Chat with us, powered by LiveChat What is contextualization? How can you adapt this to your evangelism and mission work?? What is indigenization and adaptation? How can you adapt this to your evangelism and mission work?? | Wridemy

What is contextualization? How can you adapt this to your evangelism and mission work?? What is indigenization and adaptation? How can you adapt this to your evangelism and mission work??

What is contextualization? How can you adapt this to your evangelism and mission work?? What is indigenization and adaptation? How can you adapt this to your evangelism and mission work??

  

READ THE ATTACHED CHAPTERS AND ANSWER THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS FROM THE CHAPTERS

Chilcote & Warner:

Chapter 24: 

1. What is contextualization? How can you adapt this to your evangelism and mission work? 

2. What is indigenization and adaptation? How can you adapt this to your evangelism and mission work? 

Chapter 25: 

1. How does he define the missiological error on pages 354-356? 

2. Name and define three things that should be done to enhance culture-sensitive evangelism

                                                           Reference:

 Chilcote, Paul W. and Laceye C. Warner, eds. The Study of Evangelism Exploring a Missional Practice of the Church. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans,  
 2008. ISBN: 978-0-8028-0391-7.  

CHAPTER 24

Foolishness to the Greeks

Lesslie Newbigin

There is, of course, nothing new in proposing to discuss the relationship between gospel and culture. We have Richard Niebuhr’s classic study of five models of relationship in his book Christ and Culture. We have had the massive work of Paul Tillich, who was so much concerned with what he called, in the title of his first public lecture, the “theology of culture.” But this work has mainly been done, as far as I know, by theologians who had not had the experience of the cultural frontier, of seeking to transmit the gospel from one culture to a radically different one.

On the other hand, we have had a plethora of studies by missionaries on the theological issues raised by cross-cultural missions. As Western missionaries have shared in the general weakening of confidence in our modern Western culture, they have become more aware of the fact that in their presentation of the gospel they have often confused culturally conditioned perceptions with the substance of the gospel, and thus wrongfully claimed divine authority for the relatives of one culture.

For some on the liberal wing of Protestantism, such as W. E. Hocking, Christian missions were to be almost absorbed into the worldwide spread of Western culture, and this was quite explicit. But those on the opposite end of the spectrum, the conservative evangelicals, were often unaware of the cultural conditioning of their religion and therefore guilty, as many of them now recognize, of confusing the gospel with the values of the American way of life without realizing what they were doing. In the last couple of decades there has been a spate of missionary writings on the problem of contextualization. This has been preferred to the terms indigenization and adaptation, earlier much used by Protestants and Catholics respectively. The weakness of the former was that it tended to relate the Christian message to the traditional cultural forms — forms that belonged to the past and from which young people were turning away under the pervasive influence of “modernization.” The effect was to identify the gospel with the conservative elements in society. The weakness of the latter term, adaptation, was that it implied that what the missionary brought with him was the pure gospel, which had to be adapted to the receptor culture. It tended to obscure the fact that the gospel as embodied in the missionary’s preaching and practice was already an adapted gospel, shaped by his or her own culture. The value of the word contextualization is that it suggests the placing of the gospel in the total context of a culture at a particular moment, a moment that is shaped by the past and looks to the future.

The weakness, however, of this whole mass of missiological writing is that while it has sought to explore the problems of contextualization in all the cultures of humankind from

Chilcote, P. W., & Warner, L. C. (Eds.). (2008). The study of evangelism : Exploring a missional practice of the church. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.. Created from amridge on 2022-11-03 02:14:59.

C op

yr ig

ht ©

2 00

8. W

m . B

. E er

dm an

s P

ub lis

hi ng

C o.

. A ll

rig ht

s re

se rv

ed .

China to Peru, it has largely ignored the culture that is the most widespread, powerful, and persuasive among all contemporary cultures — namely, what I have called the modern Western culture. Moreover, this neglect is even more serious because it is this culture that, more than almost any other, is proving resistant to the gospel.

