The February-March 2011 PNEUMA INFORMER
In this issue
What's New at www.PneumaFoundation.orgNew Online Articles
New Links and Content Worth Noticing
- Book Review from The Pneuma Review: Handbook of Theological Education in World Christianity: Theological Perspectives, Ecumenical Trends, Regional Surveys. Reviewed by Tony Richie. From the Spring 2011 issue of The Pneuma Review. Added March 21, 2011. www.pneumafoundation.org/resources/articles/HTEWC_TRichie.pdf
- Book Review from The Pneuma Review: Mark Driscoll and Gerry Breshears, Vintage Church: Timeless Truths and Timely Methods. Reviewed by Jim Purves. Mentioned in the Spring 2011 issue of The Pneuma Review. Added February 28, 2011. www.pneumafoundation.org/article.jsp?article=/VintageChurch-JPurves.xml
- In Depth Book Review excerpted in The Pneuma Review: Patrick Downey, Desperately Wicked: Philosophy, Christianity and the Human Heart (Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 2009). Reviewed by Timothy Lim Teck Ngern. Added February 7, 2011, appearing in the Spring 2011 issue of The Pneuma Review. www.pneumafoundation.org/article.jsp?article=/PDowney-DesperatelyWicked-TLim.xml
- In Depth Book Review mentioned in The Pneuma Review: Graham Ward, The Politics of Discipleship: Becoming Postmaterial Citizens The Church and Postmodern Culture Series (Baker Academic, 2009). Reviewed by Amos Yong. Added February 28, 2011, appearing in the Spring 2011 issue of The Pneuma Review. www.pneumafoundation.org/article.jsp?article=/GWard-PoliticsDiscipleship-AYong.xml
- The Pneuma Foundation is pleased to add content to our website as a resource to our members and friends around the world. We also add links to content that we are not able to republish ourselves, but may be of interest. Here are some examples of links added recently to "Links to Articles & Books" www.pneumafoundation.org/links_articles.jsp and from "Links to Study Resources" www.pneumafoundation.org/links_study.jsp
- The largest list of Pentecostal/charismatic Bible Schools available online anywhere. http://www.pneumafoundation.org/links_schools.jsp
Add your school: http://www.pneumafoundation.org/links.jsp#link
- J. Lee Grady, "Don't Quench the Spirit's Fire!" If you want to avoid becoming an old wineskin, make sure to keep these five hindrances out of your life. charismamag.com/index.php/fire-in-my-bones/30120-dont-quench-the-spirits-fire
- Christian History: Was Handel an Evangelical? David Martin reviews The Cambridge Handel Encyclopedia in an essay appearing in the March-April 2011 issue of Books and Culture. http://www.booksandculture.com/articles/2011/marapr/handelrevolution.html
Reports from Around the World
2010 persecution escalation continues into 2011
Christian persecution ramped up in 2010, but Tom Doyle with E3 Partners says, "We have just been sensing, since the beginning of the year, that it's going to be worse this year." Already, Christian and secular news sources alike have reported a rise in persecution worldwide, but especially in the Middle East. Besides the arrests of 70 Christians in Iran, attacks on believers in Egypt and the misuse of blasphemy laws in Pakistan, "We've been hearing things out of Iraq, Syria, Jordan, things out of the Gaza strip where there are threats, where believers are bracing themselves," says Doyle. Much of the persecution has to do with Muslim extremism in the Middle East. "We just see this volcano ready to erupt that Islam is going to be a major part of, with persecution toward believers all throughout the region," Doyle observes. Our biggest defense is prayer. "We're praying for the spread of the Gospel, the spread of new believers becoming true disciples, and building the church in these areas of darkness." Read the full story online. www.mnnonline.org/article/15219
Somali Pirates Kill Bible Distributors
Scott Adam, a graduate of Fuller Seminary, was killed with three others after they were taken hostage
Honduras: Another Pastor murdered
Compass Direct News Service (CDNS) reports that Pastor Carlos Roberto Marroquin, 41, was shot to death by two assailants in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, near his house on February 21st, 2011. Marroquin was the founding pastor of the Pentecostal Church of God in San Pedro Sula, as well as the founder and president of the Christian Legal Fellowship, co-founder of the Latin American Network of Christian Lawyers and president-elect of the Association of Evangelical Pastors in San Pedro Sula. Several sources confirm he has received death threats prior to his assassination. Police is still investigating the case. The murder of the pastor has focused attention on Honduras' alarming murder rate and the regular threats that Christian workers there receive. According to the report of CDNS Marroquin was the second pastor to be murdered in Honduras this year, after the Jan. 30 killing of Raymundo Fuentes, 43, pastor of the New Jerusalem Temple.
