Cultural Anthropology for the Missionary Dr. Robert PattonMissionary to Suriname, South America
What is culture? Culture - the pattern and way of life by which people order their lives We use contextual clues For the first 6 years, we have intensive training from parents and others We go further for a life-long enculturation
What is culture? Culture - the pattern and way of life by which people order their lives Later - peer groups become important, and we tend to congregate with those of similar values, which reinforce our cultural values Each individual is different in accepting or rejecting portions of the lifestyle We overlearn these until they are automatic and assumed to be correct Living with other cultural expressions can bring stress
Why study anthropology? It attempts to deal with what people actually do and think .Their total behavior .Their world view .It deals mostly with nonwestern people .The culture concept - how people meet their needs within the restrictions imposed by environment, etc. None intrinsically superior
Why study anthropology It takes a holistic integrative approach to people It uses a cross-cultural perspective .Helps understand ourselves .Helps understand others in their culture .Understand the Bible in the patterns of other times & places .Helps understand how best to communicate the message of the gospel
Anthropology focuses on communication Quality of relationships Perception, felt needs, acceptance & appreciation .Anthropology distinguishes between form and meanings - what does the form communicate? .Anthropology communicates the world view - assumptions, values and associations & allegiances .Anthropology works with people in the field where they live - not in isolation .Anthropology studies how culture changes
We see only dimly now… All perceptions are affected by .Culture .Personality .Experience .Sin .Only God sees perfectly
Our perception of reality We always filter reality We learn incompletely Experience modifies our mental maps We may change when confronted with another model of reality There may be a paradigm shift to a new perspective. However, we may keep a good portion of the old view and compartmentalize and shift back and forth
A Perspective on Culture - Kraft Relationship precedes custom We need customs, but not someone else’s customs, We need rituals, but not someone else’s rituals. Culture is like a river - we see the top, but most is deep beneath. The world-view is below
A Perspective on Culture -Kraft His view - culture is structure. People work within the structure, either to strengthen it or to change it. It is the force of habit that sustains the cultural approach Culture is a strategy for survival belonging to and operated by a society. It consists of concepts and behavior that are patterned and learned; underlying perspectives, and resultant products. Culture is agreed upon patterns, and is learned
A Perspective on Culture - Kraft The power of the culture is that we have a propensity to live by habit. Different cultures represent the creativity of mankind. We need to honor cultures. We need culture to survive
A Perspective on Culture - Kraft Cultures can be used for good or ill. And remember that cultures are infected with our sin-nature . It is people-choices if culture will be used as instruments for God or satan .
Culture is Complex Tightly integrated around the world view A total design for living Adaptive to circumstances
Culture is Learned as if it were perfect: ethnocentrism. We have a tendency to want to impose our culture on others Makes sense to those in the system
Culture Based on group agreement A legacy from the past, and links us with the past A way to regulate your life There is explicit, conscious culture, and implicit, unconscious culture. There is an ideal culture and actual culture
Culture Shock The rules of living change This is not just for missionaries – anyone living in a new culture Many government and business organizations have ways to help cope
Culture shock: - our cultural maps no longer work Inability to communicate - you must practice it and make mistakes to learn it Routine things take much longer Changes in relationships - with other people, our identity, etc. Great differences in concept of time - what is appropriate varies in each culture Emotional and evaluative disorientation
Culture shock… Stress - often accummulative – 50% of those above 150 points were sick, and 80% of those above 300 were sick. Language learning is 50 points Many missionaries are over 400. Physical illness is common Psychological and spiritual depression is also common
The cycle of culture shock Tourist stage - outside visitor stage Disenchantment - we are now cultural insiders - many resign Resolution - we begin to learn new cultural ways, though we often think that our own culture is superior. Now it is key to develop positive attitudes of appreciation and acceptance - but if we remain aloof, we will probably never come into the culture.
