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Rain and Unknown Gods: Missive On Missionary Praying

ReachTheWorld

Vultures sat atop carcasses of dead gods. Dry, dusty, and dangerous is May in Rajasthan, India. So even the divine Brahman cows gave up and died because temperatures soared to 128 degrees in the shade as students and I worked in villages near Sawai Madhopur. Ethnographic surveys gave presence in the villages. Being dry season, the village Sarpanches, or leaders, were available to interact through translation. We covered five Hindu villages and two Islamic ones in 10 days. Read More »

Like a Steersman in a Storm: The Courage of Adoniram Judson

judson_ship

Near the end of his life, the pioneer American missionary, Adoniram Judson (1788-1850), returned to America for the first time since he departed nearly 35 years prior. The twice–widowed Judson along with his children came in need of recuperation and rest and were welcomed with virtual celebrity status all along the Eastern seaboard. Instead of rest, Judson was shuttled from meeting to meeting speaking to churches both north and south. Read More »

Seven Summits Worth Climbing in Church History: Carl F. H. Henry

Editor’s Note: This article originally appeared on B&H Academic Blog and is part of a series of theological biographies by Jason Duesing: Seven Summits Worth Climbing in Church History.

“He is intellectually the most eminent of conservative theologians. I would say he’s been the professor and I’ve been the student.” So said Billy Graham reflecting upon the influence of Carl F. H. Henry (1913-2003). Like Philipp Melanchthon to Martin Luther, or Andrew Fuller to William Carey, with the passing of time the figures in history that built the theological infrastructure to support and defend an evangelical movement often fade from popular memory. Graham, Luther, Carey we know, but names like Carl F. H. Henry are not readily in view. Although unknown, Henry is not forgotten. Gregory Alan Thornbury’s latest work is quickly becoming one of the books to read this year. This is a welcomed and needed volume, for the perceptive Thornbury observes, “So it seems as though there may still be enough of us left who believe that Carl Henry, a key to evangelicalism’s past, may in fact be a cipher to its future.” What is it then that made Henry so effective in his day and thus worth reviewing now? Carl Trueman believes that one part of what made Henry remarkable was his “unerring ability to see the big picture, to focus on issues of real substance, and to communicate the significance of these issues to the theological public.” Henry saw this big picture first in his younger days as a journalist. Read More »

Seven Summits Worth Climbing in Church History: William Carey

Editor’s Note: This article originally appeared on B&H Academic Blog and is part of a series of theological biographies by Jason Duesing: Seven Summits Worth Climbing in Church History

“He keeps the grand end in view.” After arriving in India in September 1796, John Fountain used these words to describe his first impressions of William Carey (1761-1834). A missionary pioneer, organizer, catalyst, survivor, and inspiration, Carey lived 73 full years and changed the modern world. J. H. Kane argues that Carey’s missions tract, An Enquiry, was “a landmark in Christian history and deserves a place alongside Martin Luther’s Ninety-five Theses.” Carey’s nephew attributed much of Carey’s fruitful longevity to “invincible patience in labour, and uninterrupted constancy.” Carey would not agree with these assessments. In his words, if one were to “give me credit for being a plodder, he will describe me justly. Anything beyond this will be too much. I can plod.” Read More »

The Cacophony of Silence: Rising Global neo-Pentecostalism, World Christianity, and the Southern Baptist Convention

It had already been a long journey and I still had a long set of flights out of Nigeria routing back to the United States. During my visit to the Nigerian Baptist Theological Seminary in Ogobomso, I met many fine folk. They are indeed doing a tremendous job of engaging lost people with the good news in the midst of horrific conflict posed to the whole nation, and the world, from a violent stream of Islam known as Boko Haram. One of the institution’s administrators accompanied me back to Lagos, Nigeria to fly out. Read More »

An Embrace: A Madagascar Tale

At the end of a long, arduous overland journey below the Tropic of Capricorn on the island of Madagascar in January 2013; I along with a team of Southwestern Seminary students went out for one more stroll into the streets of Abovombe, in the southwest part of the island, to talk to willing listeners about the Good News of Jesus Christ. We were on our first team trip to find and share with the Antandroy people of Madagascar. The International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention challenged the Convention to respond to the call to Embrace the remaining Unreached Unengaged People Groups (UUPG) of the world. Little did I realize how literal that term, Embrace, would become for me at the end of that long day. Read More »

Sending Out Recent High School Graduates to the Nations

Missions is evangelism and compassionate ministry in the name of Christ. Both here and there and to the uttermost parts of the earth. It flows from passion for Christ’s renown and an insatiable thirst to see the multiplication of worshippers before His throne for all of eternity. On earth the goal is not making converts but making disciples. Or better yet, making disciple makers. Read More »

For Judson, a Sermon Pointed Him Eastward

Editor’s Note: This article first appeared on Baptist Press. For more on Adoniram Judson’s life, read “Adoniram Judson: A Bicentennial Appreciation of the Pioneer American Missionary,” edited by Jason G. Duesing, assistant professor of historical theology vice president for strategic initiatives at Southwestern Seminary.

Adoniram Judson underwent a series of conversions on his journey to the mission field. Read More »

Judson and an Unlikely Missions Candidate

Editor’s Note: This article first appeared on Baptist Press, and is adapted from Paige Patterson’s introduction to “Adoniram Judson: A Bicentennial Appreciation of the Pioneer American Missionary,” edited by Jason G. Duesing, assistant professor of historical theology vice president for strategic initiatives at Southwestern Seminary.

