Posts Tagged ‘ gospel ’

“free for all” April 15-16 Durham, NC

There is a free conference being held in Durham, NC (April 15&16, 2010) bringing people together in discussion around the themes raised in the outstanding new book by Tim Conder & Dan Rhodes, Free for All: Rediscovering the Bible In Community. Check out the schedule . . . it promises to be an amazing opportunity […]

MLK’s call to be maladjusted

This is what, among other things, Dr. King said in Michigan a little over 26 years ago: ‘”There are certain technical words within every academic discipline that soon become stereotypes and cliches. Modern psychology has a word that is probably used more than any other word in modern psychology. It is the word ‘maladjusted.’  This […]

Tony Jones – Teaching of the 12

Welcome to day nine of the Tony Jones’, The Teaching of the Twelve, blog Tour. Let me begin expressing my gratitude for the thoughtful engagement with the Didache not only by Tony Jones but also by the other bloggers who have engaged this classic work through Tony’s new work.  I am thrilled to see the […]

Envision 2008

A very interesting, and I think very important conversation is about to take place around “the Gospel, politics & the future.”

Here is an excerpt from an email my friend Keelan Downton sent this morning.  “This June 8-10, scholars, artists, activists, and pastors will converge on Princeton to envision a course for Christian political engagement over the next decade. We hope you’ll be one of them. Over 60 leaders will guide a strategic conversation and deep meditation to discern what it means to be a prophetic Christian in America today.”

For more details visit:

Peace, dwight


lausanne . . . what’s next?

I recently returned from the Lausanne’s 2006 Younger Leaders Gathering which was held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. To be in one place with followers of Christ from 110 nations, was a privilege. Rarely have I had the opportunity to meet, hear stories and learn from such a racially and ethically diverse group.

Paul Steinke, Chris Keller (The Other Journal) and I traveled together both to the conference and back again; and our times of processing what we were hearing and experiencing was more than worth the price of admission.

There are a number of descriptions of the event; lyg06blog, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, and Sivin Kit 1, 2, 3.

Having studied with both TV Thomas and Robert Coleman I’d heard many Lausanne stories and was familiar with both the Lausanne Covenant and the Manila Manifesto prior to the last week’s gathering.

One of the phrases used throughout the conference was, “The whole church, bringing the whole gospel, to the whole world.” Ramez Atallah, who was one of the plenary speakers and the person chairing the programming portion of the congress in the works for 2010 was the first person from the front to challenge Lausanne’s use of the phrase. Ramez suggested that to be more accurate the Lausanne network represents “the whole evangelical church” at best, as Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox voices not well represented. Later, during a meeting of delegates interested in further theological engagement, the concern around the assumed meaning of “whole church,” “whole gospel” and “whole world” was brought up. Concern over the term “evangelical” was also highlighted as the term has morphed significantly since this network was formed.

From my perspective, a number of important issues current in missional work were scarcely given time: America’s abuse of power, postmodern critiques of power, contextual theology, mission in a post-Christendom era, the gift post-colonialism, let alone issues of globalization, and the exportation of capitalism.

Now the question I’m wrestling with is, “what, if any, role do I play with the Lausanne network of the future?”

I don’t have a solid response yet; it’s a significant network and the possibilities for it to serve, connect, and resource is unique.

There is so much more I could say, but for now . . .

peace, dwight

lausanne movement


I just received word that I’ll have the privilege and responsibility being one of the North American representatives at the Younger Leaders Gathering ’06 (mid 30’s and younger) sponsored by the Lausanne Movement. This gathering of 550 emerging leaderes from roughly 100 countries will be held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia at the end of September 2006.

As a former student of TV Thomas, Robert Coleman, and Ajith Fernando I have heard many stories from this historic movement, and its importance for the evangelical church. I can’t believe that I get to participate, wow!

Historically the Lausanne Conference has focused on world evangelization. What is ‘world evangelization’ today? So much within Western Christian thought and practice is being reimagined – if not entirely revisioned – that I wonder what this global conversation will be like. How will the effects of the spread of consumerism, globalism, urbanism, post-modernism, the threat pandemics or more generally what does the ‘spread of the Good News of Jesus Christ’ sound like to those whose lives are so radically different from mine. For those discipled into a form of colonial Christianity what is world evangelism? With all the conversation in recent years regarding atonement theories, universalism, the afterlife, etc. how might such a conversation proceed? How big is ‘our’ gospel? Can I understand ‘their’ gospel? And what happens when our gospels tangle?

If you could bring a question, a concern, or a hope to such a gathering what might you bring? I’m open to suggestions and thoughts.

Peace, dwight


A comment in a student’s paper this Spring has been lingering in the back of my mind.  Dale Helt re-framed the classic Evangelical litmus-test question by exchanging the word “personal” for “communal.”  The question, as he voiced it was, “Do you have a communal relationship with God?” 

I very much appreciate the direction Dale is taking this question.

I (like many Evangelicals – I suppose) lived much of my life with a truncated vision and articulation of the Good News.

How good is the good news?  Is the good news only good for some – is it good for all – what about creation?

peace, dwight

inverting the bridge illustration

Recently, I wrote a very brief article for, titled, “Rethinking the Bridge Illustration.” 

You can find it here.

Peace, dwight

morphing message

Talking with a “solid” evangelical” leader the other day I heard him say something to the effect of, “our message never changes, our methods may but not our message.” I would suggest that our message does in fact need to evolve.

Consider Salvation: The centrality of the cross. Our sinfulness. Our need for be made holy by the work of Christ and we speak of Salvation history etc.

In the spirit of evolving message, I would throw out there that forgiveness was never a primary goal of God’s, and that our Western emphasis on “salvation” place our sin at the center of the God story. It may be time for us to evolve.

God is relationship, he has created us in his image for relationship. Therefore it may stand to reason that in may be wise to place our emphasis on reconciliation and adoption into the family of God. This places relationship at the center of the God story. Relating becomes primary not my sin.

Remember that evolving does not obliterate what came before, rather it morphs it.

Peace, dwight

incarnation: the gospel’s center

The Eastern Orthodox concept of the center point of the gospel as the incarnation of Christ makes more and more sense to me. If we are relationally created by a relational God (One/Three), than it make sense that the Emmanuel (God with Us) is core.

In order for any relationship to endure, death is essential. Call it kenosis, emptying, self-negation, the way of the cross, etc.; offering oneself for the “other” and for the “Us” is a relational necessity. To pursue self is anti-relational, is anit-Christ.

The cross of Christ is vital. Because life, love and relationship is only possible if one is dies to self.

The relational beauty of the incarnation of Christ is not the Cross but is his Ascension.

Incarnation = God with Human
Cross = death to self for life together
Ascension = Human with God

When Jesus Christ ascends to our Father we see the Divine/Human relationship move to a relationship of reciprocity, (which is now and not yet). Jesus – fully God and fully human present with God in perfect oneness. And his high priestly prayer suggesting that can be our experience too.

Peace, dwight