Tag Archives: contextualization

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

The Missional Approach to Culture

The Missional Approach to Culture

This entry is part 11 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 missional church movement is certainly not a monolithic group; yet characteristics of this movement are strikingly similar to characteristics of the transformationalist approach to culture.1 Several authors have suggest that the missional church movement is essentially transformationalist including Michael Goheen and2 Mark Snoeberger.3 Like transformationalists, missional authors recognize anthesis between the church and its surrounding culture; but… Continue Reading

What has Athens to do with Jerusalem?

What has Athens to do with Jerusalem?

This entry is part 1 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.

“What indeed has Athens to do with Jerusalem?”1 These immortal words from the pen of early church father Tertullian of Carthage illustrate well the tension that exists for Christians seeking to follow the Lord’s claim that they are in the world but not of the world (John 17:6-19). And two thousand years later, the perennial question… Continue Reading

Scripturally, “Culture” is Simply the “Behavior” of a People

Scripturally, “Culture” is Simply the “Behavior” of a People

This entry is part 8 of 8 in the series Toward a Biblical Understanding of Culture You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

If there is any concept of the anthropological/missional idea of “culture” in the NT, it is the idea of “way of life.” A people’s culture is their behavior and their conduct. Several important implications may be drawn from this analysis. First, NT authors explain cultural differences between various people groups as differences of belief and… Continue Reading

The Missional Understanding of “Culture”

The Missional Understanding of “Culture”

This entry is part 5 of 8 in the series Toward a Biblical Understanding of Culture You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Last time I argued that the contemporary idea of “culture” came to being within discussions of modern anthropology It was in this anthropological climate that the missional idea of culture took shape. Charles H. Kraft acknowledges that the missional idea of culture draws from cultural anthropology: “When it comes to the analysis of such cultural… Continue Reading

Common Missional Definitions of Culture

Common Missional Definitions of Culture

This entry is part 3 of 8 in the series Toward a Biblical Understanding of Culture You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Likely the most influential early evangelical definition of culture comes from Lesslie Newbigin who claims that culture is “the sum total of ways of living built up by a human community and transmitted from one generation to another.”1 Darrell Guder cites this definition early in his influential Missional Church,2 thus revealing its impact upon later missional thinking… Continue Reading

The Missional Church and Culture

The Missional Church and Culture

This entry is part 1 of 8 in the series Toward a Biblical Understanding of Culture You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

The missional church movement has significantly influenced the evangelical church in recent years, especially their philosophy of evangelism and worship (see my recent series on this subject here). Missional advocates argue that the church is part of the missio Dei—the mission of God—and thus must see its ministries as fitting within that mission. Essential to… Continue Reading

The Good and the Bad of Missional Worship

The Good and the Bad of Missional Worship

This entry is part 12 of 12 in the series Missional Worship You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

There is little doubt that the missional church movement has been influential in evangelical churches, and that it continues to grow. Having surveyed the history and theology of this important movement and specifically its impact upon the worship of the evangelical church, the question remains as to whether this influence has been beneficial or not.… Continue Reading

The Incarnational Mode of Missional Worship

The Incarnational Mode of Missional Worship

This entry is part 11 of 12 in the series Missional Worship You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

With regard to the missional movement’s understanding of Christendom, it is important to recognize that they saw what happened during this period as little more than the church contextualizing worship to the dominant culture of the civilization. Since Christianity happened to be the dominant religion of the western world, the church was able to easily… Continue Reading

The Missional Philosophy of Culture

The Missional Philosophy of Culture

This entry is part 8 of 12 in the series Missional Worship You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Inherent in the missional church’s insistence upon incarnation and contextualization is the idea that no aspect of culture is inherently sinful, or at very least unredeemable. Missional proponents believe that there are very few aspects of human culture that are actually sinful in and of themselves; they might cite pornography or something similar as an… Continue Reading

The Incarnational Mode of the Missional Church

The Incarnational Mode of the Missional Church

This entry is part 7 of 12 in the series Missional Worship You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

If the “why” of mission is the fact that God sends the church, and if the “where” of mission is post-Christendom Western culture, then for the missional advocates the “how” of mission is incarnation. By incarnation, missional writers mean that a truly missional church is one that is embedded in its target culture. Hirsch notes,… Continue Reading

Truth and Tradition

Truth and Tradition

This entry is part 4 of 8 in the series Preserving the Truth in our Worship You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

I have argued thus far that successful preservation of the truth necessitates that what is preserved is the doctrinal affirmations and the proper imagination of such affirmations, and I have suggested that the primary way in which this imaginative aspect is persevered is through conserving the Bible’s aesthetic forms in our worship. Culture and Imagination To speak of… Continue Reading

A Distinctly Christian Culture

A Distinctly Christian Culture

This entry is part 16 of 16 in the series Missions and Music You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

So is there a distinctly Christian culture? Is there a distinctly Christian music? Yes, there is—it is culture and music that expresses Christian values. In discussions of missions and music, understanding the idea of culture is critical. What is it? Shouldn’t the music of a church reflect the indigenous culture around it? The Standard Evangelical… Continue Reading

Does contextualization heighten the likelihood of a positive response to the gospel?

Does contextualization heighten the likelihood of a positive response to the gospel?

This entry is part 15 of 16 in the series Missions and Music You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Conversations about missions and music often revolve around an insistence that in order to reach unbelievers in a target culture, we need to contextualize the message into their language, be it spoken, acted, or sung. Here are some helpful words from an excellent journal article by Mark Snoeberger that I think get to the heart of… Continue Reading

To harmonize the affections

To harmonize the affections

This entry is part 10 of 16 in the series Missions and Music You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

And all would serve, the more speedily and effectually, to change the taste of Indians, and to bring them off from their barbarism and brutality, to a relish for those things, which belong to civilization and refinement. Another thing, which properly belongs to a Christian education, and which would be unusually popular with them, and… Continue Reading

"Understanding and Assessing the Missional Church Movement" – MACP audio/notes now available

"Understanding and Assessing the Missional Church Movement" – MACP audio/notes now available

The audio and notes for this year’s Mid-America Conference on Preaching sponsored by Inter-City Baptist Church and Detroit Baptist Theological Seminary are now available online. This year Dave Doran and the faculty of DBTS tackled the issue of the “missional” movement. I was unfortunately unable to attend this year (first time I’ve missed in about… Continue Reading