, and death, nurtured in spirit, and sent forth in community for faithful witness and service.

We believe in the Church's biblical call and commission to summon its life and resources so that its members, empowered and emboldened, step by faith into their mission-oriented purpose as ambassadors of Christ.

We believe that the gospel of Christ should ever expand worldwide: east, west, north and south, as far as the love of God extends and as near as our own neighbor, school and workplace.

We believe God wills the birth of an indigenous Church within each people group for their salvation and preparation for Kingdom work, and that these churches are called to live fully within their mother-cultures for the sake of the gospel of Christ.

We believe in indigenously-developed worship, songs and messages that speak to the heart of each culture and make clear Christ's message, healing the heresies and hurts that reside within each individual, organization, and culture.

We believe God calls each church to reach beyond its own ethnic, social and national identity to discover that all Christ-followers, though from many strands of humanity, are one in Jesus Christ.

We believe in mission methods that renounce the creation of dependencies so that the church in each culture is able to infinitely reproduce and sustain itself – indeed, to engage in witness beyond itself – solely on its own giving, leadership and witness.

At the same time, we believe every church needs a permanent missionary presence through outside witnesses, for, as D. T. Niles said, “The gospel is never safe in any culture unless there is a witness from beyond that culture.”

Tuesday, February 18, 2003

Priority of the Image

The Presbyterian frontier mission effort is focused on planting Christian movements among Unreached People Groups around the world. In doing so we hope to use creative means to connect the gospel with these cultures. In many cases we realize this is not going to be done through the written word but through images. In an interview by The Door Magazine with Brent Plate by John Carney (not published online), Dr Plate describes this priority of the image.

Dr Plate says, "There is a real sense that 'In the beginning was the Word,' but really in the beginning was the image, these fantastic images that [John, writer of Revelation] saw. I've been trying to rethink how we understand religion, trying to get us away from our literate, modern bias toward printed books, printed words, that the Word of God is somehow a printed, published thing. Even in Christian tradition, most religious people throughout the history of the world have been illiterate, have not been able to read... But most religious people in the world have not understood religion to be something coming out of words. In fact, more people have interacted with images than with words, religiously... I think the word of God is something that's seen; it's got to be understood as something that is seen and experienced in radical ways, rather than just read in the privacy of our own houses."

We at Presbyterian Frontier Fellowship are eager to explore the use of images in frontier mission. Most of the Unreached people groups among which we work are non-literate societies. Although we have healthy and growing Bible translation and distribution components to our frontier mission, we know that images, carvings, paintings and statues can have a significant impact in communicating the truths of Jesus Christ. They have done so in our own lives. And I suspect in our own media-saturated culture, it will be images - "something that's seen" - not printed words, that snag the interest of unchurched people around us. I pray God enriches our use of images to give Him glory.

Monday, February 17, 2003

Proselytizing for Tolerance

Be sure to look over the First Things article online about "Proselytizing for Tolerance" - an in-depth look at the proselytizing nature of tolerance. Check out FT November 2002: Proselytizing for Tolerance Some quotes:

"Proselytism...is virtually unavoidable: almost everyone is a proselytizer on behalf of something....[while] Toleration’s own grammar ...reveals it as a species or kind of proselytism. It is one more player in the field, one more competing proselytism among many. Toleration, we might say, is the proselytism that dare not speak its name."

Plain talk about frontier mission. That's what I hope to share with you in this PFF blog. Swing by occasionally to see what I'm talking and thinking about! --Dave