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   Pneuma Foundation Informer

The January-February 2010 PNEUMA INFORMER

In this issue

What's New at www.PneumaFoundation.org
New Online Articles
New Links and Content Worth Noticing
Special Report from Tony Richie
Reports from Around the World
After the tsunami: from heartache to ministry
Nepal: Church Bomber Repents
Revival is taking place in Muslim Algeria
Landmark Survey of International Religious Freedom
India: Hindus fear growth of church
News and Headlines
Report the News
Conversations with Readers
Resources You Can Use
Book Buying Tool
Starting a Church Bookstore
Chinese Pentecostal Library Project
Excerpts from THE PNEUMA REVIEW
Stephen M. Vantassel, "Defending Charismatic Theology to Non-Charismatic Believers"
Niehaus's ANCIENT NEAR EASTERN THEMES IN BIBLICAL THEOLOGY, Reviewed by Tony Richie
David Livermore's CULTURAL INTELLIGENCE, Reviewed by Jonathan Downie
Upcoming Conferences
Prayer Requests

What's New at www.PneumaFoundation.org

New Online ArticlesNew Links and Content Worth Noticing
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Special Report from Tony Richie


Historic Occasion: Pentecostal Presence at the National Council of Churches of Christ General Assembly

By Tony Richie

Read this report on PneumaReview.com: PneumaReview.com/historic-occasion-pentecostal-presence-at-the-national-council-of-churches-of-christ-general-assembly

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Tony Richie, D.Min, D.Th. (candidate), a bishop in the Church of God (Cleveland, TN), is pastor of New Harvest in Knoxville, TN and does adjunct teaching at Church of God Theological Seminary (Cleveland, TN) and Church of God South American Seminary (Quito, Ecuador). He also serves the Society for Pentecostal Studies as liaison to the Interfaith Relations Committee of the National Council of Churches. His articles that have appeared in numerous Christian academic journals. www.pentecostalambassador.com


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Reports from Around the World

After the tsunami: from heartache to ministry
A Christian couple in India is turning heartache into ministry. In the 2004 tsunami, Paramesvaran and Choodamani lost all three of their children to the Indian Ocean. At first, they focused their hurt and anger at God. However, they realized they were spared for a reason and decided to help kids orphaned by the tragedy. Today, with the help of the Southern Baptist International Mission Board, Paramesvaran and Choodamani have 20 adopted kids, who have all placed their faith in Christ. Without the couple's influence, these children may never have heard about Christ.
Source: Mission Network News, 1 December, 2009. Full story: http://www.mnnonline.org/article/13563

Nepal: Church Bomber Repents
Disillusioned with Hindu nationalists, the leader of a militant Hindu extremist group says contact with Christians in prison led him to repent of bombing a Catholic church in Kathmandu, Nepal, in May 2008.
Full story: http://charismamag.com/index.php/news/25833-church-bomber-in-nepal-repents-admits-india-link

Revival is taking place in Muslim Algeria
Despite laws preventing conversion, Muslims are turning to Christ in what's being called an amazing move of the Spirit in Northern Algeria. Pastor Youssef Jacob with Operation Mobilization reports phenomenal growth. "We have churches that have grown 820% in a year. Many converts come from Islam with no Christian heritage, no Christian background, no resources whatsoever, no training. But they just believe in God." Jacob says the Kabylie region has a church in every village or town. One village has more churches than mosques. With all the new Christians, training is needed. Jacob says funding is desperate. "If we fail to train, disciple, and empower the Algerian church today, I believe it will be one of the biggest mistakes in the history of missions to the Muslim world." Pray that training will be funded and that the Gospel will be heard across North Africa and Europe.
Source: Mission Network News, 10 December, 2009. Full story: http://www.mnnonline.org/article/13606

Landmark Survey of International Religious Freedom
The Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life has released the Global Restrictions On Religion report that says 70 percent of the world lives in areas with high restrictions on religion.
http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2009/decemberweb-only/151-33.0.html

