The May 2009 PNEUMA INFORMER
In this issue
What's New at www.PneumaFoundation.orgNew Online Articles
New Links and Content Worth Noticing
- In Depth Book Review: D.H. Williams, Tradition, Scripture, and Interpretation: A Sourcebook of the Ancient Church (Wheaton: Crossway Books, 2007). Reviewed by Bradford McCall.. Added May 11, 2009. On the In Depth Resources page: http://www.pneumafoundation.org/resources/in_depth.jsp
- Book Review: James W. Sire, Praying the Psalms of Jesus Reviewed by Bradford McCall. Added May 11, 2009. http://www.pneumafoundation.org/article.jsp?article=/JSire-PrayingPsalms-BMcCall.xml
- In Depth Book Review: Vern S. Poythress, Redeeming Science: A God-Centered Approach (Wheaton: Crossway Books, 2006). Reviewed by Bradford McCall. Added May 11, 2009. On the In Depth Resources page: http://www.pneumafoundation.org/resources/in_depth.jsp
- The Pneuma Foundation is pleased to add content to our website as a resource to our members and friends around the world. We also add links to content that we are not able to republish ourselves, but may be of interest. Here are some examples of links added recently to "Links to Articles & Books" www.pneumafoundation.org/links_articles.jsp and from "Links to Study Resources" www.pneumafoundation.org/links_study.jsp
- The largest list of Pentecostal/charismatic Bible Schools available online anywhere. http://www.pneumafoundation.org/links_schools.jsp
Add your school: http://www.pneumafoundation.org/links.jsp#link
- Church Leadership: Richard D. Dobbins, "How to Pastor Difficult People" (MinistryToday). http://www.ministrytodaymag.com/index.php/ministry-leadership/culture/7294-how-to-pastor-difficult-people
- Christian History: Joseph Loconte, "The Golden Rule of Toleration: 300 years ago, Pierre Bayle offered a Protestant defense of religious pluralism" (ChristianHistory.net). http://www.christianitytoday.com/ch/thepastinthepresent/historymatters/goldenrule.html
- On the In Depth Resources index: Dana L. Robert, "The Ministry of Ezekiel Guti: Pentecostalism in Zimbabwe" (Books & Culture, Mar/Apr 2009). http://www.christianitytoday.com/bc/2009/marapr/17.34.html
- J. Lee Grady, "Meaningful Male Friendship in a Disconnected Age" The epidemic of moral failure among men in the church today is directly tied to our lack of healthy relationships. http://charismamag.com/index.php/fire-in-my-bones/20755-meaningful-male-friendship-in-a-disconnected-age
- On the In Depth Resources index: Jehu J. Hanciles, "Homegrown: The Africanness of African Pentecostalism". A review of Ogbu Kalu, African Pentecostalism: An Introduction (Oxford Univ. Press, 2008), as appearing in Books & Culture (Mar/Apr 2009). http://www.christianitytoday.com/bc/2009/marapr/18.38.html
- On the In Depth Resources index: Joel Carpenter, "Now What?: Revivalist Christianity and Global South politics" (Books & Culture, Mar/Apr 2009). http://www.christianitytoday.com/bc/2009/marapr/16.34.html
- On the In Depth Resources index: Bruce Hindmarsh, "And Can It Be?: Charles Wesley gets his turn" Books & Culture (May/June 2009). Charles' later ecclesial and theological differences with his brother John and John's disciples led to Charles' monumental contributions to early Methodism being downplayed and forgotten. http://www.christianitytoday.com/bc/2009/mayjun/andcanitbe.html
Reports from Around the World
India: Believers number more than 10 percent of population
The number of believers in India has risen to 10 or 11 percent of the population, rising from three percent in the last 20 years. Pray for boldness for believers as they continue to be persecuted.
Source: Mission Network News, 17 March, 2009. Full story: http://www.mnnonline.org/article/12429
Special Report: Healing and Deliverance on Vanuatu Island
Charles Carrin writes: Terri M., of Franklin, Tennessee, writes of her recent mission trip to the island of Vanuatu in the South Pacific. Terri sometimes travels to places missed by other missionaries. Parts of Vanuatu are inhabited by people wearing grass-skirts, loin-cloths - or no clothes at all. God has honored Terri's obedience with a wonderful increase of His Anointing and Glory. I share part of her letter. Chas
I am very excited to share the news about the great things God has done! Once again, I stand amazed at His goodness and grace. And this time my friend Peggy R. shared it with me. And what a joy to have her! What we saw and experienced is difficult to pass on to you. It is larger than my ability to relate it-- but I will try. I know you guys prayed for us and want to hear.
