Wednesday, October 22, 2008


The Early Church Father Tertullian is reported to have said something along the lines of "The blood of Christians is seed." I've had a bit of trouble tracking down the actual place which translates this way, so the quote may be apocryphal (as many good lines turn out to be), but it raised a thought experiment in my mind. What do you think of the following...

Is it possible that we are going about evangelism in so-called "creative access" countries all wrong? Legend says that many of the early missionaries to Central Africa packed their few possessions in a coffin so that when they were struck down by one or another tropical disease (or hungry native tribe), their mission could have the means for burial ready to hand. They went, in other words, despite their expectation of dying. In a similar way, missionaries in the early centuries of the Church went among the tribesmen of Northern Europe and the Middle East not secretly, but boldly proclaiming the gospel, come what may. Out of these efforts came the vibrancy of today's African Christianity and the Christianization of Europe, respectively. What if we tried a similar approach in the 10/40 Window? What if we were to recruit missionaries and provide them with cultural and linguistic training, knowing that their trip to such places would most likely be one-way? Is it really better to be a "tentmaker" in a closed country, building the faith in secret? Or is that merely the way that we rationalize our fear of martyrdom?

1 comment:

Stephen said...

I am with you.