Let us begin with some preliminary definitions. By the word culture we have to understand the sum total of ways of living developed by a group of human beings and handed on from generation to generation. Central to culture is language. The language of a people provides the means by which they express their way of perceiving things and of coping with them. Around that center one would have to group their visual and musical arts, their technologies, their law, and their social and political organization. And one must also include in culture, and as fundamental to any culture, a set of beliefs, experiences, and practices that seek to grasp and express the ultimate nature of things, that which gives shape and meaning to life, that which claims final loyalty. I am speaking, obviously, about religion. Religion — including the Christian religion — is thus part of culture.

In speaking of “the gospel,” I am, of course, referring to the announcement that in the series of events that have their center in the life, ministry, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ something has happened that alters the total human situation and must therefore call into question every human culture. Now clearly this announcement is itself culturally conditioned. It does not come down from heaven or by the mouth of an angel. The words Jesus Christ are the Greek rendering of a Hebrew name and title, Joshua the Messiah. They belong to and are part of the culture of one part of the world — the eastern Mediterranean — at one point in history when Greek was the most widespread international language in the lands around the Mediterranean Sea. Neither at the beginning, nor at any subsequent time, is there or can there be a gospel that is not embodied in a culturally conditioned form of words. The idea that one can or could at any time separate out by some process of distillation a pure gospel unadulterated by any cultural accretions is an illusion. It is, in fact, an abandonment of the gospel, for the gospel is about the word made flesh. Every statement of the gospel in words is conditioned by the culture of which those words are a part, and every style of life that claims to embody the truth of the gospel is a culturally conditioned style of life. There can never be a culture-free gospel. Yet the gospel, which is from the beginning to the end embodied in culturally conditioned forms, calls into question all cultures, including the one in which it was originally embodied.

I begin by looking at what is involved in the cross-cultural communication of the gospel. The New Testament itself, which chronicles the movement of the gospel from its origin in the cultural world of Judaism to its articulation in the language and practice of Greek-speaking Gentile communities, provides us with the models from which to begin. As a starting point, I find it illuminating to consider Paul’s speech in the presence of King Agrippa and his court (Acts 26). The cultural setting is that of the cosmopolitan Greek-speaking world of the eastern Roman Empire. Paul is speaking in Greek. But at the decisive point of his story he tells the court that when God spoke to him it was not in Greek but in Hebrew: “I heard a voice speaking to me in the Hebrew language,” the language of the home and the heart, the

Chilcote, P. W., & Warner, L. C. (Eds.). (2008). The study of evangelism : Exploring a missional practice of the church. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.. Created from amridge on 2022-11-03 02:14:59.

C op

yr ig

ht ©

2 00

8. W

m . B

. E er

dm an

s P

ub lis

hi ng

C o.

. A ll

rig ht

s re

se rv

ed .

mother tongue. Paul is a citizen of that cosmopolitan Greek-speaking world. But the word that changed the course of his life was spoken in Hebrew, the language of his own native culture.

But — and this is equally important — that word spoken to his heart, while it accepts that language as its vehicle, uses it not to affirm and approve the life that Saul is living but to call it radically into question: “Why do you persecute me?” It is to show him that his most passionate and all-conquering conviction is wrong, that what he thinks is the service of God in fighting against God, that he is required to stop in his tracks, turn around, and renounce the whole direction of his life, to love what he had hated and to cherish what he had sought to destroy.

And — this is my third point — a voice that makes such a demand can only be the voice of the sovereign Lord himself. No one but God has the right and the power to contradict my devotion to God. “Who are you?” is Paul’s trembling question. It is the same as Moses’ question at the burning bush: “What is your name?” The answer, “I am Jesus,” means that from henceforth Saul knows Jesus as simply and absolutely Lord.