Source: WEA Religious Liberty Prayer News, 1 March 2011
Jamaica: Revival in Kingston
Kingston festival draws thousands away from unhealthy religiosity.
Read the full story: mnnonline.org/article/15514
Source: Mission Network News, 28 March, 2011.
Pakistan Backs Away from Defamation of Religions at UN
In a significant shift in policy, Pakistan is no longer participating in the push by the Organization of Islamic Conference to combat UN defamation of religions resolutions.
Related news: U.N. Council drops 'defamation' in resolution (MNN). mnnonline.org/article/15525
South Sudan to secede from North
Sudan has faced years of civil war. Hundreds of thousands of people have been killed in north/south violence. But the civil war has come to an end with the referendum held in January 2011, mandated by the Comprehensive Peace Agreement of 2005. Sudan Unit Leader with Africa Inland Mission, Phil Byler, speaking from Sudan, says secession has come to South Sudan. "99 percent of the people voted to separate. Over 80 percent of the registered voters voted. And North Sudan government says they will accept the results." Byler says many compare this to the fall of the Berlin Wall.
Byler has speculated that the recent crisis triggered in Tunisia that spread across the Middle East had an unintended impact. Khartoum's political clout against the south was weakened at a critical moment of separation. See mnnonline.org/article/15312 and how the "Domino effect" is rippling across the Middle East: mnnonline.org/article/15327
Official separation will not happen until July 9, 2011 as an interim government is established and elections scheduled. However, there are reasons for concern and many reasons to pray. The Muslim north could become more fundamentalist, says Byler. "They will establish Sharia law in a much stronger way in the north. And I expect the Christians will be quite marginalized and probably suffer significant persecution." Is it a concern of his? "Well, yes and no. The church often grows through persecution rather than go under with it. Who knows how the Lord will use it."
Source: Adapted from Mission Network News, 9 February, 2011. Full story: mnnonline.org/article/15335
Uzbekistan: "All talk about the Constitution and democracy is hypocrisy"
Uzbekistan continues to harass the officially registered Bible Society, Forum 18 News Service has learned. Officials have forced its General Assembly to take place in the open air, after warning churches not to host the meeting. New Bible Society Director Aleksey Voskresensky has left his teaching position at the Tashkent Protestant Seminary under pressure from the state Religious Affairs Committee. State officials have also told Bible Society officials that "it is not necessary to import Bibles into Uzbekistan since there is an electronic version of the Bible on the Internet and this is enough". Bible Society members have complained to Forum 18 that the authorities "are determined to stop import of Bibles in the national languages, and to stop distribution of the Bible in the country. We can see that all talk about the Constitution and democracy in Uzbekistan is hypocrisy". Officials have refused to discuss the issue with Forum 18.
