A South African safari, an upcoming radio debate about prosperity theology, and an investigation of Genesis and modern science...it's been an exciting month.
Hays Missions Update
Preparing to Provide Transformational Theological Education to Latin American Pastors and Theologians

United World Mission

Dear Friends and Family,

September is probably my favorite month of the year in Oxford, as the flood of tourists has abated, the weather is mild, the sun is out and the flowers are still in bloom.  But beyond the beautiful weather, this month has been down-right exciting..

Earlier in the month I had the priviledge of traveling to South Africa, where I attended a conference on Mission and Ethics at the University of Pretoria, presenting a paper and also delivering a lecture to undergraduate students. We also took a road-trip over the weekend, and went on a short but extraoridinarily memorable safari in the Kruger National Park.  The conference was fascinating, and it was refreshing and exciting to see top scholars from all over Europe as well as from the US and South Africa speaking candidly about the mission of the Church.  The conference is the first of three or four, to be spaced out over the next 15 years, as the group of scholars present continues to research and publish on this central topic.  My own paper addressed the inseparable connection between provision for the poor and the Christian vocation, and I also discussed two of the biggest modern impediments to that work: consumerism and prosperity theology.

This work on prosperity theology has proven timely, since I have been asked to debate a UK prosperity theologian on the radio on October 11th.  I confess that I feel both gravely committed to addressing this theological abberration, and yet nervous about trying to endorse an unpopular position (that God does NOT promise riches to Christians, and that money is potentially dangerous as a temptation) in sound-bytes rather than extended discourse.  Please pray for me as I prepare for and take part in this debate.

September also brought the beginning of an exciting new side-project.  I have begun partnering with Dr Ard Louis, a Christian physicist here at Oxford and chairman of the advisory board for the Biologos Forum, in leading a discussion group on Christian faith, modern science, and Genesis 1-3.  We've assembled a group of 15 evangelical Oxford scholars, both theologians and scientists, and have begun working on this timely and controversial issue.  It is an enormous blessing to be in a city with so many amazing Christian thinkers, and I'm exceedingly grateful for this time.

Peace be with you all,

Christopher, Michelle, Judah and Asher Hays

From Michelle

It's hard to believe that September is already past!  Judah can be seen every school morning racing his bike to year 2 with his blue 'How to Train Your Dragon' backpack (complete with wings) on his back.  Asher is never far behind, zooming by on his balance bike with his set of green dragon wings heading to his own school.  He has transitioned surprisingly well to going to preschool 3 mornings a week and seems to really enjoy having his own stories to tell Judah at the dinner table.  Friends have been asking me, "What do you do with this new free time of yours?"  I confess that most mornings I have been running around like a chicken with its head cut off, trying to franctically run all the errands that are so difficult to do with the kids.  However, a couple of mornings I have sat by the lake just outside Asher's school and have been able to spend some quiet time with God.  This morning I was reading a book of liturgical prayers and was struck by the refrain of today's section: "Your statutes have been like songs to me wherever I have lived as a stranger" (Psalm 119:54).  Oxford is becoming more of a home to me than it ever has been before, but it was so good to be reminded that in all of the places where I have lived as a stranger over the past six years, God has been with me and his words to me have been my song. 

Please Pray

  • for Christopher on October 11th at 2pm GMT (6am Pacific standard time), as he debates prosperity theology on the radio.  Please ask for him to have clarity of expression, forceful arguments, and love for his opponent.
  • for wisdom as we try to schedule our coming year, that we would protect our time as a family and avoid having such a busy life as we did this past summer.
  • We are still waiting to hear responses from our August fund-raising efforts in the US, and in October we will make contact with a couple of our former home churches in the US. Please pray that God would incline churches and individuals to partner with us in enriching the Church in South America.

Praise God

  • for the life of George Müller.  I have been reading his biography, given to me a year ago by a dear supporter in Germany, and have been greatly encouraged to persevere in prayer for God's provision for our mission.
  • that Asher and Judah had a smooth transition into a new school year, with Asher beginning pre-school for the first time.
  • for safe travels to and from South Africa.
  • for the chance to speak, investigate, and write about so many important topics for the Church.

Contact Us

cmhays@gmail.com
christopher.hays@theology.ox.ac.uk
sasaginnigak@hotmail.com 
(Michelle)

Phone: +44(1865)435 057
Skype: christopher.hays.oxford


Copyright © 2011 Christopher and Michelle Hays, United World Mission, All rights reserved.