Wednesday, 2 May 2007


I'm always interested in hearing from Christians of other countries - both about the Church and gospel witness in their own country, encouragements and challenges, and on their perspective on the blessings & challenges for us here. We have personal blind spots, which is why we're in local communities of believers to minister the word to one another. We have generational blind spots, which is also why we're in local church AND why we read books written by saints of times past. And we have geographical-cultural-political blind spots, which is why we need to minister to each other in the worldwide Church, listening very carefully to our brothers & sisters in Christ from other cultures.

So I asked my usual questions of a Nigerian student in a CU, who's already studied in Nigeria, been involved in CU there, and done national service. We discussed the challenge of witness in Nigeria where Christianity is culturally assumed amongst the 'Christian' culture, and where there's temptation to retaliate to Muslim attacks, if the Christians aren't rooted enough in the gospel to be confident in it and not retaliate. And I asked him of what he saw as our challenges here. He's been encouraged by the evangelism going on in CU - same as in the (huuuuuge) CUs in NIFES, students taking all sorts of opportunities to share the gospel in ways appropriate to our culture (I'm not sure what English students would think of CU drama & song troupes touring halls of residence as his CU found was effective in Nigeria!). But he says he sees our challenge as one of the mind. The culture tells us to be PC. To be quiet. To not say anything contraversial. I think he sees us tempted to go with that flow, to believe the lie, to be conformed by the non-resistance of our minds.
I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.- Rom 12.1-2
I've just bought Sire's Discipleship of the Mind: "Learning to love God in the ways we think" - looks useful!

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