The cycle of culture shock We want to become bonded to the culture. Reverse culture shock - most affects those best adjusted to the new culture. We need to approach this as learning another culture, and learn from the natives
Getting over culture shock Get into the culture early before forming routines that shut them out Be a learner, and they will help those in need
Getting over culture shock Adjustments depend on the differences between our original culture and the new one Recognize our anxieties, identify them, and learn solutions Build trust - have an interest in and acceptance of the people to whom we minister
Things to help culture shock Set realistic goals - you cannot do as much in a foreign culture Take time out - avoid burnout We are not indispensable
Things to help culture shock Attitudes are KEY .Flexibility .Humor - especially at our missteps .Forgiveness .Thankfulness Share burdens with others
The Incarnational Missionary Cross-cultural misunderstandings - a cognitive block Come into the culture as learners - this often opens doors to share the gospel Anything that does not make sense means that we don’t understand how it fits into the culture Eventually we can become bi-cultural - transmitting from one culture to another
Ethnocentrism Ethnocentrism - affective response - my culture is civilized, others are not The solution is empathy Be learners See others as individuals Remember that our reaction may be defensive in nature
We need to respect all cultures, but not cultural relativity Biblical norms are above all cultures We need to study the values of our own culture and the culture we are to reach, and then compare them with Biblical norms. Our own ethnocentricity must be shattered to accomplish this
We need to respect all cultures, but not cultural relativity . Neither rejecting the new culture, and becoming isolated, nor “ going native” is the answer. We can never fully enter into the life of the new culture, because we do not enter with a blank slate
Integrate into the culture As insiders of the culture, we are competitors for leadership and resources, but not as outsiders. We can bridge the gap with our culture, and protect our people from misuse
Integrate into the culture Compartmentalization - in each culture, do as that culture. But a lot of tension, and it may seem that we are hypocritical Better - integration, but accepting the things in both cultures that correspond to Biblical truth
Where we can, identify with Language Clothing & food - not too difficult Transportation - more difficult for USA people Housing - especially loss of privacy
Where we can, identify with Roles - depends upon what we are assigned Attitudes - do we truly love the people? I Cor. 13:3 .Treat with dignity & respect .Give power and position of leadership .Trust them with material goods
Cultural assumptions ofwestern missionaries We live in a real world that exists outside us, rational, orderly & under natural laws Therefore science is important Biblical basis - God created a universe that is outside of Him and dependent on Him
Cultural assumptions ofwestern missionaries Eastern religion - the outside world is imaginary, and people just projections in the mind of God Then appeals to history and science are difficult Truth comes from meditation - we are part of one universal spirit
Western thought There was a real shift between biblical dualism - God vs. all creation including spirits, humans, enz. - to neo-Platonic world - dualism between spirit and matter , soul & body. Thus there was a split between the natural observable world and the supernatural world
Western thought Originally science was a servant of religion, but later became totally separated. We tend to separate spiritual ministries and social gospel Missionaries can actually spread secularism, when the culture accepts western science and technology but rejects their religious teachings
West vs. animism Humans & non-humans - actually comes from our Christian perspective. But many cultures look at all nature as alive, with animals and inanimate objects having their spirits. Example Sranantongo language is without a passive. You cannot say: I was cut by the knife. You must say: The knife cut me…
West vs. animism Americans look to exploit nature in their domination of it. The Hebrews, in contrast, looked at nature as good, and that humans should care for it. Some folks believe that they are basically overwhelmed by nature
Western values Values - usually materialistic – what one possesses physical health – rather than intellectual or spiritual development. .Americans judge other cultures by their technological development & material comforts. They emphasize private ownership - not group ownership . This can create problems in considering missionaries greedy
Peasant society values different Peasant societies often believe that basic resources like land, wealth, health, friendships, power, status and security are limited and of short supply There is a suspicion of those competing for them, and persons are encouraged to keep the status quo.
West vs. East USA loves analysis, fixing things. Many other places seem like things are uncontrolled and not the blame of one person, making planning difficult USA loves either/or - no in between. Also a sharp distinction between work and play which is incomprehensible to many
Western values Planning - we can plan in a rational universe. We have the power of choice, and the responsibility to choose and make a difference. We tend to be pragmatic when it comes to solutions. Other countries feel that it is more important to be a good person and build good relationships.
