Monthly Archives: January 2017

The potential impact of the temporary refugee ban in the USA

This last weekend saw a major kerfuffle in the USA: the administration instituted a 90-day ban on people from seven majority-Muslim nations entering the United States, which was greeted with dismay, anger and protests. I am not going to get political … Continue reading

Why is the remaining task not getting finished, when…

One of the questions I am frequently asked is, “Why are the numbers of unevangelized not going down (or % unevangelized) when I know that … [x] … is happening?” “X” could be a lot of different things, including these examples … Continue reading

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The tyranny of the "new", availability heuristic biases, and the importance of advocates and mobilizers

One of the problems we face in activism, advocacy, and research is the “tyranny of the urgent and the new” in publishing. There are a lot of “ongoing” conflicts, for example: Ethiopia, Nigeria, Libya, Sudan, Somalia, Yemen, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, … Continue reading

Deciding where to go: Explore/Exploit, the Multi-Armed Bandit Problem

In mission work, we face a particular kind of problem all the time: given limited resources (money, personnel, time) and a plethora of places we could go, how do we choose? For example, where are we most likely to find People … Continue reading

Who is growing fastest: Islam, Christianity or Evangelicals?

On Jan. 19 I did a podcast on the Remaining Task for MissioNexus. One of the questions posed then was the following, which I answered online but I am also answering here for the benefit of all: In recent years, … Continue reading


I don’t believe God is personally responsible for every pain (physical, emotional, etc.) we endure. Sometimes God does in inflict pain in order to discipline us–just as parents discipline children. Sometimes, like a coach, God requires we do things that are … Continue reading

We are not all Apostles

I was in a conversation last night that made me reflect again on this idea: we can all be involved in missions, and we can all make disciples, but we do not all have the apostolic gift. We are not … Continue reading

Choosing God's presence 

I’m at a small conference of workers. The theological reflection the other day was Exodus 33. In this chapter, God begins by telling Moses: Then the Lord said to Moses, “Leave this place, you and the people you brought up … Continue reading

The workers are in the harvest?

In a new comment on a post from about this time last year (“What we need: more workers“), friend Gary Jennings writes: Thanks for the solid article. Just a reminder to all believers that the workers are in the harvest. … Continue reading

Drucker for missions

I haven’t read a ton of Peter Drucker’s writing, I admit. This is a weakness in my continuous learning, because the man was brilliant about management.  I have just now run across his book, Managing Non-profits, which no doubt many … Continue reading