Lutherans in the Twin Cities

Global Ministry Institute responds to new global reality

The hard line between global and local mission is thinning as people from other lands are increasingly living next door in the Twin Cities. A mission field that once required limited communication with friends and long absences from family has in many instances been replaced by hanging out at neighborhood coffee shops and tutoring young people in one’s home town.

Dr. Robera Battal directs Luther Seminary’s Global Ministry Institute, which now also hosts the AGORA Program.

Dr. Robera Battal, director of Luther Seminary’s Global Ministry Institute (GMI) refers to his new reality as the “glocalization” of mission. But, he adds, what is similar is the importance of building authentic relationships based on learned truths about other people.

In order to better support mission work in the Twin Cities and beyond, GMI is sponsoring “The Four Horsemen: The Catastrophic Four Years that Remade the World’s Religions,” a lecture by Dr. Philip Jenkins, professor of history at Baylor University, on October 14 at 4 p.m., as the annual Andrew S. Burgess Lecture.

“We live in a time of historic shift in Christianity — the shift of Christianity’s center of gravity to the global south,” said Battal. “Philip Jenkins, a world-renowned scholar and one of the leading scholars on global Christianity, will examine the shift, explore its meanings, and [consider] its implications for mission.”

Jenkins will examine how, in his own words, “the war years … create a near-terminal crisis for Western Christianity, … provoke the collapse of Orthodox Christianity, and give birth to the new faith of Africa.” In addition to his professorial duties, Jenkins is the co-director of Baylor’s Program on Historical Studies of Religion.

The lecture is free and open to the public. It will be held in the Chapel of the Incarnation at Luther Seminary, 1490 Fulham Street, St. Paul. For more information, go to www.luthersem.edu/lectures/burgess.

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