Paul DeNeui’s visit

Paul speaking at Bokonzo church

We enjoyed our friend Paul DeNeui’s visit earlier this week. Paul is the professor of missiology at North Park Theological Seminary after having served as a missionary in Thailand for 18 years. While it’s fun to have a friend visit, his primary objective in visiting was been to study possibilities for a future trip by North Park Seminary students. A trip by seminary students will not just be the standard kind of missions work trip. This will be planned to be a cross-cultural engagement. Paul wants the students to study some Lingala, spend a couple nights in homes of Congolese, possible visit a family garden, certainly go to the market, plus interact with the theological students at Ubangi Protestant University (UPU). While he was here, Paul preached at the Bokonzo church on Sunday, had a class with the UPU students on missiology, spoke at a day-long conference hosted by UPU and finally addressed the student body of the Protestant University of Congo (UPC) students. His address to the UPU and UPC students was entitled, “The American Hope in African Christianity.”


Paul making a point; Robert translating

In his talk to the UPU and UPC students he challenged them with the idea that the often quoted “3 self” movement in missiology is missing something. I studied this in seminary many years ago. The principle is that when missionaries go to other countries to plant churches they should have the three self movement as a goal, which is that the church planted will be: self-propagating, self-governing and self-supporting. Paul proposed that the missing “self” is “self-theologizing,” saying that an important final step in planting a truly indigenous church is that it should be self-theologizing. Africans and all the others outside of the West will bring different questions to the study of Scripture and to thinking theologically. We in the West need to hear from them to have our theology completed.

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One Response to “Paul DeNeui’s visit”

  1. Paul De Neui says:

    Thanks for your very complimentary review! I certainly enjoyed my trip and am still reflecting on all that took place. You are wonderful hosts!

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