Western values We tend to treat the world as mechanistic - both material goods and humans - as things to be organized and used. Completing tasks is more important than building relationships Doing and completing more important - laziness is a major “sin” in this view Other countries - being and becoming more important – Mary vs. Martha
Western values You quantify things, and bigger = better. Others value balance and beauty Assembly line rather than the artist or craftsman doing the whole thing Big emphasis on the individual and individual rights & freedom Japan – “face” - dignity, harmony, respect very important
Western values Personal identity is found through achievement to find individual worth = material goods Self-reliance - a fear to be dependent on others. In Latin America and the Orient, the emphasis is on the group, not the “loner” Southeast Asia - the relationship is between the patron and the client. The patron helps in all ways, and the client is totally loyal
Western values Contractural groups - the rights of the individual are above the group, and they may leave the group. We tend to have superficial relationships, may leave for a better job. We have clubs as a basic organization. This is strange where the major tie is kinship and you are born into the group
Western values Americans put emphasis on private property to be used and disposed of as wished Humanitarianism is strong - but often institutionalized and impersonal Equality = equal opportunities . We favor democracy where the majority also respects the rights of the minority. But some cultures believe that humans are not equal, but hierarchal , and that they are based on “karma” and must atone for their sins.
Western values Informality - this can be OK with kindness, courtesy and unostentatious living, Be very careful not to belittle someone with a higher rank in his own culture. Until you know, be respectful and keep a bit of reserve Competition and self-reliance - later compete for fame, status, money, etc and there is little room for “losers” We must “play fair”
Western values Americans tend to be direct and confronta- tional Japanese prefer to make decisions privately and use meetings for public announcements. Some will use a third party Americans will cooperate for common goals, even with others with whom we may disagree. Some interpret this as opportunism.
Western values in time Time is highly valued and organized. Time is linear. Others focus on the events on hand. Time may be pendular or cyclical .Americans are future oriented.
Western values . Traditional African thought focuses on the past. There is the mythical past, the recent past (remembering recent ancestors), and the present and recent future. Chinese think especially of the present, and try to integrate all the current happenings into the situation.
Western values vs. others Americans focus on time, which disappears, rather than space where things happened, but many cultures do the opposite. “We cannot go back, but this is where...”
Western values Youth focus as active and productive. Many cultures place an emphasis on the elderly, and have no concept of retirement
Western communication We emphasize visual rather than oral, touch, smell, etc. Literacy abounds. I see... Others emphasize sayings, proverbs, etc - with interaction between the teller and the receiver... We emphasize abstract knowledge instead of stories, situations, etc. We need to emphasize the personal and stories We tend to admire knowledge more than wisdom
One of our tasks Missionaries need total immersion to become enculturated again - like a child Phil. 2:5, I Peter 2:21 We must become like those we will reach – but as Christians We must deny ourselves: Mt. 16:24 Paul wanted to become all things for all men I Cor. 9:21-23
Hall - Silent language - 10areas of control in all cultures Subsistence - work Bisexuality - differences in sexes Learning - modeling, observation, instruction Play - humor, recreation Defense - health, beliefs, conflicts
Hall - Silent language - 10 areas of control in all cultures Language - just a conceptual model of what we experience Time - attitudes toward time, schedule Space & territory Exploitation - control and use of resources Association - family, kin,
Tension in time… Time-oriented societies – West Lots of clocks, everybody wears watch Anniversaries, historical records important Scheduling toward a goal, achieving the maximum within set limits Time = money. Rewards for efficient use of time
Time concept in Event-oriented societies Concerned for the details of the event, regardless of time involved Exhaustive consideration of the problem until resolved Let come what may - not tied to specific schedule
Time concept in Event-oriented societies Stress completing the event as a reward in itself Emphasis on present experience instead of past or future Participation and completion are the main goals
Time… Jesus Time more an opportunity Event oriented .Americans Time-oriented Monochronism - do one thing at a time They want variety of things to do We must be willing to adapt to the culture around us
Tensions in judgment American culture wants things systematized - comes from Western thought processes - Aristotelian Dichotomy - bring into right/wrong Judgments black & white. Specific criteria are applied uniformly Security comes from knowing that one is right, and fits into a particular role in society Systematic evaluation of information and experiences - sorting things into clear patterns
