LNSI 2019 Archives

The Protestant missionary and theologian, Lesslie Newbigin (1909-1998), was a skilled evangelist who spent his entire life working for social justice—from rural villages and urban centres in India, to immigrant communities in the UK during his “retirement.” He believed that the church’s mission was grounded in Jesus’ own mission: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor” (Luke 4:18-19).

Going beyond charity—feeding the poor—Newbigin wanted to ask deeper questions about why people were poor. He faced the same criticism as Brazilian Catholic Archbishop Hélder Câmara, who famously said, “When I feed the poor, they call me a saint; when I ask why they are poor, they call me a communist.” But Newbigin believed that in Jesus Christ the reign of God had drawn near to the world, and that the Spirit would empower his followers—the Jesus movement—to both invite people to accept God’s reign (evangelism) as well as to discern faithful action for truth, for justice, and mercy. He believed that in the 21st century that would require serious engagement with questions of militarism, economic inequality and care of the environment.

Looking through the lens of Newbigin’s pioneering theology, we were led by outstanding scholars and practitioners of mission in Christ’s way. We explored how the good news of Jesus empowers us to strive for peace and justice among all people, respecting the dignity of every person in our communities, our countries, and our planet.

  • Expert teaching on the thought of Lesslie Newbigin and its contemporary implications
  • Historic walking tours of Cambridge
  • A punting trip in the historic centre of Cambridge
  • Opportunities for discussion and relaxation
  • Worship at the Chapel of Magdalene College (where C.S. Lewis was professor of Renaissance and Medieval Literature)

Christena Cleveland PhD is a social psychologist, public theologian, author, and activist. She is the founder and director of the recently-launched Center for Justice + Renewal, a non-profit dedicated to helping justice advocates sharpen their understanding of the social realities that maintain injustice while also stimulating the soul’s enormous capacity to resist and transform those realities. Committed to leading both in the classroom and in the broader society, Christena writes regularly, speaks widely, and consults with organizations.

Dr Cleveland holds a PhD in social psychology from the University of California Santa Barbara as well as an honorary doctorate from the Virginia Theological Seminary. An award-winning researcher and author, Christena is currently working on her third book which examines the relationship among race, gender and cultural perceptions of the Divine. Dr Cleveland is based in North Carolina where she lives with her spouse, Rev. Jim Dahlin.Elaine Storkey is a philosopher, sociologist and theologian who has held university posts at Kings College, London, Stirling, Oxford, Calvin College USA, and the Open University.

She co-founded the postgrad course ‘Developing a Christian Mind’ now in its 10th year at Oxford University. A Fellow of Aberystwyth University, former Director of the London Institute for Contemporary Christianity and high table member of Newnham College, Cambridge, she has also lectured in Africa, Asia and Haiti.

Her presidency of Tearfund in aid and development spanned 17 years. A broadcaster and author, she has been a passionate advocate for justice and gender issues for 30 years, implementing many changes for women through 28 years on the General Synod of the Church of England. Her most recent book, Scars Across Humanity: Understanding and Overcoming Violence Against Women, was published in November 2015.Stephen Bevans is a priest in the Roman Catholic missionary congregation of the Society of the Divine Word and Professor of Mission and Culture, Emeritus, at Catholic Theological Union, Chicago.

He has authored/co-authored or edited/co-edited twenty books, most recently Essays in Contextual Theology (Brill, 2018) and Priesthood in Religious Life: Searching for New Ways Forward (ed., with Robin Ryan, Liturgical Press, 2018). Steve teaches and lectures nationally and internationally and is a member of the WCC’s Commission on World Mission and Evangelism.Immersed in urban poor contexts for nearly 30 years, including 12 years in Bangkok’s largest slum, Ash draws on hard won – and often humorous – insights and stories from the bible and his shared life to help inspire and inform personal and social change. He especially loves to help Christians join Jesus in making poverty personal and see transformation emerge from within people and places.

