Tag Archives: contextualization

Relevance and Importance

Relevance and Importance

When some people speak of “making Christianity relevant”, they are referring to demonstrating Christianity’s importance and applicability. They fret over the fact that unbelievers and the wider culture dismiss Christianity and religion so easily. Secularism provides people with enough food, shelter, conveniences, comforts and sufficient diversionary amusements to keep them from truly investigating the claims… Continue Reading

Is using pop music in church the same as incorporating indigenous music in missions contexts?

Is using pop music in church the same as incorporating indigenous music in missions contexts?

One of the most difficult issues church leaders face today is whether necessary (and historically practiced) “inculturation” of Christian worship applies to contemporary American pop music. This article is an absolutely fascinating attempt to answer that issue. Now, huge disclaimer first: This is written by a Roman Catholic expressly for a Roman Catholic audience and specifically rooted… Continue Reading

The “Two Hands” of Ministry

The “Two Hands” of Ministry

In 2006 an approach to church ministry began to gain popularity. It was called a “two-handed” approach to ministry. One closed hand represented the theology of the church and its grasp of biblical truth and principles. The hand being closed symbolized the non-negotiable aspects of theology. One open hand represented the methodology of the church.… Continue Reading

Gospel impact and the world’s approval

Gospel impact and the world’s approval

Christians today seem to assume that the best way to have the greatest gospel impact in the world is to gain the world’s approval and acceptance first. If we can just earn their respect, perhaps they will give us a better hearing. There is certainly some truth to this: our behavior before the unbelieving world should… Continue Reading

David Garner on the Insider Movement

David Garner on the Insider Movement

The so-called “Insider Movement” has some serious problems, in my opinion, and reveals some of the complexities involved with the issue of cultural contextualization. This debate is well-worth reading along those lines. David Garner has what I believe to be an outstanding perspective on the issue that has implications for other aspects of cultural contextualization… Continue Reading

Acts 17 and cultural contextualization

Acts 17 and cultural contextualization

Acts 17 records Paul’s attempt to evangelize three cities, each of which had very different kinds of people. Paul’s audience in Thessalonica was predominantly Jewish. He spent time in the synagogue there speaking to Jews and Jewish proselytes, but it was not a receptive audience. Some did come to Christ, but for the most part,… Continue Reading

Must We “Translate” the Gospel?

Must We “Translate” the Gospel?

The “missional” movements are not really fundamentally different from the middle-class, pedestrian “church growth” movements of 25 years ago. They all seem to assume that accommodation is something that we do as we reach out to others. This is confused. via Must We “Translate” the Gospel? | The Heidelblog. Continue Reading

The Mission of Worship: An Assessment of the Missional Church Movement’s Impact Upon Evangelical Worship Philosophy and Practice

The Mission of Worship: An Assessment of the Missional Church Movement’s Impact Upon Evangelical Worship Philosophy and Practice

The following is the paper I presented yesterday at the national meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society: PDF Audio Version Most church leaders readily recognize that God has tasked churches with several different purposes, yet how those purposes work together has equally mystified them. One of the most potentially difficult ministry relationships to reconcile has… Continue Reading

Is culture the same as race?

Is culture the same as race?

The issue of culture is always of interest to those involved with worship for one obvious reason–the “cultural” aspects of worship, primarily music, poetry, and rhetoric, are what often cause the most controversy. Questions rising out of this include: Is musical style neutral? Are there some musical styles that are more fitting for worship than… Continue Reading

The Lord is my . . . cattle-driver?

The Lord is my . . . cattle-driver?

There is a lot of talk about contextualizing biblical truth these days. Of course, there is always a need for translation from language to language and context to context. What people mean when they say “contextualization” (as opposed to “translation”), however, is usually something deeper. Regardless of the term used, we need to recognize the… Continue Reading

Relevance is irrelevant (Part 10)

Relevance is irrelevant (Part 10)

This entry is part 10 of 14 in the series Relevance is Irrelevant You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8 | Part 9 I return this week to the series I abruptly left unfinished about a year ago. According to 1 Corinthians 1-3, the means that God wants to use to save sinners is the gospel, the preaching of “Christ crucified.” The unsaved of this world do… Continue Reading

Counter-Contextualization

Counter-Contextualization

“Part of contextualizing is knowing how to counter-contextualize: how to be culturally distinct embassies of Christ’s future rule.” http://thegospelcoalition.org/mobile/article/tgc/create-a-contrast-culture-in-your-church Continue Reading

Distorting the building blocks of worship

Distorting the building blocks of worship

This entry is part 2 of 5 in the series The Building Blocks of Worship You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Last week I suggested that the basic building blocks of worship worship established in the creation/fall events: (1) God reveals himself and initiates a relationship with his people; (2) God forms the boundaries of the relationship with his commandments; (3) the nature of worship consists in this relationship of communion between man and his Creator; (4)… Continue Reading

Protecting churches from cultural accommodation

Protecting churches from cultural accommodation

I was recently directed to the . This statement about protecting developing churches is one I wish all mission-minded churches would embrace: It is also the purpose of Grace Advance to endeavor to provide protection from things that threaten the church. We will strive to shield developing churches against the dangers of cultural accommodation. The… Continue Reading

Contextualizing in Blaséburg

Contextualizing in Blaséburg

Picture being called to live out your Christian life in Blaséburg. Blaséburg is a materialist’s paradise. Food is abundant and cheap, clothing and housing affordable, and labor-saving devices and gadgets fill up the empty spaces in most houses, large as they are. Blaséburg is cushioned from the brevity and harshness of life of many other places in the world… Continue Reading

The Relationship Between Holy Culture and Unholy Culture Should be One of Witness

The Relationship Between Holy Culture and Unholy Culture Should be One of Witness

This entry is part 18 of 20 in the series Christ the Sanctifier of Behavior You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

The sixth conclusion drawn from the idea that culture is behavior is that the relationship between holy culture essay order and unholy culture should be one of witness. The separatist sees the relationship between the church and “unholy” culture as one of complete separation. Two-kingdom advocates also see the two as completely distinct but encourage… Continue Reading