Tensions in judgment –eastern or third world values Holistic - whole is greater than the parts Judgments are open-ended, and the whole person and all circumstances are taken into consideration Security comes from multiple interactions within the whole of society - one is insecure if confined to particular roles or categories Details stand out as independent points complete in themselves
Dual hemispheres The healthy individual will use both, but one often dominates. Left - verbal Right – pictorial
Jesus teaching Jesus tended to use pictorial language and reasoning mostly - which also fit well with the Hebrew culture .Analogies .Parables .Jesus was receptor-oriented and personal
Jesus teaching .Focusing on issues of the day - healing on the sabbath, etc. He used very pictorial illustrations in Mt. 23 - clean the outside of the plate, strain out a gnat and swallow a camel, etc. Personal case studies – The gospels are pictorial and holistic with vivid images
Judgment methods Remember that people evaluate in ways that are different from our evaluation. We must be careful Dichotomists look at holistic as wis- wasi, lacking principle and inconsistent
Judgment methods Holistic - look at dichotomists as rigid and legalistic and unfeeling .Mt. 7:1; I Cor. 4:3; Rom. 2:16; I Cor. 4:4-5 We have a tendency to remake others in our own image. But both parts of the brain are necessary I Cor. 12:12-13; Ps. 133
How to handle a crisis: Crisis Orientation 1. Anticipates crisis 2. Emphasizes planning 3. Quick solution to avoid ambiguity 4. Repeatedly follows preplanned authoritative decisions 5. Seeks expert advice 6. Pessimistic
How to handle a crisis: Non-crisis Orientation 1. Downplays possibility of crisis 2. Focuses on actual experience 3. Avoid taking action; delay decisions 4. Makes ad hoc decision on spur of the moment from multiple options 5. Shuns expert advice 6. Optimistic
What is biblical? We must cooperate together and try to understand each other’s working methods. Jesus was often open-ended, non- crisis in orientation We must have an unwavering declarative commitment to the gospel, and an open, questioning, noncrisis-oriented lifestyle and ministry: II Tim. 4:2.
What is biblical? Remember to be like Christ: Phil. 2:5-7; and Paul I Cor. 9:19-23. Be a servant & consider them better than yourself
Tension over goals: Taskorientation vs. people orientation Task Orientation Focus - task and principles Satisfaction in achievement of goals Seeks friends with similar goals Accepts loneliness and social deprivation to achieve personal goals
Tension over goals Taskorientation vs. people orientation People Orientation Focus - people and relationships Satisfaction in interaction Seeks friends who are group oriented Despises loneliness . Gives up personal achievement to have group interaction
Goal orientation Task orientation can be so busy that tasks are simply one achievement followed by another, and relationships are seen only in connection with completing work. Social relationships may simply be an extension of work. They often prefer to work alone, and social relationships are boring.
Goal orientation People orientation often use all social occasions to build extensive networks of relationships. They need the acceptance and stimulation of the group, and expend a lot of energy in maintaining those relationships. They may give up personal achievement to achieve group goals. Quality of relationships is more important than achieving task goals.
Goal orientation Task orientation - good for preachers, teachers, Bible translation, administra- tive personnel. Give them the chance to schedule their own activities independently. They tend to be frustrated with fellow workers and “frivolous conversation”. They tend to get upset by nationals who spend long times talking, etc.
Goal orientation Person-oriented Our school system is not geared to bless this type of individual In some cultures, a task oriented missionary may not be the best for the work Western culture has a dichotomy between work and socialization . We need to remember Phil. 2:3
People oriented goals Cross-cultural missionaries are to be servants and minister God’s love to others We must share lives with others: I Thess. 2:7-8 Jesus gave priority to persons and their needs and not to his own tasks Our attitude must be humble: Col. 3:12; Ephesians 5:1-2
Tensions about self-worth Status focus - ascribed Personal identity is obtained by position, birth, and rank Amount of respect is permanently fixed; those with high status honored despite personal failings Play your role; be willing to sacrifice to achieve higher rank People associate with social equals
Tensions about self-worth Achievement focus - attained Personal identity is obtained by one’s achievements Amount of respect determined by one’s achievements or failures
Tensions about self-worth The Jewish rabbis were upset that Jesus would associate with lower ranks: Lk. 15:1 ff There is a tendency for achievers to look down on those who achieve less, resulting in envy and depression
Tensions about self-worth Jesus rejects that of status: Luke 14:7-11; 12-14; 26 ff. We must be willing to be a servant to others: Mt. 20:25-27; Phil. 2:3 ff. The achievers must be careful not to despise others - like Martha complained about Mary: Lk. 10:41- 42
Tensions about self-worth True self-worth: Rom. 3:10-12. Yet we tend to judge others. Repentance does not make us worthy, but it opens the door so that we can get worth from God: Rom. 3:21-24.
