10 LESSONS FROM SYRIA FOR A POST-ELECTION SOUTH AFRICA AND A PRE-ELECTION USA
21 MAY 2019 – A team from INcontext International travelled to Syria in May in order to understand the realities of faith when a Church is caught in a prolonged war. The war has not only produced a strong and vibrant Church but has created lessons of faith that few would have the privilege of experiencing. The team found strength in the midst of brokenness and beauty amongst the ashes. The Church in Syria truly reflects the words of Brennan Manning: “In Love’s service, only wounded soldiers can serve.”
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UNDERSTANDING PERSECUTION: RECALIBRATING A THEOLOGY OF SUFFERING
7 MAY 2019 – The Easter season of 2019 saw a wide range of news reports in which Christians made the headlines, many of which were for incidents of “persecution”. The modern Western Church has created new definitions of old truths in order to remain as ‘Biblically true’ as
possible in a sacrifice-free, comfortable and risk-free society. We didn’t change the Gospel, but we altered the
‘point of calibration’.
THE SRI LANKA BOMBINGS: 3 MISCONCEPTIONS CREATED BY CHRISTIAN MEDIA
30 APRIL 2019 – The Easter Sunday bombings drew much attention in the media. Sadly, posts on social media pointed to “inconsistency” in news reports, and many embraced a victim mentality that personalised the attacks and turned compassion into self-pity. Here are three misconceptions circulated by Christians in the wake of the attacks.
NIGERIA'S 'MIDDLE BELT': A CHRISTIAN PERSPECTIVE OF A COMMUNITY IN CONFLICT
9 APRIL 2019 – During the first three months of 2019, hundreds of lives were lost and hundreds of homes were burned, raising new concerns about the truth behind the violence occurring between Muslim Fulani herdsmen and predominantly Christian Bachama farmers in Nigeria’s ‘Middle Belt’ region.
IN THE AFTERMATH OF THE MOSQUE SHOOTINGS: UNCOVERING THE GOOD AND THE SAD IN THE MIDST OF THE UGLY
18 MARCH 2019 – Any tragedy has the potential to make us either better or bitter. The lessons in the aftermath of the New Zealand mosque shooting are clear – the tragedy should be mourned, the good that came from it should be celebrated and the failures should be acknowledged and rectified.
THE NEW ZEALAND MASSACRE: THE FINAL LINK, THE GREAT STINK AND THE MUCH-NEEDED LIGAMENT
15 MARCH 2019 – On Friday 15 March 2019, 49 people were killed and more than 20 seriously injured in mass shootings at two mosques full of people attending Friday prayers in Christchurch, New Zealand. Christians can learn three valuable lessons from this tragedy.
THE POLITICS OF FEAR AND THE POWER OF NIGHTMARES: A PRELUDE TO THE SOUTH AFRICAN ELECTIONS
5 MARCH 2019 – For most voters, the biggest predicament during any given election is who to vote for. As Christians, we often feel the added dilemma that we have a spiritual responsibility to vote according to our conscience and not according to our convenience. In order to exploit and abuse this vulnerability of voters, political parties often revert to the “power of nightmares”. Regardless of where we find ourselves geographically, Christians need to find, vote for, and support politicians who do not build their campaigns on ‘nightmares’.
FREEDOM OF WORSHIP: SEVEN BIBLICAL PRINCIPLES WHEN FREEDOM IS AT RISK
15 FEBRUARY 2019 – Because freedom of worship is such a personal matter, it often gets lost in a cloud of emotions before being fully explored in the framework within which Christians should operate. The danger is that Christians react and do not necessarily respond appropriately to the news of the possibility of “losing their freedom to worship”.
SOUTH AFRICA’S CLIFTON BEACH CONTROVERSY
9 JANUARY 2019 – The contentious clearing of beach-goers on the popular Clifton 4th Beach in Cape Town (South Africa) has garnered international headlines, but how should Christians respond to politically divisive incidents and deep wounds of a broken society? A Christian Perspective is gleaned from the sacrificial life of Polish priest.
THE REBRANDING OF ISLAM: A FORECAST OF A CHANGING FAITH
5 OCTOBER 2018 – Islam is at a cross-roads and secular Muslim voices calling for a rebranding of Islam have increased, become louder, stronger and – more importantly – more authoritative. The call is no longer to ‘reinvent’ Islam but to ‘rebrand’ the religion. It is no longer about transforming what Muslims believe on the inside – it has now become a matter of changing what non-Muslims perceive from the outside.
ADDRESSING THE LAND ISSUE IN SOUTH AFRICA: 'COOL HEADS' NEEDED
7 AUGUST 2018 – A detailed report on the proposed amendment to the SA constitution – Land Expropriation without Compensation, including a perspective from the President of AgriSA, the largest representative of farmers in South Africa, and a Christian perspective on how to respond with a Caleb spirit.
DISCERNING THE CALLS
3 JULY 2018 – In an age where there is no shortage of spirituality but there is a shortage of discernment, there is a disturbing number of ‘calls to prayer’ or ‘prayer hoaxes’ circulating on social media. In light of this, it would be prudent to discern the nature of these prayer requests and compare it to what we see in Scripture, especially in terms of ‘spiritual warfare’.