India: Hindus fear growth of church
Violence continues plaguing Christians across India. Christians are the targets of violence on a weekly basis. Until now, Christians could only guess that they were being attacked because so many Hindus were turning to Christ. President of Mission India of Grand Rapids, Michigan Dave Stravers says now there is hard evidence from hardline Hindu groups. "We [received] a power point presentation from a Hindu extremist group warning people in the state of Karnataka that the Christians are growing so fast that they're worried the state might actually become a majority Christian state." Hindus also believe Andhra Pradesh could become Christian, and radicals are responding with violence. Just recently they attacked a pastor supported by Mission India. "About 11:30 in the morning, in the middle of the service, a group of approximately 50 men ran into the church wielding clubs. They ran up to the pulpit area and just began beating the pastor." Pray that believers will remain strong in their faith and that the church will grow in the face of this type of persecution.
Source: Mission Network News, 23 November, 2009. Full story: http://www.mnnonline.org/article/13533

News and Headlines
Visit links.jsp for Current News and Links

See other news to pray and praise God about in the Prayer Requests department below.

Report the News
We are looking for stories about what God is doing in the world, reports about the persecution of Christians, and information about significant trends and ministry opportunities. If you have a news item to report, please send an email to the PNEUMA INFORMER. http://www.pneumafoundation.org/contactus.jsp

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Conversations with Readers


I thank the whole staff for the good job they have been doing in the whole year. God bless, your reward is big in heaven. I wish you a blessed time when stepping into new year.
God is For You.
— Jared

Dear Tony Richie,
This is just to thank you for your works, especially in the Pneuma Review. I have learned a lot and I just want to say thank you. I admire your work and as a growing African scholar and minister would like to grow to the level you are in.
I have just finished my Master of Theology studies, I am doing ministry with Nairobi Pentecostal church where we are reaching the Asian community here in Nairobi. I am 29 and praying that God will help me go for my PhD to help further His work. Please pray with me ...
Thank you and God Bless
Michael Wambua
Nairobi, Kenya

Hello Michael,
Thanks so much for your kind note. I am glad that my work is a blessing to you. Of course, Pneuma Review is a great periodical for church leaders, ministers, and scholars, and I'm honored to be a small part of its global ministry. I'm making the editor, Raul Mock, aware of your gracious comments and prayer needs. Please be assured that we will continue in prayer for your ministry and studies.
God Bless,
— Tony Richie

Greetings, Tony and Michael. Thank you for the notes of encouragement. I continue to be amazed by what the Lord has allowed some wannabe pastors and Bible teachers from West Michigan (where we got started in the 1990s) to be able to accomplish through the Pneuma Foundation.
As you become aware of resources that can help or have helped to connect growing scholars with further educational opportunities, please let us at the Foundation know about it. We regularly receive requests for such information and it would be a real service to the global church if we could help connect folks to such opportunities.
In the love of the Father,
Raul Mock
Executive Editor, The Pneuma Review

I know coming to towards the end of year must be miracle that we should thank God for. I know the whole staff must have worked vigorously to attain the best in serving God, In the love that Jesus extended to us, I wish you a blessed new year.
— PA


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Resources You Can Use

Book Buying Tool
Doug Lucas of Brigada Today says:
Why do I always use Amazon when Bookfinder4u.com is around? I'm not sure. Because, you see, Bookfinder4u *includes* Amazon in its search, along with about 74 other online stores. www.bookfinder4u.com
If we were asking someone to come fix our roof, we'd get 3 bids. Why do I just take Amazon's price, assuming it's the best. Maybe it is - but Bookfinder4u will always confirm that in an instant. Brigada reader Jim, in Chicago, wrote, "After much research in spring 2007, before buying 50 commentaries covering the Bible, I researched book-shopping comparison search engines. By far the best seemed to be www.bookfinder4u.com. I highly recommend it for saving money on books. It compares the best prices available from Amazon, eBay, and 128 other sites, then arranges them in price order."
Source: 2009/11/08 - Brigada Today

Starting a Church Bookstore
Sean Fowlds, "How to Start a Church Bookstore" (MinistryTodayOnline) http://ministrytodaymag.com/index.php/ministry-facilities/equipment/5481-how-to-start-a-church-bookstore

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Chinese Pentecostal Library Project


Promoting Theology from a Pentecostal/charismatic Perspective in the Chinese-Speaking World

The Pneuma Foundation Board of Directors urges our members to participate in this special project. We are grateful that The Foundation for Pentecostal Scholarship is championing this opportunity to equip believers around the world.