Tensions about self-worth Our attempts to find self-worth separate us from each other, and result in subjugation of the weak. But the gift of God’s worthiness creates a servant attitude in us. .We must respect the values assigned by the culture but not be dominated by it: Phil. 2:5-8
Tensions concerning vulnerability Conceal vulnerability Protection of self-image at all cost; avoidance of error and failure Emphasis on quality of performance Reluctance to go beyond recognized performance or enter the unknown
Tensions concerningvulnerability Conceal vulnerability Denial of culpability; Withdrawal from activity to hide weakness or shortcoming Refusal to see alternate views or accept criticism Vagueness re personal life
Tensions concerning vulnerability Expose vulnerability Relative unconcern over error and failure Emphasis on completion of the event Willing to push the limits and go into the unknown
Tensions concerningvulnerability Expose vulnerability Ready admission of culpability, weakness and shortcomings Openness to alternative views and criticism Willing to talk freely about personal life
Vulnerability Lk. 14:27 ff shows that we must take account of our weaknesses. Be humble, which eventually brings us to honor It is not good to cover up and not admit mistakes. See how Paul admits that his weakness leads to dependence on Christ’s strength 2 Cor. 12:7-10. We should be willing to receive help from others.
Vulnerability We should not become self- righteous about others; If we focus on self-weakness we can become casual about sin, or critical of others Seek ways to show respect - like using intermediaries.
Vulnerability Remember that God has chosen the weak in this world to do His work: I Cor. 1:27. Remember too that we will be weak: I Cor. 4:10 Again remember Phil. 2:3-4
Our task as cross-culturalmissionaries As missionaries, we must become incarnate in the culture where we are. We must become all things to all men - accepting and working in their culture We must realize that there are problems in our own culture, and good points in the adopted culture.
Our task as cross-culturalmissionaries We need to accept the fact that God made us as we are, and He will shape us to use us To become incarnate in another culture does not require that we sin - Jesus was fully incarnate as a Jew, and yet without sin.
Our task as cross-culturalmissionaries We should have a heightened sense of morality when we see the blind spots of our own culture. We must have complete submission to and dependence on God Jn. 5:19
Part II – Cultural Orientation Culture definition - a way of thinking, feeling, believing; It is a group’s knowledge stored for future use... includes social, economic, linguistic, etc.
Part II – Cultural Orientation .Culture is learned, not inherited .Culture is shared within a society .Culture is an integrated whole - one part affects others... .Culture constantly changes
Culture can be broken downinto Technology Social Beliefs, ideology
Layers of culture Ideology, cosmology Values Institutions - education, marriage, etc. Then artifacts, technology, etc...
Culture is vital One’s culture is more important than race, nationality, and gender in how you think, feel & act When you are acculturated in a second culture, you are bicultural This becomes increasingly difficult the older you are
There is also a supracultural effect - outside the culture Source from God - by His spirit, representatives, etc Freedom of spirit Light, the Word of God, the gifts of the Spirit, etc. Source not from God - satan & demonic .Spiritual darkness .Bondage
Danger from our culturalblinders (or blunders) We as missionaries are usually unaware of our cultural associations and assume that this is the natural (only natural) way to act, feel, etc. We must distinguish between our own cultural biases which we assume are right, and those that are scripturally determined This is best acquired by both training and experience. We need to have the attitude of a learner...
Basic hermaneutic principles The Bible has supracultural relevance .Categorical - cannot be changed without losing validity .Principle - those characteristics of the new life in Christ .It is possible to bridge the cultural gap
Basis hermaneutic patterns -three things about meaning Public meaning - within the latitudes set for the author’s culture, language,etc User meaning - we attempt to find the meaning, but not the intention of the author Remember that meanings are in flux and change... Biblical repentance meant a complete reorientation of life and thought - not just remorse for misdeeds.
Christ and culture When Adam fell, one different source came into play, and it was possible to spoil culture All culture need transformation in motivation if not in content God ordained culture but did not order culture The gospel evaluates every culture in terms of its own norms .
