Tag Archives: Derek Morphew

The Mission of Jesus Followers

Public Reading: Luke 10:1-24

Audio Sermon can be downloaded from the PRV website.

The Story

•    70/72 => does not really matter

o    Loosely refers to the number of gentile nations in world as seen by the Jewish people at the time

•    Passage only found in Luke

o    Why is that?
o    What is Luke trying to tell us?

•    A deliberate progression throughout Luke and Acts (which is just ‘Luke’ part two)

o    Jesus comes announcing and demonstrating the Kingdom
o    The 12 are commissioned and do the same things
o    The 70/72 are commissioned and do the same things
o    Peter does it after the death and resurrection of Jesus
o    Paul does it
o   The concept is that we are next!!

•    Parallels between Peter and Paul (taken from Derek Morphew’s “The Mission of the Kingdom: The Theology of Luke-Acts”)

•    As we read this passage, we need to keep in mind that we have the same mission as the 72.

o    We have been commissioned by Jesus to:

*    Love God
*    Love others
*    Heal the sick
*    Raise the dead
*    Cleanse leapers
*    Cast out demons
*    Proclaim the Kingdom of God

Continue reading The Mission of Jesus Followers

“South Africa and the Powers Behind” by Derek Morphew

Growing up in the Pentecostal/Charismatic world I heard a lot about the ‘powers’ and ‘principalities’ of evil that ruled this current age (Eph. 6:12). Most of the time it these terms would be used when engaging in prayer walks or prayer meetings… Or, as the case may be, when someone was commenting on the darkness or evil of a particularly city, country, or geographical location (Daniel 10:13 was usually quoted at that time).

Yet in spite all the talk about “them”, I never fully comprehended what in the world St. Paul was talking about…

Accordingly, it was bated breath that I started reading Derek Morphew’s ebook “South Africa and the Powers Behind.” Derek, as a lot of you know, is a Vineyard South African pastor, scholar, theologian and practitioner who, in my opinion, is one of the best voices on Kingdom Theology in the world (yeah, I’m a huge fan!).

The book itself arose from a sermon series delivered by Derek in the late 1980’s to a predominalty white congregation struggling with the growing violence and tension within Apartheid South African. The sermons sought to provide an answer for some of the questions facing the congregation and help open their eyes to what was really happening behind the scenes in the spiritual world. After the fall of the apartheid, this book helped bring Derek to the attention of the The Evangelial Alliance of South Africa (TEASA), a covering body for all evangelical denominations and structures in South Africa, where he then served on their national board. He also represented the TEASA to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) chaired by Desmond Tutu. Derek’s primary statement to the TRC is included in the appendix of this book.

This information is of crucial importance as it provides the backdrop for how Derek approaches the biblical concept of powers and principalities and how these forces of evil manifests themselves in visible social structures (political, economic, cultural, etc.). It probably goes without saying, but while the book is dealing with a particular ideological struggle in a particular country, the concepts and biblical analysis contained in the book is useful to Jesus followers the world over.

Continue reading “South Africa and the Powers Behind” by Derek Morphew

What Is Kingdom Theology?

On one level answer the title question is easy enough (i.e. it is a theology system based upon enacted, inaugurated eschatology). Yet on the other hand, it is a question that is hard to understand and live out (i.e. is King Jesus really king of everything in our lives?).

In my wilder moments, I dream of answering the question of “what is Kingdom Theology” via a book I’ve been writing…granted I have been working on it for many years now and will most likely will be continuing to work on it for many more years to come…

In the meantime, I recently discovered a relativity short definition of Kingdom Theology on Bill Jackson’s website taken from a lecture by Derek Morphew, the South African Vineyard theologian, practitioner and pastor who is the best (in my opinion that is) Kingdom Theologian out there.

After you finished reading that definition, make sure you check out the rest of  Bill Jackson’s resources as they are fairly cool. =D

Junia or Junias: Thoughts on Women in Church Leadership

Last week on his blog Frank Viola (author/speaker) posted a link to his essay “Reimagining a Women’s Role in the Church” which was originally meant for this book Reimagining Church”, but was left out due to the length of the book in general.