We have here, I suggest, a model of what is involved in the communication of the gospel across a cultural frontier. (1) The communication has to be in the language of the receptor culture. It has to be such that it accepts, at least provisionally, the way of understanding things that is embodied in that language; if it does not do so, it will simply be an unmeaning sound that cannot change anything. (2) However, if it is truly the communication of the gospel, it will call radically into question that way of understanding embodied in the language it uses. If it is truly revelation, it will involve contradiction, and call for conversion, for a radical metanoia, a U-turn of the mind. (3) Finally, this radical conversion can never be the achievement of any human persuasion, however eloquent. It can only be the work of God. True conversion, therefore, which is the proper end toward which the communication of the gospel looks, can only be a work of God, a kind of miracle — not natural, but supernatural.

This pattern is brilliantly exemplified in the Johannine writings. “John” freely uses the language and the thought-forms of the religious world for which he writes. Much of it is suggestive of the sort of worldview that is often very imprecisely called “Gnosticism” and has obvious affinities with Indian thought. For this reason the Fourth Gospel was early suspected of Gnostic tendencies and has later been eagerly welcomed by Hindus as placing Jesus firmly within a typically Indian worldview. Yet “John” uses this language and these thought-forms in such a way as to confront them with a fundamental question and indeed a contradiction. The logos is no longer an idea in the mind of the philosopher or the mystic. The logos is the man Jesus who went the way from Bethlehem to Calvary. In my own experience I have found that Hindus who begin by welcoming the Fourth Gospel as the one that uses their language and speaks to their hearts end by being horrified when they understand what it is really saying. And so, logically, we move to the third point to which “John” gave equal emphasis: that — as Jesus puts it in the sixth chapter — “No one can come to me unless the Father draws him” (John 6:44). The radical conversion of the heart, the U-turn of the mind which the New Testament calls metanoia, can never be the calculable result of correct methods of

Chilcote, P. W., & Warner, L. C. (Eds.). (2008). The study of evangelism : Exploring a missional practice of the church. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.. Created from amridge on 2022-11-03 02:14:59.

C op

yr ig

ht ©

2 00

8. W

m . B

. E er

dm an

s P

ub lis

hi ng

C o.

. A ll

rig ht

s re

se rv

ed .

communication. It is something mysterious for which we can only say that our methods of communication were, at most, among the occasions for a miracle.

The same threefold pattern is exemplified in the experience of a missionary who, nurtured in one culture, seeks to communicate the gospel among people of another culture whose world has been shaped by a vision of the totality of things quite different from that of the Bible. He must first of all struggle to master the language. To begin with, he will think of the words he hears simply as the equivalent of the words he uses in his own tongue and are listed in his dictionary as equivalents. But if he really immerses himself in the talk, the songs and folktales, and the literature of the people, he will discover that there are no exact equivalents. All the words in any language derive their meaning, their resonance in the minds of those who use them, from a whole world of experience and a whole way of grasping that experience. So there are no exact translations. He has to render the message as best he can, drawing as fully as he can upon the tradition of the people to whom he speaks.

Clearly, he has to find the path between two dangers. On the one hand, he may simply fail to communicate: he uses the words of the language, but in such a way that he sounds like a foreigner; his message is heard as the babblings of a man who really has nothing to say. Or, on the other hand, he may so far succeed in talking the language of his hearers that he is accepted all too easily as a familiar character — a moralist calling for greater purity of conduct or a guru offering a path to the salvation that all human beings want. His message is simply absorbed into the existing worldview and heard as a call to be more pious or better behaved. In the attempt to be “relevant” one may fall into syncretism, and in the effort to avoid syncretism one may become irrelevant.

In spite of these dangers, which so often reduce the effort of the missionary to futility, it can happen that, in the mysterious providence of God, a word spoken comes with the kind of power of the word that was spoken to Saul on the road to Damascus. Perhaps it is as sudden and cataclysmic as that. Or perhaps it is the last piece that suddenly causes the pattern to make sense, the last experience of a long series that tips the scale decisively. However that may be, it causes the hearer to stop, turn around, and go in a new direction, to accept Jesus as his Lord, Guide, and Savior.