Work in the culture Seek to understand the culture from the perspective of the people Encourage a minimal number of critical changes rather than numerous peripheral changes Seek the opinions of leaders and seek their help Look for groups to work together - people movements to Christ
Work honestly with otherbeliefs Missionaries must be prepared to deal with other religions not only at their areas of weakness, inconsistencies, and inadequacies, but also their strengths. To deal honestly and sympathetically with the best case that any form of false belief can make, and then show the desperate need that still remains to be met by the true God and His redeeming son - this is the more excellent way.
Presenting the gospel inanother culture Many terms must be redefined totally We must be careful to give a complete message. We must give enough OT and NT background to put the text into context so that it can be understood. Also it is very effective to answer questions that are posed by other religions but not answered. Look for redemptive analogies, eye- openers, and points of contact
Messages are decodedthrough 7 grids: Worldview - rarely evaluated - we must encode messages with the other worldview in mind Cognitive processes , or the way of thinking - for example, does divine truth come through subjective experience or objective revelation? Linguistic forms - and remember that the language reflects what the culture sees as important
Messages are decodedthrough 7 grids: Behavioral patterns - usually learned informally as how one “ought to act”. Most actions are OK for the Christian, but some we have to stop... Social structures - the ways of interacting. Media influence - the way of channeling the message. Motivational resources - how people make decisions.
In presenting the gospel Be very careful - some foreign audiences may be enculturated to give approval outwardly while inwardly rejecting the message Decision making - there are two aspects of grace - unmerited provision and grateful reception ...
In presenting the gospel Make certain that they accept Christ, not the missionary, or a better life, etc. It is the Holy Spirit’s job ultimately The work of the missionary is to communicate Christ so effectively that the person has the opportunity to accept or reject Christ, and that he has relied on the Holy Spirit - II Cor. 2:15-17
When we present the gospel Some reformulation will occur in decoding. Our job is to minimize this Syncretism - this is a particular danger in a polytheistic society - add to the list of gods. We must be careful to communicate the uniqueness of Christ
When we present the gospel Sometimes there is a protracted decision - it may be rejection, but not necessarily. Jesus told them to count the cost. There is a difference from procrastination There may be symbiotic resignation - it is not for me, but those under me can decide for themselves
Our worldview is important! Some problems with western worldview as seen by third world believers Too rationalistic and preoccupied with intellectual concerns of faith & reason Molded by western philosophies Conformed to the secularist worldview of the enlightenment Captivated by Western individualism
A perspective on Worldview Worldview = culturally structured assumptions, values and commitments underlying a people’s perception of reality, and response to their perceptions.
Worldview - Culturally structured…. Assumptions Not reasoned, but assumed without proof Provides a lens through which reality is perceived and interpreted Differences arising from different world views are most difficult to deal with. This makes conversion difficult, because Christianity works at the world view depth. People following their world-view guidelines, function cognitively, affectively, and evaluatively
Functions of a world view Structuring deep underlying personal characteristics - the use of our wills, emotions, logic & reason - we use linear reasoning in the west, but others use more concrete situational reasoning... Patterning the assignment of meaning Evaluating - judgments about good & immoral, esthetics, economics, human character
Functions of a worldview How people respond to assigned meanings .Explaining .Pledging allegiance .Relating - both the ‘in-group” and to the outsider We pattern how to regulate things, get psychological reinforcement, and have consistency in life.
Universals of any worldview There is a system of classification The nature of persons & a group are defined Causality - what forces are at work in the universe, and their results Time (many are more event-oriented) Space and what to do in it Relationships with the components of the worldview & culture
Worldview and culturalchange When changes occur at a deep level, there is often disequilibrium in the culture, and unforseen changes!
