You are certainly welcome to go right to the Blog (click on “Blog” up above) but I want to give my report for 2021 here.
Since we are in December, I would like to review the year in terms of this website. 2021 has not been a great year for most people. For me, it is…. complicated. There were great things that happened for me and my family, and others less so. But as far as things related to this website, here are a few things that I think are pretty good.
New High for Monthly Visitors. This website has been averaging a little over 1,500 visits per month in2021. Not is certainly not great by some standards, but it the highest I have ever had. And since I basically write what I feel like writing about without being topically popular, trendy or “clickbait”-y, it is something I feel good about. Thanks!
The most popular posts in 2021.
Reflection, Restoration, Redemption and Three Little Pigs. One of my favorite stories, and I have also turned it into a sermon. It is available as a video. You can see it HERE.
Oral Transmission and “Rida Rida Ranka.” This has perennially been one of my more popular posts. It is probably because of the large Scandinavian diaspora. I look at the Scandinavian poem “Rida Rida Ranka” and see how it was passed on orally both through those that spoke the language and those who did not. Although not, strictly speaking, a missiological article, I think it has relevance to some of the concerns regarding orality in non-literate cultures. Actually, one understanding of the article is that issues of orality still matter even in literate cultures.
Problems with Spiritual Gifts. As one who had taught “Spiritual Gift Assessments,” I was surprised as I studied up on spiritual gifts that a lot of what I was taught was simply made up. Perhaps it is true, perhaps it is not. But one thing that I found to my surprise was “They Are Not Important.” That really went against what the whole way of thinking I had. I had felt, like many, that Spiritual Gifts and been ignored by the Church throughout most of its history, and then their importance had only been recently rediscovered. But as I went through things, I realized that the Bible simply DOES NOT ascribe great importance to spiritual gifts. They are there if they are needed, but they are not really meant to be secret knowledge as to God’s plan for your future. Anyway, although I probably need to update this post, I am glad it is popular.
Reminiscing with Mr. Bean. This is a bit of autobiography, talking about things from a couple of different difficult times in our missionary life. It is about God’s sustaining even during those times. I suspect the high visit rate is because of people “googling” Mr. Bean. But that is okay, I guess.
Cultural Perspectives and the “Prodigal Son.” This is a short post on a story I got from one of my favorite books on culture. Simple, but I am glad it is popular.
My Favorite Posts that I Wrote in 2021.
I don’t consider this a stellar year in my writing, but there are some that I am quite proud of:
- Good Theological Questions From 19th Century Seneca. The best questions regarding the Christian faith often come from non-Christians and from children.
- Is It Worth It? A nice reflection on missionary service drawing from a short scene in Men in Black (Part 1)
- The Potato Blight and Pastoral Theology. Reflections on Christian response (both good response and horrible response) to the Irish Potato Famine of the 19th century. An important read.
- Misusing Scripture for Personal Wants. Reflections on how we misuse Scripture, based in part on the Ravi Zacharias scandal.
- Uncle Clem Fell Down in the Well– Two Parables. I like stories, and these two in giving opposite lessons in a sense, come together with a point.’
- Exactly Where He Was Supposed to Be— a story. This is a real story… not important I suppose, but I find it important. I believe many Christians struggle with the Providence of God. I suppose I do as well. But this story does suggest to me that there is a middle ground between the extremes.
If my blog posts were not as stellar, I think it is because I have been doing other writings. I completed one book, revised another, and wrote two articles. They are noted below.
- I have completed an article that I feel pretty good about. The title is “Apostles/Evangelists of the First Three Centuries as Exemplars for Modern Missionaries.” If you are interested in it, it is available on Academia.edu. You can CLICK HERE.
- Theological Objections to Christian Missions in Protestant Church History. This article is drawn extensively from my Mission Theology book described below.
- My shot at writing a Missions Theology book. I decided to put it on Slideshare rather than publish. Why? Dunno. Trying something different. You can access it by CLICKING HERE.
This website is a place I set up to share some thoughts on
Christian Missions, as well as some other topics like Theology, Church, Evangelism, Pastoral Theology, and Pastoral Counseling, Yes that is not all that narrow, but I like to think lots of things and this website helps me think.
My wife and I have served in the Philippines for 16 years. I teach missions in a seminary and my wife and I run a pastoral care center.
Feel free to check out my posts. There are over 1100 posts so far and
growing. Just click on the BLOG on the menu in the header.
Check out the MY BOOKS on the menu in the header to see some of the books I have written. They are on topics of related to missions or pastoral care and counseling.
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