Saturday, October 23, 2010

Cape Town: Turning Points of Christian History

This week I gave a lot of my attention to following the events of Cape Town, South Africa, where thousands of Christians gathered for the Lausanne Movement's third Congress on World Evangelization. Similar events were held in 1974 (Lausanne, Switzerland) and 1989 (Manila).

A word to those readers who find the basic ideas of Evangelicalism and evangelization rather monstrous. I know. We have lots of other common ground. Feel free to skip these kinds of posts if they irritate you!

I'd been invited to go to this event and work behind the scenes as a volunteer
but with my ministry account now $5000 in the red an expensive plane ticket didn't seem like a good purchase. Even plans to join a group convened at our local seminary to watch and discuss some of the videos together (for free!) didn't quite work out when a major cyber-attack restricted bandwidth too much for the videos to be uploaded on schedule.

I had to laugh when I read Andrew Jones' description of how that got resolved:
"Our problems were solved by two Indian cousins from Bangalore who were here as volunteers in the IT department. They came to connect printers and ended up stopping viruses. In fact, they have already solved the problem and we are back on track. Shout out to our two geeky heroes: Unisys Global Services employee Vijay Kumar and Pastor Daniel Singh who has just got figured out why he got a doctorate in computational biology."
The week-long conference is generating a lot of buzz in my world and also generating a heck of a lot to read - and now, to watch. Without my seminary pals across town to process this with it's been more difficult to pick and choose which parts to pay attention to.

Here's a glimpse. Two videos providing an overview of Christian history, through Lausanne eyes.  I've embedded them below. There are a few statements I'd question, others on which historians disagree. History can be a slippery topic. But overall I'd say they did a good job.

Might be a good tool for you Perspectives coordinators out there... show one week 7, as a review of lesson 6, and the second week 8, as a supplement to lesson 7. Or, an instructor could build a lesson around these videos, freeing themselves up to teach stuff they do not cover and/or do more discussion / Q&A.

Turning Points, Part 1: After a glimpse of the opening of the Congress, this video traces in two segments the growth of the church from Pentecost to the present in the face of many obstacles. Key movements, nations and figures are presented in this sweeping review of the expansion of Christianity up to the taking of the gospel to China.

Turning Points, Part 2:
This video picks up the history with Boniface taking the gospel to Germany and extends to the present time and the Cape Town Conference.

Cape Town 2010 Opening Session - Turning Points, Part 1 from Lausanne Movement on Vimeo.

Cape Town 2010 Opening Session - Turning Points, Part 2 from Lausanne Movement on Vimeo.


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