Monocultural worldview Ethnocentric - my way is the way .Absolutist .My perception of reality is true reality .My view is superior
Monocultural worldview No respect for others ways Evaluates other’s customs from their own culturally learned perspective and world view Eclectic monocultural position - take the best from other cultures, but still one culture Reactionary monocultural position - they reject their own culture, running to another culture
Cross-cultural perspective Believing that there is a God and a REALITY beyond our reality There is right and wrong in every culture No culture provides all the answers to life’s problems All cultures are deeply affected by sin Sociocultural adequacy - respect the culture - different from absolute relativism
Cross-cultural perspective All cultures are somewhat unbalanced west - very technological others - better in interpersonal relationships There are many equally effective approaches to solving most of life’s problems All languages can communicate in all human communication
Evaluating cultures You must evaluate the culture understanding it from the inside The prophet is the insider, not an outsider Outsiders must show love and patience
Evaluating cultures There is a crucial difference between rights and privileges of a cultural insider and an outsider. Whatever judgments are made are made concerning parts or aspects of the culture, and not the culture as a whole
Evaluating cultures The one who evaluates cultural behavior should do so using trans-cultural principles Human well-being - effective strategies for dealing with the challenges of life God’s intent - is also for the well- being of His creatures
Evaluating cultures Only God is absolute - He does not require everyone to have absolutely the same manner of life. Relativity in the endowment & oppor- tunities of people - talents, etc. For to whoever much is given, of him shall much be required. Lk. 12:48 Relativity in terms of revelation Rom. 2:14 Relativity in cultural patterns
God, Culture, and HumanBeings God is above culture but works through all cultures. He, angels and demons are supra-cultural; Angels & demons are nonabsolute but supracultural .
God, Culture, and HumanBeings Human beings are now sinful and limited - and interact with cultural structures God communicates to humans via human communicational vehicles - speaking, dreams, visions, etc.
God, Culture, and Human Beings God ordinarily uses cultural structures in normal ways. However, He provides supernatural trustworthy leading including inspiration and revelation None of the Scriptures are written from a western cultural perspective, and it is helpful for westerners to probe the intent of those biblical people and writers
Worldview of naturalism It may be atheism, secularism, scientism, humanism, egotheism, or communism The supernatural is dismissed as irrelevant Nature - can be viewed as either hospitable, or not.
Naturalism Human nature variably seen .Some as random collection of atoms .Some as inherently good .Some as restricted by the few .Communists say that the proletariat will arise out of the party, but so far the party has remained boss Time - they seem to have endless time. But lots of time does nothing as far as meaning is concerned...
Naturalism Approach - often the missionary is at a handicap as lacking in philosophy and science .Show that many naturalistic systems are in conflict with each other .Be careful not to go beyond your expertise .Definitions are important - they usually do not understand theological terms
Naturalism Where will he go to find “true truth” .Science is too subscribed - borders are materialistic .Philosophy - difficult .Religion - then which religion is true Be sympathetic with the problems they face
Tribal worldview - polytheistic animism .Man participates in maintaining the system - not dominating it .The universe is moral and personal because nature is personal .Probably 40% of the world have this view, though nominally they may be part of a religious system
Tribal worldview - polytheistic animism It is anthropomorphic although concerned with gods, spirits, etc. Boundaries between spirits, animals and man are shifting and the distinction between self and surroundings are blurred so that you are one with nature
Here is a typical worldview of African animism God - the supreme being, originator & sustainer of man Spirits - involved in the destiny of man Man Plants and animals - part of environment, living Other non-living things
Animism Concept of time - just past and present. No concept of future, but going back into the past again Ancestor worship - really fellowship with the departed - but also fear that if not placated, they will retaliate
Animism - Summary: Supernatural deities and spirit beings of all kinds, good & evil, capricious but can be cajoled especially by special persons with secret knowledge Nature is animate, and has its own power - and has influence on man’s physical, moral, and spiritual environment
Animism - Summary: Mankind is in nature, and not above it, and we are somehow dependent on those who stay behind to care for us in the spirit world Time - past is more important than future
Approach to AnimisticCultures Missionary source - people want to know who they are, what they know, and what they do. Often they prefer a power encounter to a truth encounter. We need to be secure in our resources over satanic power
Approach to AnimisticCultures Content Define who the true living God is! Selection - God is creator, He has been patient, He supplies the good Work with narrative style Show how God has power over all evil spirits
Approach to AnimisticCultures Application - put it directly against the false portions of the worldview - Example of Paul at Athens Style - Christ and Him crucified - not sophism and exhibitionism, but with Spirit and power