The first healing was a young man in a Kastum village. They still practice witchcraft, or black magic, as far as I understand, and consult with the spirits of dead ancestors. As soon as Peggy and I arrived, three men came carrying him out. I thought he had a severe fracture that was protruding thru the skin, but Peggy,(an O.R. nurse) said it was some kind of infection. He was unable to bear any weight and was in great pain. After breaking any curses that may have been on him I released prayer for him. After a few minutes of prayer the wound erupted and started to drain out the infection. Men in the village were gathered around in excitement at seeing this happen. They were scraping the drainage off with leaves. His parents were very grateful.
After his healing an elderly man came to have his hearing healed and he got it! We tested it from good distances and it was in fact, healed. There was no worship and preaching as we would have in the U.S. These people don't know our "order". They heard God would heal so they come to get it. Afterwards I preached. The Chief allowed it--and I think in itself that was quite extraordinary.
A lady from the Cargo Cult in another village meeting was one of the first healed. I was unaware of it until our guide told me. He said she was one of the first I prayed for. She came on a walking stick and left without it! On that day, there were numerous healings. Deafness was healed and I believe I saw a blind eye opened. In one village, a woman who had lost her hearing in one ear because of a beating from her husband got healed. She had [been] deaf for 18 years. -- It goes on and on and on. We do have video in one village asking how many got healed. Many hands went up.
The deaf heard, the blind saw, the lame walked, and I don't even know what else. When some of the healings were taking place there was so much going on that I really am not sure what all happened. Our guide, Morice, told me that he would gather and record as much of it as he could. How I love it when I don't have a plan. God brings it together!
The people simply believed and received. They were told God was healing people, so they came and got theirs. There were healings for the people of the John Frum Cargo Cult and people from Kastum villages as well as Christians from local churches. I was faithful to ask most everyone I prayed for if they belonged to Jesus and 95% + said they did.
Family, God is still God! Demons still tremble! Healings are the norm! I would be glad to relate more by phone if anyone wants to talk. It is huge, wild, exciting, and more joyous than this bit or writing can convey.
Thank you so much for your prayers, the money you gave towards the purchase of Bislama Bibles, and for the reading glasses. All were gratefully and gleefully received. Lives are changed, forever. Praise God for the body of Christ!
Still and Always His,
Source: Charles Carrin Ministry Newsletter, May 14, 2009
Worldwide: Christ the only way to end trafficking
One girl was saved from a brothel in north India and given the hope of Christ. The young girl was sold to the brothel by her stepmother at the age of 14. Thankfully, she was found by a Christian rescue mission. But millions more are less fortunate, including over 14,000 foreign nationals brought into the U.S. and sold every year. Ministries like International Mission Board have programs in high-risk countries to help provide a way out and bring the love of Christ to victims of trafficking. Your prayers are needed. Take a stand for the most vulnerable people in the world.
Source: Adapted from Mission Network News, 23 March, 2009. Full story: http://www.mnnonline.org/article/12453
India: Hope for slum dwellers
Russia: Is a New Inquisition Coming?
The powers of the Russian Justice Ministry's Expert Council for Conducting State Religious-Studies Analysis were considerably widened in February 2009, allowing it to investigate the activity, doctrines, leadership decisions, literature and worship of any registered religious organisation and recommend action to the Ministry. The subsequent appointment of renowned "anti-cultists" and controversial scholars of Islam to the Council - including Aleksandr Dvorkin as its chair, who has described the faith of charismatic Protestants as "a crude magical-occult system with elements of psychological manipulation" - have led a wide range of religious representatives to liken the Council to a new "inquisition", Forum 18 News Service notes. If the Council is given free rein, it is likely to recommend harsh measures against certain religious organisations. At the Council's first meeting, Dvorkin named the Russian Bible Society as a possible target for investigation, but its executive director told Forum 18 no action has followed. Forum 18 asked the Justice Ministry how many commissions it is likely to give the Council each year, whether the Ministry will automatically accept its conclusions and, if not, who will decide. However, the Ministry has so far failed to respond.