The Jesus whom he thus accepts will be the Jesus presented to him by the missionary. It will be Jesus as the missionary perceives him. It is only necessary to look at the visual representation of Jesus in the art of different people through the past eighteen centuries, or to read the lives of Jesus written in the past 150 years, to understand that Jesus is always perceived and can only be perceived through the eyes of a particular culture. Think of the Christ of the Byzantine mosaics, a kind of super Emperor, the Pantocrator; the Christ of the medieval crucifix, a drooping, defeated victim; the Christ of liberal Protestantism, an enlightened, emancipated, successful member of the bourgeoisie; or the Christ of the liberation theologians portrayed in the likeness of Che Guevara. It will inevitably be the Christ of the missionary to whom, in the first instance, the new convert turns and gives his allegiance. This may express itself in the adopting styles of worship, dress, and behavior copied from the missionary — sometimes to the embarrassment of the latter.

Chilcote, P. W., & Warner, L. C. (Eds.). (2008). The study of evangelism : Exploring a missional practice of the church. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.. Created from amridge on 2022-11-03 02:14:59.

C op

yr ig

ht ©

2 00

8. W

m . B

. E er

dm an

s P

ub lis

hi ng

C o.

. A ll

rig ht

s re

se rv

ed .

But this will be only the first expression of it. The matter will not stop there, for the new convert will begin to read the Bible for himself. As he does so, he will gain a new standpoint from which he can look in a new way both at his own culture and at the message he has received from the missionary. This will not happen suddenly. It is only as the fruit of sustained exposure to the Bible that one begins to see familiar things in a new light. In this light the new convert will both see his own traditional culture in a new way and also observe that there are discrepancies between the picture of Jesus that he (from within his culture) finds in the New Testament and the picture that was communicated by the missionary. From this point on, there are various possible developments. The convert, having realized that much of what he had first accepted from the missionary was shaped by the latter’s culture and not solely by the gospel, may in reaction turn back to his own culture and seek, in a sort of hostile reaction to the culture that had invaded his own under the cloak of the gospel, to restate the gospel in terms of his traditional culture. Some of what is called Third World theology has primarily this negative orientation, rather than being primarily directed toward the communication of the gospel to those still inhabiting the traditional culture. What can also happen is that the missionary, and through him the church he represents, can become aware of the element of syncretism in his own Christianity, of the extent to which his culture has been allowed to determine the nature of the gospel he preaches, instead of being brought under judgment by that gospel. If this happens, great possibilities for mutual correction open up. Each side, perceiving Christ through the spectacle of one culture, can help the other to see how much the vision has been blurred or distorted. This kind of mutual correction is at the very heart of the ecumenical movement when it is true to itself.

But even where this mutual correction does begin to take place, it is still — in the modern world — under the shadow of the overwhelming predominance of modern Western culture. All the dialogue is conducted in the languages of Western Europe, and this in itself determines its terms. Only those who have had what is called a modern education are equipped are take part in it. That is to say, it is confined to those who have been more or less co-opted into the predominant modern Western culture. Most of the missionary outreach across cultural boundaries still comes from churches that are part of this culture. How, then, can there be a genuine encounter of the gospel with this culture, a culture that has itself sprung from roots in Western Christendom and with which the Western churches have lived in a symbiotic relationship ever since its first dawning? From whence comes the voice that can challenge this culture on its own terms, a voice that speaks its own language and yet confronts it with the authentic figure of the crucified and living Christ so that it is stopped in its tracks and turned back from the way of death? One might think that the vision of the mushroom cloud that has haunted the mind of modern Western people ever since it first appeared over Hiroshima would be enough. But we know that fear does not bring deliverance. From whence can the voice, not of doom but of deliverance, be spoken so that the modern Western world can hear it as the voice of its Savior and Lord?

Chilcote, P. W., & Warner, L. C. (Eds.). (2008). The study of evangelism : Exploring a missional practice of the church. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.. Created from amridge on 2022-11-03 02:14:59.

C op

yr ig

ht ©

2 00

8. W

m . B

. E er

dm an

s P

ub lis

hi ng

C o.

. A ll

rig ht

s re

se rv

ed .

