Milestones are like hinges in time - they mark a shift, a contrast between what was before and what lies ahead, and like a hinge they suggest the possibility of change. The big-picture shift of the century in the global Church is the shift from north to south, from a largely Western leadership and orientation to an increasingly global leadership and orientation. One of the contexts slowest to change has been the academy: in spite of much written by mission academics and practitioners about the shift to the Global South, the bulk of the writing is still in English, and published in the "West." Ironically, my little editorial here is just that.
This issue marks a few milestones for us in this online journal of Youth With A Mission's University of the Nations. For the first time ever we publish an article only in Spanish, as we reach for something beyond anglocentric expression. We also have a Portuguese article with its English translation in this issue. And for the first time since our inception, we published two issues this year - a milestone I'm excited about as editor.
Correcting a previous imbalance, mission leaders in recent decades have made much of the need for nation-discipling: letting worldview perspectives and societal implications of the Gospel of Jesus Christ shape the contexts we minister into, as an expression of the Matthew 28:16-20 passage paralleling the "evangelize every individual" mandate of Mark 16:15. This issue's first article, by Sarah Jose, applies nation-discipling to education in India. The second, by Ana Roncal, pursues the recovery of a coherent biblical perspective on government and economics (our Spanish-only article, to be available in English in the next issue). These pieces are written by scholars with their feet on the ground.
2020-21 will likely live long in our memory as a hinge-time: the years of the Covid-19 pandemic. This issue also contains a four-part series (plus a Portuguese version of one of those articles), considering the impact of the pandemic on the advance of the Great Commission. The lead article by Steve Cochrane is followed by two responses from the Global South - one by Jose and Rosana Liste, Argentinians ministering in London, and the other by Gleyds Silva Domingues, a Brazilian theologian. The series concludes with Cochrane's rejoinder.
As always, we welcome your feedback. Each article contains the author's email address for you to write a note in response. Feel free to contact me as well at [email protected].
A big "thank you!" to those who have authored, reviewed, or edited submissions. To one and all, may you enjoy some Christmas reading, accompanied by hope for the world.