Evangelism Next: Evangelism in a Post-Christendom Era
October 25–27, 2023
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Missiology Lectures 2023
Evangelism as a church practice has come under scrutiny in recent years—and for good reason. Certain Western-centric, patriarchal, and racially and culturally insensitive expressions of evangelism have too often been asserted as the norm. And yet, while methods of evangelism have rightly been challenged, the need to communicate the evangel remains. Many are leaving the church while still claiming faith in Jesus. Others are abandoning faith altogether.
As a global, multidisciplinary exploration of the church’s evangelism task, the 2023 Missiology Lectures will examine how deconstructing (or perhaps reforming) faith may be a necessary expression of evangelism in a post-Christendom era. From there we will seek ways to reconstruct expressions of evangelism that are biblical, relevant, and applicable to contemporary contexts.
This year’s conference will bring together scholars, activists, and practitioners from all over the world to engage this vital topic for God’s mission, with the goal of moving as a global church toward sound application of evangelistic practices. Fuller Theological Seminary has a rich history of convening global Christian dialogue. We hope to facilitate a thoughtful conversation aimed at greater understanding and effectiveness of the church’s witness to the evangel. The conference will be in hybrid format, offering both in-person and online sessions.
Day 1 (Wednesday, October 25) will be a series of plenary sessions with papers presented by Soong-Chan Rah, Vinoth Ramachandra, Jemar Tisby, and Jessica Wong and a chapel sermon from Ruth Padilla DeBorst. Papers will focus on how dysfunctional narratives have formed dysfunctional evangelism practices that require deconstruction and reformation. Sessions will be held in person at the Pasadena campus (with video stream).
Day 2 (Thursday, October 26) will offer multiple sessions in various formats to discuss models of effective evangelism that help us to reconstruct and reform the practice. Sessions will be held in person at the Pasadena campus (with video stream) and via live video stream from Ghana, the Philippines, and other locations, and will engage academics and practitioners on reconstructing evangelism.
Day 3 (Friday, October 27) will shift entirely online and offer video streaming sessions that continue on the topic of reconstructing evangelism.
Days 2 and 3 will explore such questions as:
- What theological and biblical reflections are needed to deepen the application of the evangel to Christian witness?
- What models of effective evangelism expand beyond current Western paradigms, approaches, and practices?
- What expressions of evangelism engage the whole person?
- What constructive paradigms and models attempt to reconstruct evangelism in contemporary contexts?
Soong-Chan Rah is Robert Boyd Munger Professor of Evangelism at Fuller Theological Seminary. He is the author of The Next Evangelicalism (IVP, 2009), Many Colors (2010), and Prophetic Lament (2015), and co-author of Forgive Us (2014), Return to Justice (2016), and Unsettling Truths (2019). He earned a BA from Columbia University, an MDiv and DMin from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, a ThM from Harvard University, and a ThD from Duke University. His social media handle is @profrah.
Vinoth Ramachandra, PhD, is based in Colombo, Sri Lanka, and is Secretary for Dialogue & Social Engagement for the International Fellowship of Evangelical Students. He is author of several essays, articles, and books, including Gods That Fail (2nd ed., 2016), Subverting Global Myths: Theology and the Public Issues that Shape Our World (2008) and Church and Mission in the New Asia (2009). He scribbles a monthly blog at vinothramachandra.wordpress.com.
Jemar Tisby is author of the New York Times bestsellers The Color of Compromise: The Truth about the Church's Complicity in Racism, How to Fight Racism, and How to Fight Racism: Young Reader's Edition, and he speaks nationwide on the topics of racial justice, US history, and Christianity. He is a professor of history at Simmons College of Kentucky in Louisville and co-host of the “Pass the Mic” podcast. Dr. Tisby earned his PhD in history and studies race, religion, and social movements of the 20th century. You can follow his work through his newsletter, Footnotes, and on social media @JemarTisby.
Jessica Wai-Fong Wong is Associate Professor of Systematic Theology at Azusa Pacific University and works in political and liberation theologies with a focus on race, gender, society, and visual theory. She is an ordained ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church (USA) and holds degrees in Christian theology and ethics from Duke Divinity School and Duke University. She is author of Disordered: The Holy Icon and Racial Myths (2021) and co-author of the curriculum Lamenting Racism: A Christian Response to Racial Injustice (2021). Learn more at jessicawwong.com.
Ruth Padilla DeBorst is a theologian, missiologist, educator, and storyteller. She has been involved in leadership development and theological education for integral mission in her native Latin America for several decades. She teaches at Western Theological Seminary and serves with the Comunidad de Estudios Teológicos Interdisciplinarios (CETI), a learning community with students from across Latin America, and on the networking team of the International Fellowship for Mission as Transformation (INFEMIT). She authored “An Integral Transformation Approach” in The Mission of the Church: Five Views in Conversation (2016).
Soong-Chan Rah, Robert Boyd Munger Professor of Evangelism, Fuller Theological Seminary
Jose Abraham, Associate Professor of Islamic Studies, Fuller Theological Seminary
Kirsteen Kim, Paul E. Pierson Professor in World Christianity and Associate Dean for the Center for Missiological Research, School of Mission and Theology
FULLER studio is pleased to offer a selection of the recordings to be released in the months following the event. To stay updated on this content, sign up for the FULLER studio semimonthly email.
