Articles and Such

Newest: Reflections on the Waters of Bethesda: A Narrative Look at John 5:1-9. This paper explores a different perspective on the story of Jesus healing a lame man, as described in John Chapter 5.This is done, in part, with a running interpretative narrative, in the tradition of the midrash aggadah. This is done speculatively, without any dubious claim of certainty. More important than the interpretation, is the attempt in this paper to show the value of theological reflection (especially group theological reflection) utilizing narrative.

Click to access bethesda.pdf


 Theological Reflection through Storying in the Orality and Clinical Pastoral Training Movements.  This paper looks at the role of storying as an important part of theological reflection for two very different movements within Christian ministry. The first is the “Orality Movement” that focuses on mission work (such as proclamation, dialogue, and training) in non-literate settings, or settings where reading is not the primary form for learning. The other is the Clinical Pastoral Training (aka Clinical Pastoral Education) movement that is part of pastoral counseling and clinical chaplaincy. Despite the great differences between these two movements, the similarities in terms of theological reflection bring them together and demonstrate the importance of stories in Christian ministry.

Apostles/Evangelists of the First Three Centuries as Exemplars for Modern Missionaries. This paper considers the challenge of defining the term missionary in a way that is useful— neither excessively broad nor narrow in scope. It is suggested that rather than focusing on a definition for determining who is a missionary, which ultimately places attention on the boundaries of the term, a better choice is to focus on exemplars of missionaries. In an attempt to do this, the paper suggests that the pattern of apostles and evangelists of the first three centuries of church history provides such an exemplar. More specifically, since Paul and Barnabas are the most well-known and well-described of this group of ministers, they can serve as the exemplars for this group, and ultimately for modern missionaries. The purpose of this paper is not to determine who is a missionary and who is not, but rather utilize these exemplars to critique modern definitions of the term missionary. Through this, the author believes that a better understanding of the center, rather than the boundaries, of Christian missionaries and missions can be better understood. (2021)

Theological Objections to Christian Missions in Protestant Church History. This article is a modest rewrite of Chapter 10 (“Staying Behind”– Theology of Anti-Missions) of his book, still in editing, ““Walking With” as Metaphor for Missions Theology.” The section covered in this article looks at a few different aspects from Church History where Christian Missions were ignored or actively opposed. The focus is on the underlying theological perspectives that led to this behavior.

Better than New: Christian Perfection as Informed by Wabi-Sabi.” This article has the modest goal of suggesting that the Japanese aesthetic concept of Wabi Sabi may provide a useful metaphor for Christian perfection. As such, it is neither an exegetical or theological study of Christian perfection, nor an in-depth look at aesthetic theory. Rather, in seeing the traditional tendency to link “perfection” to both the ethical and to the aesthetic, the author suggests that a view of perfection that, ironically, embraces transience, impermanence, and imperfection may provide a healthier foundation for Christian life and growth. (2018)

Kind of New:  Doing Missions in Samaria: Lessons from the Past for Today Doing Missions in Samaria: Lessons from the Past for Today.  Originally based on a four-part sermon series that looks at the complex relationship that ancient Israel, and later the Christian church had with Samaria. A parallel is made to its reference in the Acts 1 version of the Great Commission, and possible viewpoint of how that relates to missions today.

Getting a Bit Older:  Snapshots of Faith, Hope and Growth in Disaster Response Chaplaincy.  This paper considers the practical role of chaplains, as religious professionals,serving within the setting of a disaster, whether natural or manmade. It specifically looks at insights within the perspective of “snapshots” of ministry tied to Bukal Life Care ( serving in the Philippines.

  The Vital Role of Cultural Anthropology in Development of Theology. This paper considers the role of anthropology, particularly cultural anthropology, and its importance in theology. Utilizing some of the ideas of Hans Frei, the paper also supports the greater importance of cultural analysis of sacred texts over historical analysis, and, utilizing the terms of Frei, the value of a hermeneutic of description over a hermeneutic of suspicion. This paper supports the idea that all theology is contextual and thus gains from the study of the culture in which the theologies is embedded. (2015)

  The Role of Trade Routes in the Spread of Christianity in Asia in the First Millenium.  Discusses mission work in Central and Eastern Asia in the first millenium AD. Curiously, this is my most popular paper. I suspect it is because there is a growng realization that the Church of the East has been ignored in favor of the church of the West; and that this ignorance is detrimental for the Church of Today.

  Visual Model on Relief and Development.  First Article of results of Dissertation of use of Medical Missions for long-term local church outreach.

Healthy Medical Missions. Second Article of results of Dissertation of use of Medical Missions for long-term local church outreach.

Changing Priorities in Christian Missions. Third Article of results of Dissertation of use of Medical Missions for long-term local church outreach.

In Jesus’ Name.  Looks at the phrase (and related terms such as “In My Name”) from a Biblical context. The hope is to see its implication in missions.

Wholistic Ministry and Nehemiah. Look at wholistic (or ‘holistic’) Christian Ministry in light of the book of Nehemiah.

Dependence, Independence, and Interdependence. A short look at these three concepts as it relates to community development and Christian ministry.

Missions Lessons I Have Learned From Others.  I wrote this little article as a bit of a “lessons learned” paper only about 2 years into missions service. While I would like to think that I could write it better now… I think the lessons stand true.

Organizing and Equipping. This is a 5 page article on Christian Leadership I did for a class at Asia Baptist Graduate Theological Seminary. I like this one (and I don’t like everything I write… least of all for homework).

Parable #1.  The Useful Bowl.  Simple story about what it means to do what God has called us to do.

Parable #2.  The Master Clockmaker.  Draws into question what is true success.

Parable #3.  Uncle Frank.  Looks at the issue of pride, and what is our first love.

Parable #4. Valleyview and River City. Looks at Prevention versus Cure in missions.

Parable #5.  Parable of the Recycling God.  God as one who Renews, Reuses, and Recycles.

2 thoughts on “Articles and Such

  1. Pingback: Some Resources Available « MMM — Munson Mission Musings

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