Source: Adapted from "F18News Summary: Kyrgyzstan; Russia" | http://www.forum18.org/Archive.php?article_id=1299 and http://www.forum18.org/Archive.php?article_id=1300
UAE: Christ's love demonstrated through medical care in the Middle East
Infant mortality rates that stood at 50-percent in the United Arab Emirates are now less than one-percent, and maternal mortality is almost unheard of. That's the legacy of CURE International. David Printy runs their Oasis Hospital. "There's a strong tradition and a high level of trust," which builds into credibility and opens doors for more. "We are predominantly a hospital for women and children. We deliver over 300 babies a month. We have a very active pediatric clinic, and we are a teaching hospital of the UAE medical school. It's kind of a model for what we're doing in Kabul, Afghanistan right now." Printy says their patients know they're Christians. They also make sure the Gospel is available. "One of the things for which we have permission is that in each patient's room, there is an Arabic translation of Luke, and they also have an Arabic translation of the JESUS film. The government has allowed us to have those in the rooms, and if the patients choose to take them with them, they're free to do that." Last year, the hospital distributed more than 500 Scripture portions and copies of the JESUS film. Pray that the seeds planted will take root.
Source: Mission Network News 12 March, 2009. Full story: http://www.mnnonline.org/article/12414
Somalia: Pirate eyes not seeing
The United States vows to fight piracy along the Somali coastline. Companies using those shipping lanes are wary as pirate attacks have increased dramatically. Africa Inland Mission ships vital supplies to their teams using these lanes. Recently, pirates did board a ship which carried several of AIM's containers, and they broke into one of them. What the pirates found was a large supply of bandages which had been used to fill extra space in the container, so they went on to the next container, leaving AIM's equipment, packed under the bandages, untouched.
Source: Adapted from Mission Network News, 4 May, 2009. Full story: http://www.mnnonline.org/article/12614
Ever wonder if giving to missions really makes a difference? A new study shows that churches of all denominations gave $8.6 billion for international relief and development in 2007, nearly a quarter of all U.S. giving to developing countries.
According to the annual "Index of Global Philanthropy and Remittances" study by Hudson Institute's Center for Global Prosperity (CGP), 74 percent of American congregations gave an average of $11,960, and about 89,000 churches gave directly to programs in foreign countries for a combined $3.3 billion. Other means of church giving included short-term mission or service trips (one-third of all congregations did this), as well as long-term development projects (30 percent) that contributed more than $1.4 billion to aid other countries.
"Together, religious organizations and PVOs [private and voluntary organizations], including volunteers to international development causes, gave more in aid to developing countries than the U.S. government did in 2007," said Carol Adelman, director of the CGP. "Religious congregations ... are becoming major players in the world of international development, bringing new ideas, dollars and people to the table to help the world's poor."
So where did all this money go? The areas benefiting from American generosity were Latin America and the Caribbean (36 percent); Asia and the Pacific (29 percent); sub-Saharan Africa (21 percent); Europe and Central Asia (9 percent); and North Africa and the Middle East (5 percent). At least 34 percent of congregational giving went toward education, 26 percent was allotted for health and medical projects, and 22 percent for disaster relief.
Source: Hudson Institute http://www.hudson.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=publication_details&id=6237
India: Christians hope for change from elections
News and Headlines
Christians were among the first to vote in the ongoing elections in India. The first voting day took place Orissa state where thousands of Christians were attacked last fall. Danny Punnose of Gospel for Asia says this is a surprising move by the government. "This is kind of a historic thing where in the past, things like this would happen to bring fear and keep the Christians from voting. But this is going to bring a very loud statement to those in power that you cannot hurt minorities without repercussions taking place." Christians hope the elections will result in a more Christian-friendly government. In the meantime, believers in India need your prayer. "Pray and ask the Lord that they would be able to stand strong no matter what comes their way, that their faith would be strong, and that they would be a witness to their neighbors. And that's the greatest thing that they long for, that more people would come to know Jesus through their life."
