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What must we learn, and unlearn, to be agents of God's mission in the world? That is the Christian Vision Project's big question for 2007. Evangelical Christians have been learners in mission for several hundred years: learning new languages and cultures, and learning about our own cultures along the way. In the past few decades, though, an increasing number of young evangelicals have pursued advanced training in international relations and apprenticed at the highest levels of diplomacy and statecraft. Joshua T. White, a 27-year-old graduate fellow at the Institute for Global Engagement and a student at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, embodies this new generation of mission-minded Christians. As Josh's story shows, they bring with them a commitment to incarnational witness that transcends politics as usual.

It was, by any measure, a rather large funeral. When I arrived on the morning of the third day, the weary-looking colonel at the gate told me that "about 125,000" people had already filed through the Durrani ancestral home to pay their respects. It was a staggering number for such a remote corner of northwest Pakistan, but I believed him. No one goes to Bannu just to visit. Yet when news spread that the uncle of the province's chief minister—its top elected official, representing the mma Islamist alliance—had been killed, people came.

I had met the uncle once or twice. He was a soft-spoken man, quietly energetic; I remembered spending an afternoon sitting in his courtyard, trying to coax English phrases out of his shy young son. His death was a family tragedy, but beyond that it was a symbol of the instability that was slowly gathering in Bannu—just a stone's throw from the restive ...

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Living with Islamists
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April 2007

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