Each day in China 28,000 people enter a Christ-less eternity. A sustained Pentecostal revival is needed to stop this hemorrhaging of souls in this nation of 1.3 billion people. Your help is vital.

Observers of the Chinese church, particularly the burgeoning house church movement, have been impressed by its vitality and largely Pentecostal orientation. However, the Chinese church is entering a new era, one marked by fresh opportunities and unique challenges.

The house churches in China are rapidly emerging from a period of forced isolation (praise God!) and are now actively interacting with Christians from other parts of the world. As they interact with these Christians, Chinese Pentecostals are often confronted with new theological perspectives and different approaches to the Bible. New questions are being raised which demand fresh answers. Generally, this interaction represents a healthy development.

There is, however, a potential downside to this new opening for the Chinese church. Their Pentecostal experience and theology are often criticized and called into question by their new friends. This is particularly the case in the scholarly books many Chinese Christians are beginning to read, books that obscure or berate the possibility of a Pentecostal empowerment for believers. The problem is the lack of scholarly material that is supportive of Pentecostal theology and practice.

With this need in view, The Foundation for Pentecostal Scholarship, in conjunction with friends serving in China, would like to publish and/or distribute to a wider audience a number of scholarly Pentecostal books that are currently available in Chinese. The goal is to make these important books available to key Chinese Bible schools, libraries, and church groups throughout the region (China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Malaysia).

According to one estimate, there are 100 million Christians in China. Probably eighty million of these are Pentecostal/charismatics. This project offers us a chance to support our brothers and sisters there and to insure that the message of the power of Pentecost is not diluted or erased in these formative years but that it will continue to be preached and taught in the higher circles of Chinese academia.

This inexpensive project has the potential of significantly impacting the future church in China and beyond. Please visit www.tffps.org to see how you can help.


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Excerpts from THE PNEUMA REVIEW

THE PNEUMA REVIEW is a quarterly printed journal of ministry resources and theology for Pentecostal and charismatic ministries and leaders. For more information about THE PNEUMA REVIEW, and to learn how to subscribe, please visit: Introducing THE PNEUMA REVIEW. www.pneumafoundation.org/intro_pr.jsp

For a full index of the contents of all Pneuma Review issues, visit: http://www.pneumafoundation.org/pr_archive.jsp.





Stephen M. Vantassel, "Defending Charismatic Theology to Non-Charismatic Believers"

From the Winter 2010 issue

Defending Charismatic Theology to Non-Charismatic Believers
By Stephen M. Vantassel

To read the full article, visit PneumaReview.com: PneumaReview.com/defending-charismatic-theology-to-non-charismatic-believers

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Stephen M. Vantassel, Ph.D. theology (Trinity Theological Seminary), M.A.T.S. Old Testament (Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary), B.S. Biblical Studies (Gordon College), is an instructor of theology at King's Evangelical Divinity School in the U.K. He is also the Assistant Editor for the Evangelical Review of Society and Politics, and author of Dominion over Wildlife? An Environmental-Theology of Human-Wildlife Relations (Wipf and Stock, 2009). He lives with his wife in Lincoln, Nebraska.

Footnotes appear in the printed version of this article excerpt.

Read the rest of this article and many other articles in the Winter 2010 issue of THE PNEUMA REVIEW www.pneumafoundation.org/intro_pr.jsp


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Niehaus's ANCIENT NEAR EASTERN THEMES IN BIBLICAL THEOLOGY, Reviewed by Tony Richie

From the Winter 2010 issue

Jeffrey J. Niehaus, Ancient Near Eastern Themes in Biblical Theology (Grand Rapids: Kregel, 2008), 203 pages, ISBN 9780825433603.

