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Author Archive for Jim Harries

Jim Harries, PhD (University of Birmingham), is is professor of religion with Global University and adjunct faculty with William Carey International University. He works closely with a wide variety of churches in western Kenya in informal theological education. These include many African founded churches, Pentecostal churches, and the Coptic Orthodox church. Jim uses indigenous languages, and local resources in his ministry. He chairs the Alliance for Vulnerable Mission and is the author of Vulnerable Mission: Insights into Christian Mission to Africa from a Position of Vulnerability (William Carey Library, 2011), Three Days in the Life of an African Christian Villager (New Generation Publishing, 2011), Theory to Practice in Vulnerable Mission: An Academic Appraisal (Wipf and Stock, 2012), Communication in Mission and Development: Relating to the Church in Africa (Wipf and Stock, 2013), Secularism and Africa: In the Light of the Intercultural Christ (Wipf and Stock, 2015), New Foundations for Appreciating Africa: Beyond Religious and Secular Deceptions (VKW, 2016), and a novel African Heartbeat: And A Vulnerable Fool (2018). Facebook: Vulnerable Mission. Twitter: @A4VM. www.jim-mission.org.uk

Prosperity Gospel in Zambia: The Problems of Engaging African Theology Using English

Prosperity Gospel in Zambia: The Problems of Engaging African Theology Using English

In this review essay, missionary-scholar Jim Harries challenges Western assumptions used to decry the prosperity gospel as it is taught and believed in Africa. Hermen Kroesbergen, ed., In Search of Health and Wealth: The Prosperity Gospel in African, Reformed Perspective (Eugene, Oregon: Wipf and Stock, 2014). In reviewing a book about Africa written in English, […]

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Pentecostal Theology in Africa

Pentecostal Theology in Africa

Clifford R. Clarke, ed., Pentecostal Theology in Africa, African Christian Studies Series (Eugene, Oregon: Pickwick Publications, 2014). This compendium of articles put together by Clifton Clarke excels in being a clear, carefully presented and carefully argued account, taking a variety of different theologically-rooted angles on AP (African Pentecostalism). As would be expected, the tone is […]

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Marlene Yap: The Crucifixion of Jesus Christ

Marlene Yap: The Crucifixion of Jesus Christ

Missionary-scholar Jim Harries reflects on what Asian scholars have to say about Jesus, his death on the cross, and the culture of honor and shame.   Marlene Yap, “The Crucifixion of Jesus Christ: From Extreme Shame to Victorious Honor,” The Asian Journal of Pentecostal Studies 21:1 (February 2018), pages 33-47. This is a great article […]

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Vulnerable Missions Conference 2018

Vulnerable Missions Conference 2018

Vulnerable Mission: What it is, and Why we need it When: May 31 – June 2, 2018 Where: All Nations Christian College in Easneye House, Ware, Hertfordshire UK Sponsored by the Alliance for Vulnerable Mission.

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Shadow Boxing: The Missionary Encounter with Christian Theology in World Religions

Shadow Boxing: The Missionary Encounter with Christian Theology in World Religions

Missionary-scholar Jim Harries investigates whether the term “world religion” is a Western construct and points us toward a new way of sharing the story of Jesus that is free of this stricture.   Abstract Globalised Western hegemony has resulted in the obscurest parts of the world having a contrived front to present to Western visitors […]

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Language Disconnect: The Implications of Bible Translation upon Gospel Work in Africa

Language Disconnect: The Implications of Bible Translation upon Gospel Work in Africa

Abstract Theological education, even when using indigenous languages, can be uninspiring to African people if its implicit underlying pre-suppositions remain European. Use of European-languages as educational media minimises the likelihood of deep connection with African ways of life, but often has the pragmatic plus of being accompanied by outside funds. A preference for use of […]

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Holiness in African Perspective

Holiness in African Perspective

Missionary-scholar Jim Harries discusses the difference between the biblical categories of clean and unclean, holy and common. He argues that neither Africa or the West have a correct understanding of these concepts.   A story about man whose neighbours describe as a good Christian. The man was a passenger on a bus. He went to […]

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The Preeminence of Life: Towards an African Christian Cosmology in Intercultural Context

The Preeminence of Life: Towards an African Christian Cosmology in Intercultural Context

A fresh look at how emphasizing full life can transform how we do mission. Without life all else that may be considered of value is nothing. African people are not easily convinced of the hegemony of science that seems to sideline life itself. Once undermined, the rather groundless assumption that life only exists in a […]

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Doing Business in Africa: How Culture Changes How We Work Together

Doing Business in Africa: How Culture Changes How We Work Together

If we want to break the dependency cycle, we must better understand the cultural context where we want to do business and ministry.   Abstract Failure to take insufficient cognisance of local contexts leads to outsiders’ encouraging business in Africa resulting in a trail of dependency. Pertinent differences between African and Western contexts addressed in […]

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David Hoekema: Missions and Modernity in Colonial Africa

David Hoekema: Missions and Modernity in Colonial Africa

  David Hoekema, “Missions and Modernity in Colonial Africa: Most of what you think you know is wrong” Books & Culture (September/October 2014), pages 32-33. Hoekema’s short article considers the role of 19th Century missionaries to Africa, especially West Africa. Missionaries were good, but colonialists were bad, is in a nutshell his conclusion. Missionary-style subordination […]

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Solving a Language Puzzle: Between England and Africa

Solving a Language Puzzle: Between England and Africa

  Missionary Jim Harries presents a cogent argument for using indigenous language.   Words originating in English are often written and even pronounced in a different way than in English when in a different language. This always brings a challenge when using a foreign language. Let me give some examples to illustrate this. The biblical […]

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Deliverance Ministry in an African Cultural Perspective, by Jim Harries

Deliverance Ministry in an African Cultural Perspective, by Jim Harries

Editor’s Preface: When The Pneuma Review asked seasoned missionary Jim Harries to explain what “vulnerable mission” is, he wrote an article showing us how one aspect of understanding the host culture can change everything for a foreign missionary. Introduction Can there be appropriate deliverance ministry in Africa? The viability of deliverance ministry in sub-Saharan Africa […]

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