P. 10

ground, and we were very concerned. But I think if
          history shows us any lessons, one of the lessons is that
          suffering can be an impetus to grow. And this could
          happen in the West. Fundamentalism, as it has got to
          become known now, is an expression of insecurity.
          When you’re insecure, you attack the enemy. When
          we are secure about our truth, we respond to them
          lovingly, compassionately. And in that way, I think we
          can have a powerful witness for Christ.

          CHRIS: Do you think that power, and especially political
          power or social power, has become an idolatry of
          evangelicalism in the West?

          AJITH: Possibly. The history of the church shows that
          whenever the church had power, God sometimes used            especially about the ability of God. Those discoveries could
          the power for his glory, but often the power corrupted       bring new light and encouragement to Christians who are
          the church. Even people like Chrysostom, the great           discouraged by being in churches which are in decline.
          Bible expositor, absolutely refused to use his power,
          or he used it to be counter-cultural, to go against the   3.  One reason for the reduced output in terms of literature
          emperor, to speak against the emperor. And so I think        and scholarly thinking from poorer nations is the inability
          the power of the gospel is something else. It’s not          of their Christian community to afford separating out
          something that is dependent on earthly structures. It        people to be specialists and writers of serious scholarly
          can use earthly structures, but it’s not dependent on        material. Capable people are so busy doing the work
          earthly structures.                                          of ministry that they find it difficult to devote time
                                                                       exclusively to their specialties and to putting into writing
                                                                       the rich insights they have gained from their study and
          Visit to listen and                      experiences in ministry. Yet this apparent obstacle may
          learn from other global leaders.                             contribute to one of the most important contributions

                                                                       these churches can make to the body of Christ. There is
                                                                       an urgent need for integration in theology and practice.
                                                                       Penetrative insight comes through thinking that takes
                                                                       theory and applies it to life. Such integration is difficult
                                                                       to find in today’s specialized world. In the history of the
                                                                       church some of the most influential thinkers were brilliant
                                                                       theologians and were grassroots practitioners at the same
                                                                       time. Examples of such are Augustine, Martin Luther, John
                                                                       Calvin, Jonathan Edwards, John Wesley and Charles Finney.

                                                                       The commitment of leaders to efficiency can push
                                                                       them to engage in such a strong program of pursuing
                                                                       measurable results (intellectual and practical) that they
                                                                       can become lazy about integrating serious thinking  with
                                                                       the practical realities of grassroots work. People in our
                                                                       part of the world are forced to focus on their chosen field

          10  CULTIVATE
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