Read the review at PneumaReview.com: PneumaReview.com/jeffrey-niehaus-ancient-near-eastern-themes-in-biblical-theology

Reviewed by Reviewed by Tony Richie

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Tony Richie, D.Min, D.Th. (candidate), a bishop in the Church of God (Cleveland, TN), is pastor of New Harvest in Knoxville, TN and does adjunct teaching at Church of God Theological Seminary (Cleveland, TN) and Church of God South American Seminary (Quito, Ecuador). He also serves the Society for Pentecostal Studies as liaison to the Interfaith Relations Committee of the National Council of Churches. His articles that have appeared in numerous Christian academic journals. www.pentecostalambassador.com

Read more reviews and other articles in the Winter 2010 issue of THE PNEUMA REVIEW www.pneumafoundation.org/intro_pr.jsp


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David Livermore's CULTURAL INTELLIGENCE, Reviewed by Jonathan Downie

From the Winter 2010 issue

David A. Livermore, Cultural Intelligence: Improving your CQ to Engage our Multicultural World (Baker Academic, 2009), 288 pages, ISBN 9780801035890.

Read this review on PneumaReview.com: PneumaReview.com/dlivermore-cultural-intelligence

Reviewed by Jonathan Downie

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Jonathan Downie is a professional interpreter and translator, with a research interest in the use of interpreting and translation in Christian ministry. His company, Integrity Languages, aims to provide interpreting and translation services for Christian organizations as well as advice and training on best practice in these areas. He is married to Helen, a graduate of International Christian College in Glasgow, Scotland.

Read more reviews and other articles in the Winter 2010 issue of THE PNEUMA REVIEW www.pneumafoundation.org/intro_pr.jsp


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Upcoming Conferences

The Great Commission and the Non-Christian Religions
A conference on world religions and the Great Commission, towards a renewal approach to missions.
Where: Regent University School of Divinity in Virginia Beach, Virginia (USA)
When: February 27, 2010, 8:30 am to 4:00 pm
From the website:
With the growth of Christian faith around the world as well as a resurgence of Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism in various regions, some observers have predicted a coming "clash of cultures" or "clash of civilizations." Certainly, if the fundamentalist elements of each of these traditions were in charge, that might well be the case.
However, what if the Holy Spirit were to lead and Christians were to follow in their encounter with other faiths? Or what if at the vanguard of the global Christianity were pentecostal, charismatic and renewal movements with Spirit-filled people engaged in fulfilling the mission of the church? Would that make any difference, and if so, what difference would that make for the encounter between Christianity and the world religions in the twenty-first century?
Clifton Clarke and Amos Yong write:

This year Regent University School of Divinity will hold a symposium focusing on the important topic of renewal theology of mission in a pluralistic world. In particular, we would like to invite you to consider with us a range of important theological and practical issues related to renewal missiology in a religiously plural world: How do and should Pentecostals and charismatic understand religious others? How do and should Pentecostals and charismatics evangelize and missionize people of other faiths? Are there different theologies and mission strategies required for the various world religious traditions? These and other questions will be engaged and we welcome your participation in our deliberations.
Learn more about this symposium by going to: www.regent.edu/greatcommission


Empowered21: Global Congress on Holy Spirit Empowerment in the 21st Century
Where: Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma (USA)
When: April 8-10, 2010
"A Live event that will help shape the future of the Spirit-empowered movement around the world."

Jack Hayford writes: "I deeply believe in the prophetic significance of Empowered21 and I want to invite you to be a part. Just as the Azusa Street Celebration several years ago celebrated the past, Empowered21 is reaching heavenward in a passionate way that we might reach forward in a Holy Spirit directed way." www.empowered21.com


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Prayer Requests

  • Pastor John writes: "Greeting from India. Thank you for your prayers. We need them more and more. We are reaching the unreached rural villages, where people have never heard the name of Jesus even once in their lives. Please pray for them. There are 722 villages never reached by any mission. Please encourage us how can we reach them, how to give them gospel to them. ... Help us to give Jesus to 4 million unreached people in our region. Thank you, Pastor John C." Reference number: 90039347