Seeing how women in leaders is one of those ‘sticky’ issues in parts of the church today, I decided to wander over and skim his essay – well, that and the fact that Frank Viola is pretty influential due to his work with Leonard Sweet, George Barna, and others – meaning, of course, that it is good to know what his viewpoint is on the issue.

In skimming over the essay, I have to say that I was fairly impressed on the way in which Frank approached and dealt with the issue at hand. He retained the integrity of the Scriptures while looking at the full context in which they were written.

For example in his talk about the limited verses in 1 Timothy 2, Frank reminds the readers of the Gnostics teachings spreading throughout Ephesus that stated that Eve pre-existed Adam and because she tasted the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge first, she was the “bearer of special spiritual knowledge”, which was the hallmark and desire of Gnostics. Seen again this background, St. Paul’s words to Timothy begin to take on a different mean than when they are read by themselves devoid of any culture/historical context.

In addition to bring up some things I had not thought about, Frank’s essay also reminded me of an ebook I had read a month or so ago. The book is in entitled “Junia Is Not Alone” and was written by Scot McKnight, New Testament scholar at North Park University in Chicago.

In that book Scot tackles Romans 16:7, which is a fairly controversial verse in the whole women in church leadership debate. For those who recall, Romans 16:7 makes reference to an apostle named “Junia.” I put the name in quotes as the debate sounding this verse is limited to whether or not the Greek name is feminine (Junia) or masculine (Junias).

Continue reading Junia or Junias: Thoughts on Women in Church Leadership

The Gospel of Luke Introduced

James Tissot, Saint Luke (Courtesy of Wikipedia)

Three questions to ask before reading any book:

  • Who is the author?
  • When was the book written?
  • Why were they writing?

Answers concerning the Gospel of Luke:

Author: St. Luke

  • Traveling companion of St. Paul (“we” passages during the latter part of Acts)
  • Gentile follower of Jesus
  • Most likely a doctor
    • Medical language found within the Gospel
  • References of Luke by Paul
    • Colossians 4:10-14 – Luke is Paul’s doctor while he is in prison
    • Philemon 23-24
    • 2 Timothy 4:9-11


  • “Luke the Historian”
  • Left ‘date markers’ in the text to date
    • Names of Roman and local governmental officials, events, etc.
    • The difficulty is that these ‘date markers’ are hard for us in 2012 to date as we don’t have all the details concerning that time period
  • Scholars have three proposed date ranges
    • 60-62 AD
    • 80-85 AD
    • The Second Century (100-199 AD)
  • Each have some difficulties, however the first date range has the least problems and is backed up by tradition and the early Church Fathers
    • It also allows for Volume Two (i.e. the book of Acts) to be written before the fall of Jerusalem

Continue reading The Gospel of Luke Introduced

Introduction by the Newly Proposed Vineyard National Director

In case you haven’t heard, Vineyard USA is in the middle of choosing a new National Director as Bert Waggoner announced that he was retiring near the beginning of the year. The process that the National Board decided to follow is an amazing one that bridges the gap between organizational oversight and Spirit lead.

The process started off in the month of May with each senior pastor nominating someone (besides themselves) that they thought would be a good National Director. The top 13 candidates (men and women) were then asked if they felt God calling them to the position. Of those 13, four of them felt compelled to walk forward – leading to a three month application and review process with the National Board, who would then choose a final candidate.The last phase of the nomination process is a movement wide confirmation of the nominated National Director by each of the local churches.

It is too this last phase of the process that I would like to draw your attention as the National Board has proposed Phil Strout as the next Vineyard USA National Director.

As he awaits the final confirmation for the local churches within the movement, Phil has posted a video introducing himself and sharing his heart for the Vineyard. I would highly recommend everyone (inside or outside the Vineyard) to watch this video as I believe it caries a message for the church in general.

Continue reading Introduction by the Newly Proposed Vineyard National Director

What are the most influential books in your life?

It is no secret that I am a bibliophilia (i.e. a lover of books). It is a strange thing as I used to hate books – that is until 4th grade when my brother and his best friend turned me onto Louis L’Amour. The rest, they say, is history.