In November 2014 the Barkers moved to Winson Green, Birmingham, UK to establish Newbigin House and Newbigin School for Urban Leadership as ‘a seedbed for urban change’, raising-up more compassionate, innovative and resilient urban Christian leaders. As a part of Ash’s local ministry in Winson Green he is a community prison chaplain (HMP Birmingham), a Pioneering Minister (with the Bishop Latimer Parish Local Ecumenical Partnership, Church of England/United Reformed Church) and Co-Founder/Director of Soho Albion Football Club (partnership between West Bromwich Albion and the local community). Ash also works ‘upstream’ helping Christian engage with urban challenges and opportunities as a founder and exec team member of Urban Shalom Society (a Micah Global and World Evangelical Alliance partnership).

Ash’s PhD was in the rise of urban slums, he is the author of 8 books and speaks and lectures widely. Ash founded and led Urban Neighbours of Hope for over 20 years (1993-2014), as well as Surrender Conferences (2003-2007), Micah Global’s International Society for Urban Mission (2012-2017) and Urban Shalom Project {2016-17) before the later two merged to become ‘Urban Shalom Society’ (Nov 2017-current).Krish is the Founding Director of Home for Good, a young charity seeking to make a real difference in the lives of vulnerable children. Together with his wife, Miriam he co-authored a catalytic book Home for Good which blends the story of God and addresses challenges of our times. Krish is in demand as a speaker both nationally and internationally. He regularly speaks at larger conferences, corporate events and is a regular broadcaster on radio and television.

Krish is an ambassador for Tearfund. He has a passion for engaging with contemporary culture theologically and is a prolific writer/blogger. Krish has authored 12 books, his award winning publication Paradoxology, explores why Christianity was never meant to be simple. His latest book is called Faitheism which explores why Christians and Atheists have more in common than we might think.

Krish holds degrees in Chemistry, Missiology and Theology. His PhD on Newbigin’s theology of evangelism is from Kings College London and he currently holds faculty positions at Lancaster Bible College, Regents College, Vancouver and Regents Park College, Oxford University.Paul Weston is Director of the Newbigin Centre, Cambridge, lectures in mission studies and homiletics at Ridley Hall, Cambridge and is an affiliated lecturer in the Cambridge University Divinity Faculty. He is a graduate of Cambridge University, and has research degrees from the Council of National Academic Awards (MPhil), and King’s College, London (PhD).

Paul’s PhD was on Lesslie Newbigin’s missionary engagement with Western culture, and he has written widely on his work.  He is editor of Lesslie Newbigin, Missionary Theologian: A Reader (SPCK/Eerdmans, 2006), Faith in a Changing World (St Paul’s Theological Centre, 2012), and co-editor with Mark Laing of  Theology in Missionary Perspective: Lesslie Newbigin’s Legacy (Wipf & Stock, 2012).

His most recent book (co-edited with Jason Sexton) is The End of Theology: Shaping Theology for the Sake of Mission (Fortress Press, 2016).Dr. Scot Sherman is the Executive Director of the Newbigin House of Studies, a center for graduate theological education and spiritual formation based in San Francisco. He oversees the Newbigin Fellowship, a nine-month intensive training program that seeks to provide a framework for wise integration of faith, work, and life, and hosts the speaker series Conversations For the Common Good. He is a graduate of Westminster Theological Seminary (M.Div.), Princeton Theological Seminary (Th.M), and the University of Wales (Ph.D).

Scot’s doctoral dissertation focused on the early ecumenical influence of the British missionary-theologian Lesslie Newbigin, a pioneer in thinking through the challenges facing churches in the contemporary West. He is currently working on his first book, an exploration of the ideas of the French philosopher and social theorist René Girard.

Scot lives with his wife, Catherine, and they have four sons. He loves opera, detective fiction, playing the piano, and goes wine tasting as often as possible.Peter Choi is Director of Academic Programs at Newbigin House of Studies and a pastor at City Church San Francisco. He has taught history of Christianity courses at Calvin Theological Seminary and the University of Notre Dame. Prior to that, he served for seven years as a campus minister and church planter in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He and his wife, Minsun, have three sons.

A historian of eighteenth century North America, Peter’s areas of specialization include transatlantic revival religion, early evangelicalism, and world Christianity. His research has been funded by the Andrew Mellon Foundation, the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, the Huntington Library, and the Library Company of Philadelphia. He is the author of George Whitefield: Evangelist for God and Empire.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