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September 27, 2006


Andrew Northern

Ryan, it sounds like you've got a great class. I graduated from my undergrad in Bible college in 2004 and have been learning the reality of Mission in culture since then.


Great to hear the start of class went well!

Markus Watson

Yeah, I took Shenk's class in 1997 (I think). I still think about the "MacDonaldization" of our culture...

Jamie Arpin-Ricci

It is very interesting to me, as I spent a great deal of time and energy to "do missions" in "frontier" settings. Then felt strongly God was calling me to serve in the Canadian urban context. I soon learned that those lessons were invaluable to me. It played a big part in my ultimately connecting to the emerging church conversation. Wish I could take the course!


Existential Punk

This is interesting because many evangelical fundamentalists, which i used to be one, insist our western culture has had it's chance and the 10/40 window MUST be EVANGELIZED. i really resonate with what you are talkin g about. Any book suggestions for this topic?


I'm always fascinated and excited when many like yourself are looking at the west through missiologicals lenses.

BTW, while I was at the Lausanne Younger Leaders gathering here in Malaysia, my roommate was one of your students doing the MA in Global Leadership :-)He was reading "Leadership Next" by Eddie Gibbs while I had "Emerging Churches" in my car.

Jared Williams

Yeah! Keep it going, Ryan!


I'm a past MP520 student myself, from the days before the celebrated Ryan Bolger took the helm.

The above claims that "mission reflection was always done for/to the non-West", and that Newbigin "suggested that the West was a mission field". However, as I survey the history of the Church, there are countless examples of those who sought to win their own generation, and did a lot of reflecting on it, too. In fact, this was the subject of seminars I took in 1979, which studied "unsere Gesellschaft" extensively. It could be too easy to exaggerate one's own historical importance, or to forget that the Spirit raises up a concern for each generation within each generation -- or indeed that the Spirit may move in phases.

George Hunsinger considers Lesslie Newbigin to be “typical of postliberal theology”. In the context of postliberal theology one might say yes Ryan, you are right, this is where it "really" began. But surely not in a wider context -- I can't see that.


I've taken this class as well, though not with Ryan. I'm curious about the change of name for the course. Is our mission really to transform contemporary culture? What was the thinking behind the name change?


Thomas, I think the change is a strong anthropological focus on knowing the recipient culture as misssionaries have done for the last 60 years or so. Most churches do not teach their members modes of cultural analysis. But you are right - Christians have been sharing their faith to their neighbors since Pentecost...

Regarding the name change -- the class formerly looked to map contemporary culture, but how to address it with the kingdom of God was often not addressed. I've looked to add this component to this class, so we not only understand but transform...



i just want a peace but full life...

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  • Hi, welcome to my former blog! My name is Ryan Bolger, and this is where I posted my thoughts on Jesus, culture, new forms of community, among other things. Come visit me at my new blog: http://www.ryanbolger.com. I still teach at Fuller Seminary in Southern California where I'm doing some writing as well. Feel free to bounce around the new or old website -- I hope it might stir your imagination -- feel free to stir mine as well by leaving some comments, preferably at the new site... Peace...


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