Missionary Minds is a series of exchanges with missionaries around the world.
Joel Porcher, his wife Deanna and their four small children minister in Ghana, West Africa. They are in the midst of a church plant started by a missionary friend who is now stateside. The work is called Anchor Baptist Church, which is located in a village community just outside Cape Coast, Ghana. Continue reading
This list is not necessarily the 10 best books I’ve read, just the most instrumental for that time in my life. (The hyperlinks are to my book reviews). Continue reading
My recent post on various causes of poverty in rural Africa stemmed from Scripture and my own experience in the village setting.
My point was that while there are many villagers who are honest and hardworking and have survived terrible crimes in the past (e.g. apartheid), the predominant cause for poverty in the rural areas is one of morality, not victimization. Ultimately, it is only the gospel of Jesus Christ and the principles within the Word of God that can free people from their poverty, either in this life or the next. Continue reading
The Prosperity Gospel heresy is so dangerous because it contains elements of truth. If it were completely false, no one would believe it. God does sometimes bless people with material prosperity and well-being.
But Scripture also warns of the dangers of promising health and wealth, especially when it is used to draw people to God. We could define the Prosperity Gospel message thus: Jesus came into the world to make people prosperous, not to remove God’s wrath upon them. God’s will is never suffering, but always health and wealth. Continue reading
John MacArthur, Thomas Nelson, 2013, 352 pages, 4 of 5 stars
As one author put it: the Prosperity Gospel is Christianity’s version of professional wrestling–you know it’s fake but it nonetheless has entertainment value.
As a missionary in Africa, I value this book because the errors it addresses are deeply embedded among our people. The slogan “What I confess, I possess” was first coined in the early 20th century by a white American Baptist but is repeated thousands of times over in innumerable 21st century African churches. Continue reading
[Please see followup post] Living in a rural African village for over a decade has taught me that poverty doesn’t come by accident. There is a reason rural South Africa is poor. Often, it stems from sin.
This does not mean the poor are always at fault. Ultimately, the Lord himself causes poverty (1Sm. 2:7; Dt. 8:17-18; Job 1:21). The poor will always exist on earth (Jn. 12:8). Jesus commended the godly church in Smyrna and they were very poor (Rev. 2:9). Many of those in deep poverty are honest, devout, and hardworking. Continue reading
John G. Paton, Banner of Truth, 1897/2013, 538 pp. 5 of 5 stars
This is the story of an island of cannibals, their journey out of darkness, and the man who led them to the light.
John G. Paton stands as one of the great missionaries in church history. He was an icon in his day—a household name in Great Britain and Australia. Contemporaries such as C. H. Spurgeon called him the ‘King of the Cannibals’. Continue reading