From Jerusalem to Timbuktu by Brian Stiller

Christianity started in Jerusalem. For many centuries it was concentrated in the West, in Europe and North America. But in the past century the church expanded rapidly across Africa, Latin America, and Asia. Thus Christianity’s geographic center of density is now in the West African country of Mali―in Timbuktu. What led to the church’s vibrant growth throughout the Global South? Brian Stiller identifies five key factors that have shaped the church, from a renewed openness to the move of the Holy Spirit to the empowerment of indigenous leadership. While in some areas Christianity is embattled and threatened, in many places it is flourishing as never before. Discover the surprising story of the global advance of the gospel. And be encouraged that Jesus’ witness continues to the ends of the earth.

From Jerusalem to Timbuktu is a must-read for anyone trying to understand Christianity in today’s world. Brian Stiller provides a practical explanation for the amazing growth of evangelical Christianity by identifying and unpacking five drivers of growth. His practical experience combined with exceptional research creates a powerful and informative read. After taking this ‘world tour’ on the growth of Christianity, you will be left asking . . . what will God do next?” (William M. Wilson, president, Oral Roberts University)

“While many authors have written ably on the shift of Christianity to the global South, Stiller offers a captivating personal story of remarkable connections with church leaders from all parts of the globe. His expansive vision for the Spirit, the Bible, indigenous Christianity, the public square, and a holistic gospel articulates a clear and hopeful direction for the future of Christianity.” (Todd M. Johnson, associate professor of global Christianity, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary)

You can obtain from Amazon.

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Love those who are foreigners in your land

Powerful article by Peter Randewijk.

Pursuit of Truth

I have been involved for several years with serving refugees in our country of Switzerland and have heard a lot of different opinions about what’s the right thing to do. Many people I work with tend to favor a welcoming approach towards the new arrivals while criticizing the strict Swiss immigration laws instituted by the Swiss Confederation. At the same time they do not want their monthly rents to increase or pay more taxes so the authorities can build new buildings to house refugees.

It’s complicated. It encouraged me to do some of my own research. How should a well thought-through biblical position on the current refugee crisis look like? It is a work in progress but here are some thoughts to start:

We need to love the foreigner in our land

We need to love the foreigner in our land. The Bible is overwhelmingly clear. The Hebrew word ‘ger’ (a guest; by…

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Buried For 780 Years

Powerful story indeed. May it happen again and again….. finding these threads throughout culture and the least likely places……

Encounters of Faith in Asia: Past, Present and Future

2015-10-25 13.53.19 It takes your breath away. It is stunning. For one man who has visited five times, he never fails to weep. Buried for 780 years, it is hard to imagine that it would ever see the light of day again. What is it? A 12 foot tall stone monument, called simply the Nestorian Stele. Housed in the Beilin Museum of the Chinese city of Xi’an along with many other treasures from the T’ang and other dynasties, the Stele is one of the most powerful evidences for the existence of Christianity in 7th century China.

2015-10-25 13.52.48 As I stood in front of this amazing artifact, first carved in 781, I wondered why it would not be one of the eight wonders of the world. It so clearly testifies to the existence along the Silk Road (of which Xi’an, then known as Chang’an, was the most eastern terminus) of various faiths, in this…

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Hidden in Plain Sight For Almost 1400 Years, Part 1

An amazing story and blog Steve Cochrane.

Encounters of Faith in Asia: Past, Present and Future

It was hidden in plain sight. For almost 1400 years, a leaning, frail looking tower-like structure had existed on a wind-swept hill. Fifty miles outside the Chinese city of Xian, the Da Qin pagoda is another living testament to the existence of Christianity in China in the 7th century. (For more on Xian and the Church of the East in China, see my two posts from November, Buried For 700 Years and What Else Lies Buried?)

A few weeks ago I trudged up a muddy path with a few colleagues, amazed that I was finally going to see the structure that many scholars believe was built by a group of Persian Church of the East missionaries. Led by a monk named Alopen, they had come to China along the Silk Road, arriving in the Xian (then called Chang’an) area in 635 C.E, the capital of the T’ang dynasty. (The…

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A World Beyond Trump: Hidden in Plain Sight for 1400 Years, Part 2

You can find this incredible story in a book, Jesus Sutras by Martin Palmer… a Must read…..

Encounters of Faith in Asia: Past, Present and Future

What does the campaign of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and 7th century Chinese Christianity have in common? Not much. Except the fact that there is a world beyond Trump, beyond the bombastic rhetoric and the chasms of fear and racism some of his comments have opened.

For many people living in the USA (Republicans included), Trump being the front-runner at this stage is nothing short of a disaster. For many people outside the country, his candidacy and remarks only confirms some of their worst fears about the United States. I am a political independent, and don’t know whether to be more astounded at some of the things he says, or the fact that he is still has so much support with the primaries about to begin.

But there is a world beyond Donald Trump. And beyond the political discourse and future of the United States. As there was in…

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