Read the full story: http://www.forum18.org/Archive.php?article_id=1547
LOVE WINS Draws Controversy and Readers
News and Headlines
The controversy about the new book by Rob Bell, Love Wins: Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived (HarperOne, March 15, 2011) has brought a theological issue to the US national stage. 'Love Wins' Debuts at #2 on the New York Times Bestseller List: Pastor and Author Rob Bell a Lightning Rod for Controversy (Christian Newswire). http://www.christiannewswire.com/news/7557116554.html
Editors of The Pneuma Review recommend these two online articles:
* Mark Galli, "Heaven, Hell, and Rob Bell: Putting the Pastor in Context: He's not the first to try to resolve old biblical tensions in new ways" (ChristianityTodayOnline, March 2, 2011)
* Mart De Haan, "Whether 'Love Wins'... or not" Been Thinking About (March 22, 2011). beenthinking.org/2011/03/22/whether-love-wins-or-not
for Current News and Links
- Editorial: J. Lee Grady, "An Egyptian Christian Woman's View of the Cairo Uprising " A prayerful minister says her country is passing through a "spiritual birth canal". www.charismamag.com/index.php/fire-in-my-bones/30172-an-egyptian-christian-womans-view-of-the-cairo-uprising
- Pakistan: No amendment to Blasphemy Law The Prime Minister has bowed to internal pressure from Muslims, despite international condemnation of the law. This oppressive law has already caused tremendous trouble for Christians and other minorities and this move will only make things worse (ASSIST News). http://www.assistnews.net/Stories/2011/s11020024.htm
- Editorial: Critics slam USA government and media outlets for lack of response to worldwide attacks against Christians (Fox News). Suggested by ReligionToday Summaries (Feb 16, 2011). www.foxnews.com/world/2011/02/15/critics-slam-government-media-weak-response-anti-christian-attacks
- Burma: Why is the Karen genocide being ignored? 500,000 - 600,000 people have already been systematically wiped out by the illegitimate govenrment, and the international community has remained silent (MNN). www.mnnonline.org/article/15363
- USA: Obama Admin. Changes Bush 'Conscience' Provision for Health Workers The Obama administration has reversed a George W. Bush provision that permitted health workers to opt out of services they find objectionable on religious grounds (CT Politics blog). blog.christianitytoday.com/ctpolitics/2011/02/obama_admin_eli.html
- Editorial: 'Religicide' in Iraq Fatal attacks trigger exodus of Christians from major cities (Christianity Today, February, 2011). www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2011/february/religicide.html
- Editorial: J. Lee Grady says "God Has Big Surprises Planned for the Middle East" "What the Holy Spirit did in the former Soviet Union in 1989 will happen again in Islamic nations". www.charismamag.com/index.php/fire-in-my-bones/30281-god-has-big-surprises-planned-for-the-middle-east
- Pakistan: Christian voice in government silenced The lone Christian in the federal cabinet, Shahbaz Batti, Pakistan's minister for minorities, was assassinated on March 3, 2011 (MNN). www.mnnonline.org/article/15418
Shahbaz Bhatti, Pakistan's Most Prominent Christian, Assassinated: Minister for Minorities Affairs had predicted his death in a recent interview (ChristianityTodayOnline). www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2011/marchweb-only/shahbazbhatti.html
- Human Trafficking Spikes in Post-quake Haiti (CharismaNews). www.charismamag.com/index.php/news/30318-human-trafficking-spikes-in-post-quake-haiti
- Christian Students Attacked by Muslim Mob in Ethiopia (ASSIST News Service). www.assistnews.net/Stories/2011/s11030003.htm
- China: Sentence upheld for Christian "detained on account of faith" (Christian Solidarity Worldwide). dynamic.csw.org.uk/article.asp?t=press&id=1121
- UK Court Rules Christianity Harmful to Children (CharismaNews). www.charismamag.com/index.php/news/30325-uk-court-rules-christianity-harmful-to-children
- Imprisoned Afghan Convert: Execution Could Be Near Although one Afghan Christian on death row was recently released another convert remains in prison (Baptist Press). Recommended by Religion Today Summaries (March 4, 2011). www.bpnews.net/bpnews.asp?id=34749
- Armenia: Pastor prosecuted after journalists refuse to leave church (Forum18). www.forum18.org/Archive.php?article_id=1546
- Nigeria: Thousands displaced in Bauchi State as attacks on villages continue (Christian Solidarity Worldwide). http://dynamic.csw.org.uk/article.asp?t=press&id=1137
- Pakistan: Christian Woman Freed from Muslim Kidnappers (Compass Direct). www.compassdirect.org/english/country/pakistan/69730
- Uzbekistan: "Anti-terror" raid on old people's home Meeting without authorization is "terrorism" in Uzbekistan, for which you will be fined, your Bibles and Christian literature confiscated and burned (Forum18). www.forum18.org/Archive.php?article_id=1554
- Ethiopia: Thousands of Christians Displaced After Muslim Extremists Torch Churches, Homes (Fox News). www.foxnews.com/world/2011/03/24/thousands-christians-displaced-ethiopia-muslim-extremists-torch-churches-homes-2057387870
- Editorial: "Behind Egypt's Revolution: Away from news cameras, Christian, Muslim youth rediscover common ground" by Paul-Gordon Chandler (ChristianityTodayOnline). www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2011/marchweb-only/behindegyptrevolution.html
See other news to pray and praise God about in the Prayer Requests department below.
