Missionaries and the Methods of Missions

by Mike Ratliff

21 εἶπεν οὖν αὐτοῖς [ὁ Ἰησοῦς] πάλιν· εἰρήνη ὑμῖν· καθὼς ἀπέσταλκέν με ὁ πατήρ, κἀγὼ πέμπω ὑμᾶς. (John 20:21 NA27)

Therefore, Jesus said to them again, “Peace to you. As the Father has sent me, so I also send you.” (John 20:21 Possessing the Treasure New Testament V1)

I’m sure most of you know what an “inconsistency” is. When it comes to one’s stand and understanding of theology, I have been amazed since I began this ministry with doctrinal inconsistencies revealed clearly in so many. Some are very subtle of course, but some can only be explained by blind spots as large as there can be. Once such “inconsistency” that is indeed puzzling, but very prevalent in these days of spiritual darkness are seen in those who profess to be Reformed in their Theology including a doctrinal stance on the Sovereignty of God while at the same time in their ministries, the message that comes across from them is one of works righteousness, which is little different than the Pelagianism of Rick Warren. We see this in their Missional initiatives that are tied to their Church planting programs. We looked at some of this in last night’s post Christianity and the Hegelian Dialectic RevisitedContinue reading

Christianity and the Hegelian Dialectic Revisited

by Mike Ratliff

32 Ἀκούσαντες δὲ ἀνάστασιν νεκρῶν οἱ μὲν ἐχλεύαζον, οἱ δὲ εἶπαν· ἀκουσόμεθά σου περὶ τούτου καὶ πάλιν. 33 οὕτως ὁ Παῦλος ἐξῆλθεν ἐκ μέσου αὐτῶν. 34 τινὲς δὲ ἄνδρες κολληθέντες αὐτῷ ἐπίστευσαν, ἐν οἷς καὶ Διονύσιος ὁ Ἀρεοπαγίτης καὶ γυνὴ ὀνόματι Δάμαρις καὶ ἕτεροι σὺν αὐτοῖς. (Acts 17:32-34 NA27)

32 Now when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some were mocking him, but others said, “We will listen to you about this again.” 33 Thus Paul went out from the midst of them. 34 But some men joined him and believed, among whom were both Dionysius the Areopagite and a woman named Damaris and others with them. (Acts 17:32-34 Possessing the Treasure New Testament V1)

Many reading this may remember my post from June 2010, The Epistemology of Transformative Learning. Before I left to go on a short mini-vacation to visit my son in Washington D.C., I remember being inundated by emails and Tweets, et cetera about all of the stuff going on with Mark Driscoll and his church planting network and the reason he is so “bent” on doing it is that he had a vision or something like that directly from God to do that. However, this church planting is not done in any way like the Apostles did or those who followed them in the early days of the Church. No, the emphasis is not on following the Great Commission to the letter as given by our Lord in Matthew 28:16-20 which is to go into all the world making disciples from every nation, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that Jesus commanded them. They were to go with boldness knowing that Jesus would always be with them to the end of the age. (Paraphrase of the Great Commission) That is what we are to be about, which is taking the Gospel to the World, but that is not the same thing these people mean when they talk about “Church Planting” and “Transforming Lives.”  Continue reading

The Epistemology of Transformative Learning

by Mike Ratliff

Epistemology: noun Philosophy  the theory of knowledge, esp. with regard to its methods, validity, and scope. Epistemology is the investigation of what distinguishes justified belief from opinion.


epistemological adjective

epistemologically adverb

epistemologist noun

ORIGIN mid 19th cent.: from Greek epistēmē ‘knowledge,’ from epistasthai ‘know, know how to do.’

On my recent trip to Oklahoma, I had one morning to myself prior to our meeting with family to do the cleanup on my parent’s house the following day. I took my camera and hiked across town from my daughter’s house with the goal of reaching the campus of my alma mater where I earned my BBA back in the mid 1980’s. It was hot and humid. I had to stop twice at stores for water, however, as I neared the campus, I began to recognize familiar markers and a few new ones that just seemed to jar my consciousness. I asked God to continue to show me what he was preparing me for. The first “new” marker was this statue just a block or so from campus.

Of course, this is Humpty Dumpty. We have been in discussions quite a bit lately as to how Post-Modernist thinking has attacked the very fabric of the meaning of language to the point that words can mean whatever one wants them to mean just like in Chapter 6 from Alice in Wonderland, `When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, `it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.Continue reading