The Wanderer

As I walked through the wilderness of this world …

Posts Tagged ‘persecution

Closing doors

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A fascinating snippet from Z sends us toward a longer article from Philip Jenkins, the Edwin Erle Sparks Professor of Humanities at Penn State University, about the death of churches.  He suggests that persecution kills churches:

Persecution doesn’t have to exist absolutely constantly over 500 or 1,000 years. Minorities get on perfectly well for 50 years and then there’s persecution and the population is reduced. The ratchet turns another notch, and it will go one way but it won’t turn back. That sort of sporadic persecution through the centuries is what can really destroy a faith.

He argues that we need a theology of church extinction:

I sometimes ask audiences how many people have ever read a book on the growth or establishment of a church, and many people raise their hands. Then I ask how many people have ever read a book on the death or extinction of a church, and virtually nobody does. But in history, church death is a very common phenomenon. Christianity moves from one area to another, but it also dies in areas where it has been strong. That fact violates a lot of what we expect about Christian growth. We have a theology of mission, not a theology of retreat. So do we explain these episodes as the churches doing something horribly wrong? Do we regard them as a natural part of historical development? Do we think that if Muslims replaced Christians in a country like Iraq, the expansion of Islam must be within God’s plan? How Christians actually deal with things like the destruction of the church in Iraq is by not talking about it. We pay no attention to it because we don’t know about it.

He does not seem to suggest that the church of Christ will not prevail, but seems more interested in the providential ebb and flow of God’s kingdom around the world in certain regions and at certain times.

Written by Jeremy Walker

Tuesday 24 March 2009 at 09:21

Posted in Ecclesiology

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Evangelising and persecuting

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Mikey Anderson posts a lecture from Tim Keller to the assembled Google hordes.  An interesting environment and a fascinating address.

Phil Johnson posts stirring reports from India about persecution in the state of Orissa.  “Remember the prisoners as if chained with them — those who are mistreated — since you yourselves are in the body also” (Heb 13.3).

Written by Jeremy Walker

Monday 1 September 2008 at 10:05

“The English Baptists of the 17th Century”

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As I mentioned in an earlier post, my esteemed father, Austin Walker, has been away, and was one of the featured speakers at a conference on The English Baptists of the 17th Century at the Andrew Fuller Center for Baptist Studies on the campus of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

The audio recordings of the conference are now online at the Andrew Fuller Conference website and blog, and doutbless there will be much of interest to historians and general scholars, especially of a Baptist persuasion.  In an act of shameless nepotism, may I draw your attention to my father’s paper on “Benjamin Keach and the Protestant Cause Under Persecution”?  You will find it on the page above (where it can be downloaded), or can go to it directly here.

Written by Jeremy Walker

Friday 29 August 2008 at 19:44

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