This chapter considers the following themes in the Bible and in African Traditional Religions: first, continuity (should the kikuyu name for God be written ngai or Ngai?); second, accommodation (what does it mean for the ‘treasures and wealth of the nations’ to be brought into the kingdom of God?); confrontation (is there such a thing as ‘theological fornication’?); and salvation (outside the church is there any salvation?). These themes are illustrated by contemporary stories of mission in Kenya.
In March 2003, I chaired a conference at St Mary’s Islington, on ‘Our Mission in Britain Today’. The three addresses were from conservative, open and charismatic perspectives, of evangelical Anglicanism. I arranged for their publication in a journal and wrote this chapter to set the scene for them, and for the fourth National Evangelical Anglican Congress in September 2003 at Blackpool. I provided first the current outlines of the three traditions, and then reflections on their history and theology before concluding about the need for rigour without rancour.
In my conclusion, I consider Genesis and the Ascension in tracing the concept of God who creates and then ‘gets out of the way’, providing space for human beings, while also reshaping God’s supportive presence. Mission involves following this pattern of God, who creates, gets out of the way, and assures. I point out that in the previous chapters mission and church, theology and practice, worship and ministry have all interwoven over the years, and give three answers to the question ‘why write?’. I end with my poem, The Prayer Stool, which involves delving deeply into God and being sent out by God into his world.
This chapter developed out of a lecture given at the Catholic Theological Union, Chicago, in 2010. It gives the context for my mission as a bishop in Dorset as well as reflecting on the themes of Word, Tradition, Sacrament and Unity and on the bishops (David Gitari, John V. Taylor, David Stancliffe and Tom Wright) and theologians (Oliver O’Donovan, Kwame Bediako, David Ford and Michael Nai-Chiu Poon) who have influenced me.
This chapter grew out of an annual silent retreat at All Hallows Convent, Ditchingham, Norfolk, in July 1996. I tried to read the whole book of Deuteronomy imaginatively through the eyes of Christ, and surprisingly discovered a possible seed of the parable of the Prodigal Son in Deuteronomy 21.15–21. I consider the context in Deuteronomy of protection against a capricious father who had two sons; the dreadful stoning of the recalcitrant son at the town gate; an honourable father and son relationship in Hebrew scholarship; Luke 15 and the prodigal son; Paul’s use of Deuteronomy 21 in Galatians 3 and Jesus stopping the stoning of the woman caught in adultery in John 8.
This chapter was a guest lecture at the Pontifical Urban University, Rome, in October 2016. John R. W. Stott, Rector Emeritus of All Souls Church, Langham Place, London, and theologian of the worldwide Evangelical movement, co-chaired the Evangelical-Roman Catholic Dialogue on Mission and the Catholic co-chair was Mgr. Basil Meeking, under-secretary of the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity, Rome. Drawing on Stott’s private papers at Lambeth Palace Library, I describe the background to the dialogue, the three meetings in Italy, England and France and the 20,000 word report which featured in Time magazine.
In 1989 I attended the evangelical world mission conference, ‘Lausanne II in Manila’, in The Philippines, as one of the Church Mission Society delegates. After describing the context, I consider theologically three themes: the holistic gospel of the Kingdom and the co-inherence of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit; eschatology and its influence on mission theology; and how the doctrine of the unity of the Church challenges some principles of church growth.
This lecture in the Faculty of Divinity, University of Cambridge, in 2012, commemorated the bicentenary of the death of Henry Martyn. I began with expounding two portraits of Martyn before considering: first, his life in India and Persia; second, his influence on converts, writers, and missionaries; and third, his legacy in the scholarly study of mission, dialogue and world Christianity today; before concluding with his challenge to vocations for our age.
This is an elucidation of an original watercolour painting, which was found in a cupboard at Ridley Hall, Cambridge and is now in the Cambridge Centre for Christianity Worldwide. Adbul Masih was a former Muslim, colleague of Henry Martyn, medic and the second ordained Indian priest. I describe the painting and how it was discovered, and consider three parts of it: first, the turban, his background as a Muslim and how he came to meet Martyn; second, the open New Testament, Martyn’s translation into Hindustani, which brought him to faith in Christ; third, the books and the bottles, his work as a medical missionary and later ordination. I suggest the provenance of the painting was his ordination.
In this introduction I expound each of the words of the title of the book, ‘Nourishing’, ‘Mission’, ‘Theological’, and ‘Settings,’ provide autobiographical settings to the each of the 16 chapters and overviews of them, consider six cohering themes of the whole book, and conclude with thanksgiving.