  • Praying for the Persecuted Church. As you pray for those who suffer just because they are followers of Jesus, be encouraged by the words of a former guerrilla who is now a pastor in Colombia: "It is not easy, but we are certain we are in the hands of the Lord."
    - Pray for the Christians in the precarious Palestinian territories where they face pressure from all sides. Pray that the faith of these believers will not be dampened by the exodus of fellow believers and that they will remain bold witnesses of Christ's love and grace.
    - Pray for believers in Colombia, Mexico and the Philippines as they risk their lives to witness for Christ in communities hostile to God and His Word. Pray that, even when rejected and pressured for their faith, they will put their hope in the Lord as the One who upholds their cause (Psalm 146).
    Source: Adapted from WEA Religious Liberty Prayer News, November 15th, 2009
  • Dr. John Fryters of CHAKAM School of the Bible asks for prayer:
    We have been approved by both the Federal and Provincial government, here in Canada, to build and to initially operate a Construction Trade Training Centre for returnees (returning child soldiers) in Southern Sudan. This major undertaking will take place, starting December 1, 2009.
    As we will be flying into Kampala, on our way to The Sudan, we are contemplating to start a Bible College Campus in both Kampala and possibly Busia. We are currently negotiating with a minister, we have known for about 10 years now, in Mukono, Uganda (suburb of Kampala).
    As soon as we know more details, we certainly will keep you informed.
    Always in the Love of Jesus,
    John
    For more information, visit: www.worldoutreach.ca
  • "Dear Beloved in the Vineyard of our Lord Jesus Christ, My name is Brother Augustine. I am age 33, happily married and father of two kids. I am born again. I am a real estate agent by profession, and a resident of Cameroon. Cameroon is in West Africa. I preach the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ in a small church called Full Gospel Mission. We need musical instruments. Presently we clap our hands during praise time. We want God to provide for us. Please pray for provision. Thank God, may God bless us." Reference Number: 90039416
  • Persecution in Colombia. Twenty-eight indigenous Colombian Christians have been imprisoned since October for refusing to denounce their faith. Logan Maurer with International Christian Concern says the central government gave local governors relative autonomy. "They have devolved power to a governor there who has outlawed Christianity. He has said that if anybody there is a Christian, they're going to go to prison." With that announcement, the local governor over the Kogui (ko-gee) called the Christians together on October 27th. "He was holding a meeting to discuss this issue," said Maurer, "and he surprised these Christians by saying, 'You're all under arrest.'" The governor wants them to maintain more of the traditional identity to the tribal region, which includes animism. The group is still being held because they refuse to reconvert. Maurer says they're concerned about what this means for other believers. Pray. "There are more than 100 individuals that consider themselves Christians and would be affected. If this governor continues to imprison men, women and children, as he has done, you could be looking at up to 100 people in prison for their faith."
    Source: Mission Network News, 23 December, 2009. Full story: http://www.mnnonline.org/article/13660
  • Pray for persecuted believers in the Philippines. Believers in the Philippines are constantly assaulted by two forces: natural disaster and human cruelty. Mindanao is the second largest of three island groups in what makes up the Philippines (7,107 islands in all). Located astride a typhoon belt, it is generally affected by 15 cyclones per year and struck directly by five or six more. Landslides from the mountainous areas, volcanoes, earthquakes, and tsunamis are among the other natural disasters threatening these tiny islands all year long.
    But perhaps the most devastating trial for these people is the cruelty imposed on them by barbaric terrorists, bandits, or communist rebels. They kidnap men, women, or children, in order to extort money from the terrorized family.
    On November 9, 2009, a school principal was beheaded when his family failed to meet their demands. These terrorists strike against anyone, at anytime.
    Source: Missions Insider "AFRICA: Starvation for Thanksgiving." Full story: http://www.christianaid.org/Missionaries/MIR/mir20091120.aspx
  • A pastor is in urgent need of a regular insulin supply. Please pray for him and his congregation. Reference Number: 90039869