My appreciation for the life of Adoniram Judson began in 1957 when my dad, Thomas Armour Patterson, a missionary-hearted pastor, placed a book in my hands and urged that I read it carefully. Read More »

Seeing Things Inside-Out: Evangelicals and World Christian Studies

Until lions have their historians, tales of the hunt shall always glorify the hunters.

—African Proverb[1]

It is a safe assumption that no lions will ever have their own historians, but there are some historians today that are lionhearted about seeing the Christian world through the eyes of those embracing the faith in massive numbers throughout the non-Western world. The shifted perspective changes most conventional understandings of Christianity today, especially its missiological and historical developments. The term used to describe the academic discipline devoted to discernment and analysis of these happenings is World Christian Studies.[2] Read More »

How in the World Will We Reach the Antandroy?

how2reach-antandroy

In response to the IMB’s request to adopt an people group, Southwestern has selected the Antandroy of Madagascar. How will Southwestern engage the Antandroy? We’re glad you asked. In partnership with the International Mission Board (IMB), Southwestern is developing a multi-tiered approach to support the missionary endeavors currently in progress as well as to provide fresh “boots on the ground” to reach the Antandroy. Read More »

Throwing Our Hats Over the Wall

Irish writer, Frank O’Connor, told the story of two boys standing beside a tall orchard wall launching a small, felt, round object up in the air like a Frisbee. If you had been there to see them, it would have looked strange—even foolish. With the enthusiasm of a college graduate, one of the boys hurls his hat and you arrive just in time to see it leave the hand of its owner and travel high—up and over an imposing and significant wall. Read More »

Adoniram Judson: A Profound Calling

Editor’s Note: On Feb. 19, 1812, newly-weds Adoniram and Ann Judson set sail with others as the first American foreign missionaries. Later this year, B&H will release “Adoniram Judson: A Bicentennial Appreciation of the Pioneer American Missionary,” edited by Jason G. Duesing with contributions from Southwestern Seminary professors. This article is part of a four-part series on Judson’s life and impact.

In some few lives, the temporal kisses the eternal in that their earthly life embraces the truths and calling of heaven. They pour themselves out for others. Such individuals are odd to some because this world seems not to be their home. They are sojourners. To others, they are heroic. Yet, in New Testament terms, they simply live out normal discipleship—denying self and clinging to the cause of the cross. Read More »

Judson’s Spiritual Formation: Sketches from his Pre-Baptist Days

Editor’s Note: On Feb. 19, 1812, newly-weds Adoniram and Ann Judson set sail with others as the first American foreign missionaries. Later this year, B&H will release “Adoniram Judson: A Bicentennial Appreciation of the Pioneer American Missionary,” edited by Jason G. Duesing with contributions from Southwestern Seminary professors. This article is part of a four-part series on Judson’s life and impact.

Often the work of a historian is similar to that of a criminal detective: we are left with a few shreds of evidence in our effort to reconstruct the past. Take for instance Adoniram Judson (1788-1850). While the famed Baptist missionary to Burma left behind many clues to his heroic missionary endeavors, virtually nothing survives from his youthful pre-Baptist days. Yet the bits of evidence we do have from this period point to one, often overlooked, conclusion: that Adoniram Judson’s upbringing and ministerial training occurred in the context of the New Divinity movement. Who were the New Divinity, how was Judson related to them, and what accounts for their missionary fervor? Read More »

A Love that Endures: The Legacy of Ann, Sarah, and Emily Judson

Editor’s Note: On Feb. 19, 1812, newly-weds Adoniram and Ann Judson set sail with others as the first American foreign missionaries. Later this year, B&H will release “Adoniram Judson: A Bicentennial Appreciation of the Pioneer American Missionary,” edited by Jason G. Duesing with contributions from Southwestern Seminary professors. This article is part of a four-part series on Judson’s life and impact.


“Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never fails
,” 1 Cor. 13:7-8a.

Edward Judson, one of the sons of Adoniram and Sarah Judson, remarked, “There are very few of those who have gone out from this country as missionaries who are not indebted to Mr. Judson for his methods and inspiration.”[1] Indeed, Judson’s life and ministry has left an indelible mark not only on Burma, but also on so many missionaries who have surrendered to God’s call. However, Judson’s story is incomplete without a look at the three incredible women who shared the journey with him at different points along the way. Read More »

On Judson’s 200th: Please Go and Dig

Editor’s Note: On Feb. 19, 1812, newly-weds Adoniram and Ann Judson set sail with others as the first American foreign missionaries. Later this year, B&H will release “Adoniram Judson: A Bicentennial Appreciation of the Pioneer American Missionary,” edited by Jason G. Duesing with contributions from Southwestern Seminary professors. This article is part of a four-part series on Judson’s life and impact.

The rocks signified a specific event in Israel’s history. The crossing of the Jordan into the Promised Land—a supernatural event—revealed God acting on behalf of His people to keep His promise, show His faithfulness, and display His might. While the generation who migrated across the divided river would never forget walking through that divinely-made aisle, human nature and subsequent circumstances likely would have prevented those distinct memories from remaining with the next generation. Read More »