Read the follow up announcement: Christians celebrate national elections victory While this does not mean that persecution will end, "[t]his will definitely benefit the growth of Christianity in the next five years" (MNN). http://www.mnnonline.org/article/12677
Source: Mission Network News, 30 April, 2009. Full story: http://www.mnnonline.org/article/12603
for Current News and Links
- USA: Washington D.C. City Council Passes Bill Recognizing Same-Sex Marriages (CharismaNews). http://www.charismamag.com/index.php/news/20590-dc-city-council-passes-bill-recognizing-gay-marriages
- "Nothing less than a dramatic, transformational revival can turn America back toward Jesus Christ in our generation" (Opens as a PDF: http://www.awakeningamerica.us/docs/general/LexingtonSummit_FinalPR_0409.pdf). Awakening America Alliance and national Christian Leaders convened near the sight of the historic Cane Ridge Camp Meeting to discuss research on the spiritual condition of America and indicators of a spiritual awakening (AAA Press Release).
- America’s largest Hispanic Christian organization launches National Hispanic Pentecostal Congress (NHCLC Press Release). http://www.nhclc.org/about/news/may2009_1.html
- Nepal: Government in turmoil after Maoist resigns Gospel for Asia urges prayer for situation (MNN). http://www.mnnonline.org/article/12626
- USA: Megachurches thriving despite economic downturn (CharismaNews). http://www.charismamag.com/index.php/news/20591-megachurches-thriving
- USA: "Hate Crimes" bill passes House (MNN). http://www.mnnonline.org/article/12621
- Nagorno-Karabakh: Unrecognized nation refuses to recognize a church The Revival Fire Evangelical Church is denied legal status (Forum18). http://www.forum18.org/Archive.php?article_id=1290
- Editorial: J. Lee Grady, "Sharing Jesus With the ‘Slumdogs' of Mumbai" "I used to ask God why people suffer like this. Finally I came to the place where I stopped asking questions and started being the answer." - Biju Thampy | http://charismamag.com/index.php/fire-in-my-bones/20499-sharing-jesus-with-the-slumdogs-of-mumbai
- Sri Lanka: Christians serve war refugees (MNN). http://www.mnnonline.org/article/12629
- Afghanistan: US military destroys Afghan Bibles (MNN). http://www.mnnonline.org/article/12640
- Editorial: Evangelicals - the new Mainline "American evangelicalism is displacing the old mainline. How do we keep from suffering the same fate?" (ChristianityTodayOnline). http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2009/mayweb-only/119-21.0.html
- Archaeology: Virtual Catacombs (ImagoFedei). http://blog.christianitytoday.com/images/2009/05/virtual-catacombs.html
- USA: IRS says Pastors + Politics = OK "This liberal attempt to intimidate pastors has backfired". The IRS has now put it in writing that besides endorsing a specific political candidate or using ministry funds to support a political cause, pastors may become politically active "on behalf of moral values" (MinsitryToday). http://www.ministrytodaymag.com/index.php/ministry-news/65-news-main/18446-see-the-irs-isnt-so-bad-after-all
- Editorial: "What Do Prayer Studies Prove?: When a landmark study suggests that intercessory prayer may actually hurt patients instead of help them, you have to wonder" (Christianity Today, May 2009). http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2009/may/27.43.html
- "Customs Confusion: New visa rules trip up traveling religious workers" (Christianity Today, June 2009). http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2009/june/1.13.html
- India: Christians celebrate national elections victory While this does not mean that persecution will end, "[t]his will definitely benefit the growth of Christianity in the next five years" (MNN). http://www.mnnonline.org/article/12677
- USA: Brownsville Revival Leaders, Students Reunite (CharismaNews). http://www.charismamag.com/index.php/news/22059-brownsville-revival-leaders-students-reunite
- Obituary: Dr. Rolf K. McPherson with the Lord (Foursquare News). http://www.foursquare.org/articles/837,1.html
- Obituary: Dr. Ralph D. Winter Dies at 84 (Brigada). http://www.brigada.org/2009/03/1a-special-close-up-dr-ralph-d-winter.html
- Editorial: Sam Rodriguez, "Hispanic Evangelicals 2.0" (CharismaNews). http://www.ministrytodaymag.com/index.php/ministry-life/multicultural/13664-hispanic-evangelicals-20
- Europe: Stopping Discrimination: Proposed EU law may force out faith-based social services (ChristianityTodayOnline). http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2009/june/5.11.html
- A Victory in Vietnam: Officials permit massive outdoor Easter gathering for house churches (ChristianityTodayOnline). http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2009/june/3.11.html
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
Reasons to Improve your CQ
Is your Cultural Quotient high enough?
