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News for middle of March 2003

"it is absurd to claim that people are rational and objective because they come to no conclusions, and that religion is subjective and untrustworthy for bringing us to conclusions" (In Sanneh page 67, quoting Chesterton).

My time here at the university has been useful in many ways. It has been an opportunity to 'catch up' with where missions thinking is here in the UK, and on many other things on the UK in general. In the process of doing such I could say that I have achieved the following:

1. Attended classes on research methodology, Muslim/Christian relations, globalisation in relation to the church, and African Christianity.
2. I have been able to do a lot of reading in areas related to culture and language as well as theology and missions.
3. I now have an outline proposal of research to begin to engage in once I have returned to Kenya.
4. I have made friends, visited churches (thanks for all those who hosted!) and caught up with family!

I am aware that there are tensions between academia and mission work. I am prayerfully considering therefore which way to go next. I do not want to detract from the work that I have already been doing amongst the people in Luoland and elsewhere in Kenya and beyond. On the other hand, I am also seeing that study will be valuable, and the best place to do it will be living amongst the people. Hence I am planning as if I will continue in a research programme, and then intend to test the ground to see how things work out once I am in Kenya.

I was privileged to be invited to give a lecture at the Oxford Centre for Mission Studies on Tuesday 11th March. My thanks go to the scholars there who were able to give me helpful feedback on my presentation. I hope that there will soon be a copy of the paper that I presented posted onto my web page.

Thanks especially to the folks of Acomb Baptist Church in York for their warm welcome over last weekend!

I plan to continue here in Birmingham until 28.03.03, and inend to depart for Kenya on 02.04.03.