Report the News
We are looking for stories about what God is doing in the world, reports about the persecution of Christians, and information about significant trends and ministry opportunities. If you have a news item to report, please send an email to the PNEUMA INFORMER. http://www.pneumafoundation.org/contactus.jsp
Resources You Can Use
David Platt's High Impact Book, RADICAL
David Platt is the Preaching Minister of the Brook Hills Church in Birmingham, Alabama. His sermon series, "Radical," was released as a book in 2010, along with lots of accompanying resources at www.radicalthebook.com and the Brook Hills website, www.brookhills.org/media/series/radical.
At the latter site, you can listen to all 8 sermons (for free!) as he originally scripted them at the church in Birmingham. The bulletin inserts and accompanying home Bible study outlines are available at no charge as well.
His messages deal with the forthright condition of the lost, as prescribed by Paul in Romans 1-3. They also speak frankly about his questions regarding how serious we are about reaching them. If you dare to listen, be ready to be challenged about your Lexus, your iPod, your pet Labrador, and the ball games you've queued up for Saturday. I'm telling you -- the guy is a meddler. :-) However, his book and his themes are getting major traction in churches all across our land. The 5 "Radical Experiment challenges" at the end of the book are providing a backdrop for churches and families to radically shift their thinking about use of spare time, funds, and futures.
Even if you're accustomed to this heavy thinking, it would do all of us well to become familiar with the paradigms as he describes them because the next church you visit just might have finished a series on Radical the week before you come. You'll want to be informed. Order the book at any website or purchase it at any bookstore. It's everywhere.
Source: Adapted from Brigada Today 2011/02/13
Orlando 2011: A Leadership Consultation
Re-imagine and Re-shape Evangelism and Missions in the U.S.
Where: Orlando, Florida (USA)
When: April 4-6, 2011.
Convened by The Mission America Coalition (U.S. Lausanne Committee) in partnership with The National Association of Evangelicals, The Billy Graham Center at Wheaton College, Campus Crusade for Christ International, Vision 360, and Wycliffe Bible Translators.
You probably knew about the Third Lausanne Congress on World Evangelization that was held in Cape Town October 16-25, 2010. Below is an invitation to attend a follow-up consultation to be held in Orlando April 4-6, 2011. Leaders from across the USA will gather to shape the focus of American evangelism and mission outreach for the next decade. I can't stress enough how important it is for spirit-filled leaders to participate in this strategic consultation. This will be a powerful time of seeking God's face for the power and to evangelize America.
Your brother in Christ,
Orlando 2011 is different than any other gathering the Mission America Coalition (U.S. Lausanne Committee) has designed. It is a strategic effort to shape the direction of evangelism and missions in America and the nations of the world in the next decade.
The design team participated in Cape Town 2010 (The Third Lausanne Congress) and was committed to hear what the Spirit of God was saying to the Church during Cape Town 2010. They listened and networked with leaders from around the world and developed a responsive and interactive format for Orlando 2011.
"Orlando 2011 - A Leadership Consultation" will open in a humble posture of seeking Christ and listening to the Spirit through prayer and each other.
The focus is re-imagining and re-shaping evangelism and missions, transforming the U.S. Church toward loving God and loving our neighbors, and listening to, learning from, and partnering with the global Church in reaching the nations.
The format includes a presenter each morning, who was deeply involved in planning Cape Town 2010. Table dialog will follow, then three diverse responders, and more table dialog.
The afternoons will be spent in small group "affinity consultations" with dialog and deliberation on the issues. Evenings will include worship, celebration, and a challenge to the Church.
We pray for diverse involvement from every arena of the evangelical Church -- women and men from different ethnicities, generations, and avenues of ministry bringing their perspectives to the table.
We need you among us! If you are a leader from a ministry organization, national network, academic setting, the marketplace, a city movement, a church, or a champion of evangelism in another context, bring your voice to the discussion as we seek God to transform our thinking about evangelism and missions in this decade.