Top 10 reasons why you, a ministry leader (or leader in training), need Cultural Intelligence
10. The diversity in your church does not mirror the diversity in your neighborhood.
9. You wish to see sustainable change in the lives of people who have participated in short-term mission trips or service projects.
8. You feel the training you do before mission trips rarely affects how people interact with the culture.
7. You have direct partnerships with ministries in different cultures at home or across the ocean.
6. You want to ensure your church is a welcoming place regardless of a visitor's cultural background.
5. You see a growing divide in your church among people's worship preferences, interests, voting practices, etc.
4. You want to ensure that you do not lead short-term mission trips or service projects that offend those you are trying to serve.
3. You and your team have a desire to better engage various cultures around you, but you do not know where to begin.
2. You need to find a core skill set you can teach your leaders to help them be more effective across ethnic, generational, and organizational cultures.
1. You want to move from motivating your congregation to care about diverse settings to equipping them to do it effectively.
Top 5 reasons why you, a youth leader (or youth leader in training), need Cultural Intelligence
5. You feel like a constant mediator between the adult world and the youth world.
4. You want to see your students move beyond their comfort zones in their high school friendships and interactions.
3. You want to see your students show the same love to people of other ethnicities in their own high schools as they do on short-term mission trips.
2. You want your youth group to reflect the diversity found in local high schools.
1. You cannot keep up with the constant trends in youth culture.
Top 10 reasons why you, a Christian, need Cultural Intelligence
Source: Baker Academic E-Notes (April 2009) promoting: David A. Livermore, Cultural Intelligence: Improving Your CQ to Engage Our Multicultural World (Baker Academic, 2009) 9780801035890. Used with permission.
10. You feel lost in trying to carry on a conversation with people of other faiths and ethnicities.
9. You want to share the gospel with people from other faiths without feeling like a bigot.
8. Your personal convictions cannot be reduced to one political party.
7. You are looking for something more than a politically correct approach to interacting with people from different cultures.
6. You want to serve people without turning them into objects of good will.
5. You want your kids to understand the issues of race and class that exist in the world and in your community.
4. Your job requires you to interact with people from all different cultural backgrounds.
3. You do not want to be an ignorant American, but you cannot keep up with all the cultures you are supposed to understand.
2. Your neighborhood and community are increasingly diverse.
1. You want to respect and understand different cultures without losing who youare.
David Livermore has contributed to The Pneuma Review.
Resources You Can Use
Wireless Microphones Must Change
Tyler Charles, "Understanding New Wireless Microphone Restrictions: Why your church likely needs to replace its wireless systems - and soon", Your Church (May/June 2009).
One technician says that you will experience interference by the end of 2009 if you do not discontinue using your wireless microphones if they are on 700 MHz band.
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.
In order to complete this issue of the INFORMER while it is still May, no excerpts from the journal will be included.
- Christians attacked by Taliban in Pakistan. Taliban militants are wasting no time in trying to put pressure on minority Christians. Christians were attacked in Taiser Town, near Karachi, which is outside the area where the Taliban have instituted sharia law. Glenn Penner with Voice of the Martyrs Canada says three Christians were killed, including an 11-year-old boy. "The Taliban were attacking a number of Christians who were removing message that had been written on their church buildings and local homes, messages that were calling for Christians to renounce their faith and making demands to actually pay a jizye tax." That's a tax levied on non-Muslims allowing them to practice their faith. As the Taliban gains more power, it's going to put even more pressure on Christians. "It certainly will give a great deal of concern to Muslim converts, in particular, who would be considered apostates and under the Taliban would be targets for execution." Pray that Pakistan's government will protect minorities and that Christians will remain strong.
Source: Mission Network News, 4 May, 2009. Full story: http://www.mnnonline.org/article/12617
- Pastor DKB writes: "Greetings from the kingdom of Nepal in the name of the Lord Christ. Please pray for us for church planting ministry, film ministry, on-air gospel programme, mobile training to reach unreached people and tribes with the gospel, and all the pastors and leaders and for their needs. Would you like to send prayer request to us? We will pray for you too. God bless you! We Love you!" Reference Number: 90036578
- "My prayer request is that we may buy the church land in the Kaliro town, good location. We love you and your ministry in Uganda. With much love. Pastor David" Reference Number: 90036626