Recently a friend was asked what where the top 10 influential books in his life – a task that proved to be very difficult. So much so that he decided to limit himself to 22 books.  Today I have decided to follow his example and list the top ten most influential books in my life (and yes, I have kept my list to 10).  🙂

The Short List (i.e. this is my running list of books that have had the most impact on my life)

1) “From Jerusalem to Irian Jaya : A Biographical History of Christian Missions” by Ruth Tucker (1989)

This book fueled my love of following the Goose to the crazy parts of the world. It also started me on the journey of enlarging my view of the Global Church.

2) “Foxe’s Book of Martyrsby John Foxe (1563)

A faith builder for sure. Oh to have a faith like these saints! May the Lord grant me the strength to stand firm each day.

3) “Breakthrough: Discovering the Kingdom” by Derek Morphew (1991)

Kingdom Theology 101: Probably the most influential theological book I have ever read. Continue reading What are the most influential books in your life?

Defining “Kingdom of God”: A Paper (Part 3 of 3)

coffee cupJesus’ deeds were also a sign post declaring that the kingdom of God had come among men. The book of Isaiah mentions that when the Day of the Lord comes there would be salvation for all people: the deaf would hear, the blind see, the lame leap like deer, the dumb shout for joy, and those imprisoned would be set free  (Is 29:17-19; 35:5-6; 42:6-7; 49:8-9) [Derek Morphew, Breakthrough: Discovering the Kingdom, 38-39]. Luke 7:22 and Matthew 11:5 give testimony that all of these signs were accomplished through the ministry of Jesus Christ: “The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor” (Mt 11:5, New International Version).

In addition, Isaiah 43 declares that when “the LORD, your Holy One, Israel’s Creator, your King” comes He will “remember your sins no more” (Is 43:15, 25 New International Version). The Gospel texts show that Jesus of Nazareth, unlike any of the previous prophets of Israel, publically forgave the sins of the people without referring to the Temple sacrifices (Mt 9:5-6; Mk 2:5-10; Lk 5:20-24; 7:48; Jn 8:11). In effect, Jesus was simultaneously declaring Himself God while demonstrating the fact that the Day of the Lord or the Kingdom of God had come among men forever. Continue reading Defining “Kingdom of God”: A Paper (Part 3 of 3)

Defining “Kingdom of God”: A Paper (Part 2 of 3)

FlowerReturning to the teachings of Jesus, this understanding of the “kingdom of God” helps to explain sayings such as Matthew 6:33 (also Lk12:31): “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you” (New American Standard). In other words, seek first the reign and rule of God in your life and He will take care of the rest.

However, there are others teachings of Jesus that do not seem to fit with the concept of the kingdom being the active rule and reign of God. In these teachings, Jesus talked about the coming of the “kingdom of God” as if it was something that was coming soon, or something that had already come. In order to understand how these passages fit within the above definition of the kingdom of God, we will need to turn to the Old Testament writings.

Within the Old Testament there is a duality where God is described both as currently being the king of world and as some day in the future being king over the world. Psalm 103:19 states that the “The LORD has established his throne in heaven, and his kingdom rules over all” (New International Version). Yet, Obadiah 1 talks about the “day of the Lord” when God will become King of Israel and punish all those who do not follow Him. Continue reading Defining “Kingdom of God”: A Paper (Part 2 of 3)

Defining “Kingdom of God”: A Paper (Part 1 of 3)

desert pathLast month I wrote a short paper about the definition of the term “kingdom of God” for my Fuller class on the Gospels. Originally, I was going to wait until I received a grade for the paper before I posted it online…but since it looks like Fuller is taking their time grading it, I figure I would go ahead and start posting sections of the paper for your reading enjoyment.  🙂

Note that while I am going to save the full bibliography until the end, I will try to include references throughout the journey so that you (and all the copyright lawyers out there) will know where I gathered my information. 😛



The Gospel texts declare that the central message of Jesus Christ was the “kingdom of God” (Mt 4:17; 9:35; Mk 1:14-15; Lk 4:43). Unfortunately, the phrase is not defined in the Gospel texts as the Biblical writers most likely assumed their readers would already know the meaning of the phrase. This leaves the modern reader in the predicament of having to define the phrase based upon the Old Testament writings, Jewish intertestamental literature, and the particular contexts in which Jesus used the phrase. Accordingly, this paper will seek to briefly define the phrase the “kingdom of God” and look at its impact on the teachings of Jesus. Continue reading Defining “Kingdom of God”: A Paper (Part 1 of 3)