,

CHAPTER 25

A Fresh Look at Evangelism in Africa

J. N. K. Mugambi

Introduction

My intention in this essay is to review the relationship between gospel and cultures in the process of evangelization in contemporary Africa, discerning the achievements and the shortcomings of the missionary enterprise in this process, and anticipating the future of the Christian faith in Africa within a challenging context characterized by rapid social change.1 The essay suggests that in general, the modern missionary enterprise, despite great achievements in translation of the Bible and liturgical literature into African languages, has been insensitive to the cultural integrity of African peoples, and that this attitude of insensitivity should change to one of appreciation and sensitivity if African Christians are to regain their dignity and integrity within the Church universal, and within the family of nations.2 The bibliographical index of the International Review of Mission can serve as one indicator of missionary attitudes toward the African cultural and religious heritage: there is no index for African religion, African culture, or African religious heritage. The predominant attitude has been that African peoples have no culture or religion worth indexing — except as primal worldviews which could as well apply to the peoples of other cultures.3

The invasion of Africa’s living rooms and villages by the mass media from the affluent nations of Europe and North America makes it difficult for the people of Africa, both young and old, to affirm their cultural integrity. Newspapers, radio, television, and Internet — these media are, generally speaking, driven by one theme alone: profit. In these media, culture is useful only if it promotes consumerism. Advertisements are the driving force of the media, no matter how committed the owners might be to educate, inform, and entertain their respective audiences. The days when culture was the manifestation of a people’s integrity are gone. Today, culture is what the transnational corporations say it is: buying and selling goods and services in the name of progress and civilization. Christian evangelism is caught up in this web of consumerism. Evangelists find it difficult to avoid the temptation to sell the gospel the way business enterprises do — through aggressive marketing. If the gospel is a commodity for sale — like cars, or color television, or the Internet — what is the role of the Holy Spirit?

Church membership is rapidly growing in those countries and regions (especially in Africa) which are becoming more and more pauperized, as affluence becomes chronic in Europe and North America. Through tourism, African culture has become a commodity for curio trade and exhibition, alongside wild flora and fauna. Evangelism in Africa has become a

Chilcote, P. W., & Warner, L. C. (Eds.). (2008). The study of evangelism : Exploring a missional practice of the church. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.. Created from amridge on 2022-11-03 02:16:11.

C op

yr ig

ht ©

2 00

8. W

m . B

. E er

dm an

s P

ub lis

hi ng

C o.

. A ll

rig ht

s re

se rv

ed .

form of Christian tourism, in which itinerant preachers come for seasonal crusades, combining their preaching with tourism and sunbathing. Missionary Christianity has yet to present African culture as the way of life of a people created in the image of God. In Catholic circles, inculturation has became a dominant theme in African missiology, just as liberation has been the dominant theme in Latin America. African expressions of Christianity have yet to penetrate the core of Christian worship in Europe and North America. To be theologically consistent, inculturation has to be reciprocal within the global Christian community. If inculturation is another word for cultural liberation, then evangelization in Africa must be culturally liberating in order to be consistent with the gospel. The fact that “inculturation” became one of the themes of the 1994 African Synod at the Vatican indicates that cultural insensitivity in Christian missiology continues to be a thorny challenge.4 How can we, as Christians, evangelize the people of other cultures without denigrating their cultural and religious integrity? Jesus proclaims that he has come to fulfill, not to destroy. St. Paul follows this principle in his missionary work, and fulfills Greco-Roman culture by showing the relevance of the Christian faith for the Romans, Corinthians, Galatians, Thessalonians, Ephesians, Colossians, and so on.5

Cultural Insensitivity and the Modern Missionary Enterprise

Cultural depreciation and insensitivity in the modern missionary enterprise has arisen from an erroneous theology of mission, which presupposes that the acceptance of Christianity necessarily demands total rejection of the African cultural and religious heritage and adoption of the culture of the missionary without question or criticism. The consequence of this missiological error has been a superficial acceptance of Christianity, which is displayed in formal, ecclesial settings, and suspended in the normal, daily life of the majority of African Christians. For this type of Christianity, J. V. Taylor used the phrase “classroom religion.” Reflecting on Christianity in Uganda in 1963, Taylor wrote:

For forty years and more the advance of the Christian Church in tropical Africa has depended more upon her virtual monopoly on Western education than upon any other factor. Today secular governments are taking that monopoly from her and it is a bitter irony that the factor which seemed to be Christianity’s greatest strength in Africa threatens to prove its heaviest liability. For to a great extent it has become a classroom religion.6

Taylor’s observation is as relevant today as it was half a century ago, Leopold Sedar Senghor in Senegal,7 and Okot p’Bitek8 in Uganda, poetically commented on the superficiality of African Christianity, highlighting the popular impression which the modern missionary enterprise created, that Christianity is a Euro-American religion which Africans can adopt only after they have become “civilized.” The complaint against the superimposition of Christianity over the African cultural and religious heritage has been partly the result of the close association of “evangelization” with “Europeanization,” to the point where both terms have become interchangeable. Taylor continues:

Chilcote, P. W., & Warner, L. C. (Eds.). (2008). The study of evangelism : Exploring a missional practice of the church. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.. Created from amridge on 2022-11-03 02:16:11.

C op

yr ig

ht ©

2 00

8. W

m . B

. E er

dm an

s P

ub lis

hi ng

C o.

. A ll

rig ht

s re

se rv

ed .

It is bad enough that religious pictures, films, and film-strips should have almost universally shown a white Christ, child of a white mother, master of white disciples; that he should be worshipped almost exclusively with European music set to translations of European hymns, sung by clergy and people wearing European dress in buildings of an archaic European style; that the form of worship should bear almost no relation to traditional African ritual nor the content of the prayers to contemporary African life; that the organizational structure of the Church and its method of reaching decisions should be modeled ever more closely on Western concepts rather than deviating from them. But in the last resort these are all merely outward forms that could quite easily give place to others. They are serious because they are symptoms. They persist because they are the school uniform of a classroom religion reflecting a worldview that is fundamentally European.9

The consolidation of “world confessional families,” which incorporate the “younger churches” but control them from metropolises in Europe or North America, has not made the cultural emancipation of African Christianity possible. Whereas the European Reformation emancipated European Protestantism from the cultural domination of Rome, such a Reformation has yet to bear fruit in Africa — even though the signs of it are evident in the African Instituted Churches.10 Within the churches of the missionary enterprise, especially in the Roman Catholic Church, there is much talk about “inculturation,” but this t

Our website has a team of professional writers who can help you write any of your homework. They will write your papers from scratch. We also have a team of editors just to make sure all papers are of HIGH QUALITY & PLAGIARISM FREE. To make an Order you only need to click Ask A Question and we will direct you to our Order Page at WriteDemy. Then fill Our Order Form with all your assignment instructions. Select your deadline and pay for your paper. You will get it few hours before your set deadline.

Fill in all the assignment paper details that are required in the order form with the standard information being the page count, deadline, academic level and type of paper. It is advisable to have this information at hand so that you can quickly fill in the necessary information needed in the form for the essay writer to be immediately assigned to your writing project. Make payment for the custom essay order to enable us to assign a suitable writer to your order. Payments are made through Paypal on a secured billing page. Finally, sit back and relax.

Do you need an answer to this or any other questions?

About Wridemy

We are a professional paper writing website. If you have searched a question and bumped into our website just know you are in the right place to get help in your coursework. We offer HIGH QUALITY & PLAGIARISM FREE Papers.

How It Works

To make an Order you only need to click on “Order Now” and we will direct you to our Order Page. Fill Our Order Form with all your assignment instructions. Select your deadline and pay for your paper. You will get it few hours before your set deadline.

Are there Discounts?

All new clients are eligible for 20% off in their first Order. Our payment method is safe and secure.

Hire a tutor today CLICK HERE to make your first order

Related Tags

Academic APA Writing College Course Discussion Management English Finance General Graduate History Information Justify Literature MLA