Excerpts from THE PNEUMA REVIEW
THE PNEUMA REVIEW is a quarterly printed journal of ministry resources and theology for Pentecostal and charismatic ministries and leaders. For more information about THE PNEUMA REVIEW, and to learn how to subscribe, please visit: Introducing THE PNEUMA REVIEW. www.pneumafoundation.org/intro_pr.jsp
For a full index of the contents of all Pneuma Review issues, visit: http://www.pneumafoundation.org/pr_archive.jsp.
Stephen Lim, "Ten Keys to Managing Anxiety"
From the Spring 2011 issue
Ten Keys to Managing Anxiety
By Stephen Lim
Read the full article at PneumaReview.com: Ten Keys to Managing Anxiety
Stephen Lim, M.Div. and D.Min (Fuller Theological Seminary), serves as Academic Dean and Professor of Leadership and Ministry at the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary in Springfield, MO. His article, "Why You Need A Savior," was selected by the Evangelical Press Association as the second best article on evangelism published in 2009. He is presently working on a book, "Transforming Believers into Growing Disciples."
Stephen Lim, "10 Keys to Managing Anxiety," originally appearing in War Cry (April 29, 2000), 14-15. Used with permission of the author.
Read other articles in the Spring 2011 issue of THE PNEUMA REVIEW www.pneumafoundation.org/intro_pr.jspWard's WORDS OF LIFE, Reviewed by Jim Purves
From the Spring 2011 issue
Timothy Ward, Words of Life: Scripture As the Living and Active Word of God (IVP Academic, Downers Grove, 2009), 184 pages, ISBN 9781433501302.
Read the full review at PneumaReview.com: Timothy Ward: Words of Life
Reviewed by Jim Purves
Preview this book: books.google.com/books?id=cmcvFiOBpncC
Jim Purves, Ph.D. (University of Aberdeen, Scotland), B.D. (Hons) Christian Dogmatics (University of Edinburgh, Scotland), L.L.B. (Hons) Law (University of Edinburgh, Scotland), is pastor of Bristo Baptist Church, Edinburgh, and adjunct lecturer and research tutor at the International Baptist Theological Seminary, Prague, Czech Republic. He is the author of The Triune God and the Charismatic Movement (Paternoster, 2004). www.bristobaptist.org
Read more reviews and other articles in the Spring 2011 issue of THE PNEUMA REVIEW www.pneumafoundation.org/intro_pr.jsp
- Somalia: Christian mother murdered for her faith. Compass Direct News Service reports that Asha Mberwa, 36, a mother of four, was killed for her Christian faith on 7th January 2011 on the outskirts of Mogadishu, Somalia by Islamic extremists from al Shabaab militia. Asha's husband has fled to an unknown location and according to relatives a "good Samaritan" in Mogadishu is caring for her four children. Asha was arrested after Al Shabaab extremists monitored a conversation she had with a relative, confirming she was Christian.
Al Shabaab insurgents, who control much of southern and central Somalia, seek to impose a strict version of Sharia (Islamic law) and have been designated a terrorist organization by several western governments.
Prayer points: Pray for God's protection over Asha's four children and her husband, who have survived her. Pray for Asha's relatives in Mogadishu, whose lives are also under threat. Pray for the persecuted Christians in southern and central Somalia. Pray God to protect His people from the attacks of Al Shabaab extremists.
Full story: compassdirect.org/english/country/somalia/31290
Source: WEA Religious Liberty Prayer News, 1 February, 2011
- Tajikistan: If enacted, draft law will make it illegal for children to participate in religious activities. "Local religious communities, independent legal experts and human rights defenders have condemned the draft Law, as violating the religious freedom of children and parents among other freedoms guaranteed by Tajikistan's Constitution and international human rights conventions."
Full story: forum18.org/Archive.php?article_id=1552
Source: F18News Summary: Tajikistan, 18 March, 2011
- Ethiopia: 69 churches burned. Christians are urged to pray for displaced believers in western Ethiopia, where extremist Muslims have killed at least one person and burned 69 churches in anti-Christian violence.
Full story: www.bpnews.net/bpnews.asp?id=34859