This post is of a more personal nature than is usually the case for me. It has been an eventful few months. As of the start of 2019, I am no longer teaching at George Whitefield College in Cape Town. It was decided that we mutually agree that I should no longer teach at the college and that I pursue the completion of my studies and other opportunities. The college imposed a non-disclosure agreement and so I am unfortunately prevented from explaining anything directly related to my departure.
When my studies draw to a close later this year, I hope to publish some articles about the danger that a growing fundamentalist ethos presents to genuine evangelicalism. Fear and hostility toward any opinions that differ from the views of an institution’s in-group threaten to factionalize evangelicalism even further, and it risks giving us a reputation for intolerance and arrogance, rather than the marks of genuineness that the New Testament envisaged for Christ’s body: love (John 13:35) and unity (John 17:22-23). That this is a problem is evident, for example, in the #exvangelical movement that is largely motivated by disillusionment with the toxicity evident in too much of the modern evangelical church.
I will be writing on such topics in promotion of a book that I wrote last year and which has been picked up by a publisher in the US called Wipf & Stock. The book aims at addressing evangelical fear that the world is changing the church, and rather in its place encourages us to recapture that which gives the church the power to change the world.
I am excited to share more about it towards the end of the year when it is due for release. Please pray that if it contains more good than bad, and if is the Lord’s will, that it may find an audience.
In the meantime, the next chapter in my ministry life is beginning to unfold too. Over ten years ago, when I started writing here on Longwind, I was working at a student ministry called the Student YMCA, based just off of the campus of the University of Cape Town. It had been a ministry goal in my seminary days to work with them, though I had not expected to join them right out of college. I only quit the Student Y to take up a teaching post at college because my family circumstances (having two young children) and the ministry needs at the Student Y at that time (involving evenings on campus) were not well aligned.
I am thrilled to be able to say that I have been invited to take up a post there again. Ministry at the Student Y is evolving, and it is moving towards the mould of a Christian study centre. This is not to say that it is leaving behind the core focus on evangelism and “teaching students to follow Jesus for life” (as the motto was when I first worked there). Rather, the plan is to add to the ministry a component that engages the university as a university and that contributes a Christian worldview to the issues and challenges of an academic environment. It will involve research projects and collaborations for which the academic training that I have undergone over the last decade will be an asset.
More will follow over the coming months, but as this is functionally a missions post, an important part of my future will be to fund-raise for the institution and for my own salary. Please be in prayer for that too.