Please note: All times are listed in Pacific Time. Main sessions and panel discussions will be translated into Spanish and Korean.
Wednesday, October 25, 2023
The Necessity of Deconstruction (in person and online)
Introduction and Welcome: David Emmanuel Goatley
9:00- 10:00 am - Session 1: Failed Narratives and Imagination in Evangelism
Lecturer: Soong-Chan Rah, Fuller Theological Seminary
Respondent: David Zac Niringiye, Anglican Church of Uganda (ret.)
Moderator: Sebastian Kim, Fuller Theological Seminary
10:00- 11:00 am - Chapel Service: The Biblical Task of Evangelism (Acts 16:16–40)
Ruth Padilla DeBorst, Western Theological Seminary
11:30 am- 12:30 pm - Session 2: Deconstructing Evangelism through the Lens of Global Christianity
Lecturer: Vinoth Ramachandra, International Fellowship of Evangelical Students
Respondent: Kirsteen Kim, Fuller Theological Seminary
Moderator: Jose Abraham, Fuller Theological Seminary
2:00- 3:00 pm - Session 3: Male Patriarchy
Moderator: Alexis Abernethy
Lecturer: Jessica Wong, Azusa Pacific University
Respondent: Christin Fort, Fuller Theological Seminary
4:00- 5:00 pm - Session 4: Deconstructing White Primacy in Evangelism
Lecturer: Jemar Tisby, The Witness, Simmons College
Respondent: Al Tizon, North Park Theological Seminary
Moderator: Ryan Bolger, Fuller Theological Seminary
5:00 pm - In-person small group conversations with practitioners and sponsors (Optional)
Thursday, October 26, 2023
Reconstruction, Reformation, and Restoration, Pt. 1 (in person and online)
9:00- 10:00 am - Session 5: Evangelism as Transformation: INFEMIT
Facilitator: Al Tizon, North Park Theological Seminary
Panelists: David Zac Niringiye, Ruth Padilla-DeBorst
9:00- 10:00 am - Session 6: Church Planting as Evangelism
Facilitator: Len Tang, Fuller Theological Seminary
Panelists: Liz Rios, Passion to Plant
Daniel Yang, Wheaton College
10:30- 11:30 am - Session 7: Local Expressions of Evangelism and Justice
Facilitator: Mayra Macedo-Nolan, Pasadena Clergy Community Coalition
Panelists: Jean Burch, Community Bible Church
Marcos Canales, La Fuente Ministries
Jill Shook, Making Housing Happen
10:30- 11:30 am - Session 8: Apologetics and Evangelism through a Global Lens
Lecturer: Vinoth Ramachandra, International Fellowship of Evangelical Students
Moderator/ Respondent: Ryan Bolger, Fuller Theological Seminary
2:00- 3:00 pm - Session 9: Intercultural Evangelism
Lecturer: Jose Abraham, Fuller Theological Seminary
Respondents: Vinod John, Lead Pastor, South Asian Church, Edmonton, Canada
Jay Travis, Adjunct Professor, Fuller Theological Seminary
Darren Duerksen, Associate Professor, Fresno Pacific University
2:00- 3:00 pm - Session 10: The Integration of Evangelism and Justice
Facilitator: Susan Maros, Fuller Theological Seminary
Panelists: Russell Jeung, Andrea Smith, Gary VanderPol, Lisa Sharon Harper
4:00- 5:00 pm - Session 11: Grassroots Evangelism in the Philippines (online)
Facilitator: Joanna-Feliciano Soberano, Asian Theological Seminary
Panelists: Jojo Manzano, Noli Mendoza
4:00- 5:00 pm - Session 12: Communal Evangelism from the Margins
Presenters: Alexia Salvatierra, Fuller Theological Seminary
Brandon Wrencher, Organizing Director, Carolina Federation co-authors of Buried Seeds
Friday, October 27, 2023
Reconstruction, Reformation, and Restoration, Pt. 2 (online only)
9:00- 10:00 am - Session 13: Grassroots Evangelism in Ghana
Facilitator: Christian Tsekpoe, Pentecost University, Accra
Panelist: Kwabena Agyapong Kodua
9:00- 10:00 am - Session 14: Evangelizing Emerging Generations
Facilitator: Odoi Odotoi, World Vision
Panelists: Cherry Marcelo, Lisseth Rojas-Flores
10:30- 11:30 am - Session 15: Creativity, the Arts, and Counter-Narrative Storytelling as Evangelism
Facilitator: Kutter Callaway, Fuller Theological Seminary
Panelists: Shin Maeng, Neil Taylor, Lenore Three Stars
10:30- 11:30 am - Session 16: Models of Evangelism
Presenter: Priscilla Pope-Levison, SMU Perkins School of Theology
2:00- 3:00 pm - Session 17: The Incarcerated Church
Facilitators: Michal Meulenberg, Soong-Chan Rah, Jarret Keith and Guests
2:00- 3:00 pm - Session 18: Urban Evangelism and Apologetics
Facilitator: Vince Bantu, Fuller Theological Seminary
Panelists: Sarita Lyons
4:00- 5:00 pm - Session 19: TENx10: Evangelism with Young People
Presenters: Steve Argue and Kara Powell, Fuller Theological Seminary
4:00- 5:00 pm - Session 20: Recording of Panel Discussion of Wednesday Plenary Speakers
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Join us next year for the 2024 Missiology Lectures
October 16–18, 2024
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