Hindu-Buddhist world view: .Basis ideas: Karma - binds humanity to the universe Maya - experienced kosmos is illusion Absolute being lies behind the world of experience - atman (the self or soul), the Brahman (absolute objectively understood), or nirvana (highest good, peace, void, bliss Technique for gaining liberation =
Folk Hinduism makes evenhuman offerings Children were thrown into the Ganges River as an offering Other locations, babies were killed previously in Suriname Sometimes children have been dedicated to the gods
Folk Hinduism makes evenhuman offerings Children were thrown into the Ganges River as an offering Other locations, babies were killed previously in Suriname Sometimes children have been dedicated to the gods
Hindu-Buddhist world view: Vedanta - the Upanishads are shruti - what is heard, and smriti - that which is remembered - gradually developed from polytheism to monism. There is a sort of trinity - Braham, Vishnu, and Shiva - all expressions of impersonal Brahman
Hindu-Buddhist world view: All reality comes from Brahman and returns to him. Atman in the person is really equal to Brahman. The Indian greeting salutes the divine within each person
Hindu-Buddhist world view: How to come out of karma and be liberated (moksha) from rebirths? Works, wisdom, and devotion. Only Brahman exists - the illusion results in thousands of gods. Ramanuja taught that there is some sort of personality – release through Vishnu, who manifests himself through avatars like Krishna
Buddhism has a lot ofvariations Replaced brahman with nirvana, atman with anatta Hinayana - strict austerity and literal interpretation of Gautama Mahayana - more freedom
Buddhism has a lot ofvariations Karma is still present, and reincarnation Nothing has permanent existence Buddha looked at himself as the greatest divine teacher Later there are other bohisattvas (savior beings)
Buddhism has a lot ofvariations Behind everything is an impersonal monism, the world of experience is ephemeral, and the person’s gaze must be turned internal Everything comes out of Brahman - gods, nature, etc. There is no real personality as such
Buddhism has a lot ofvariations Time is cyclical - an endless series of existences. It is almost impossible to live out this type of belief except in monasteries & retreats.
Reaching Buddhists Missionary source - we must not only be people of goodwill, but also integrity and credibility. They expect you will know your faith and there’s. They will also expect to see some marks of austerity in our lifestyle Message - be careful to define carefully. Don’t build on a monist foundation.
Reaching Hindus & Buddhists The creation must be distinguished from sheer materialism of the west and the illusion of the east Man must be created in the image of God - not souls in bodies, but whole persons, The basic problem of mankind is rebellion against God, not ignorance
Warnings… Be careful – Hindus & Buddhists will accept Christ as another atavar or bodhisattva. He is a real person in history You may encounter a problem with the law of non-contradiction, but they must begin to see that true truth is non-contradictory , which is narrow, not broad .Remember - don’t offer religion. Offer Christ. Keep a spiritual emphasis
Chinese thought Tao - force in the universe, broken into Yang & Yin - positive and negative, etc. Everything is one or the other. The universe swarms with spirits - good (shen) and evil (kwei) Therefore don’t disturb them - feng-shui. So also a man can be full of yang and do good for the entire community .
Chinese thought .Lao-tzu - emphasized the tao. There are 3 different major things, the way to heaven, the way of the gods, and the way of man. The main thing is to embrace tao and not impose your will on anything. That is to be eternal
Chinese thought Confucius emphasized family relationships. His main thoughts were written by disciples in the Analects. He believed that we should concentrate on the practical and not the supernatural, but that everything would work out to develop the right sort of person..
Analects of Confucius Often very condensed sayings, conversations, His disciples later codified and organized his thoughts Rites were very important People need to know their place and role in society -
Confucianism and the roles of people While juniors are considered in Confucianism to owe strong duties of reverence and service to their seniors, seniors also have duties of benevolence and concern toward juniors. This theme consistently manifests itself in many aspects of East Asian culture even to this day, with extensive filial duties on the part of children toward parents and elders, and great concern of parents toward their children.
Ruler and those ruled If the ruler lacks rén, Confucianism holds, it will be difficult if not impossible for his subjects to behave humanely. Rén is the basis of Confucian political theory: it presupposes an autocratic ruler, exhorted to refrain from acting inhumanely towards his subjects. An inhumane ruler runs the risk of losing the "Mandate of Heaven", the right to rule.
Chinese thought Each person needs to find Tao for himself - right action, that keeps things in harmony. Persons are intrinsically good. Lao-tse said that the good is in nature, but Confucius said to stay in family relationships.
Addition of Buddhism to Chinese thought A multitude of gods are added. Shang Ti (God far removed) is there, but Ti’en (heaven) and Tao are more important Nature is Tao working through yang & yin. Harmonizing these is important – resulting in a good earth
Addition of Buddhism to Chinese thought People are good, and can be kept good by education and Tao. Keep in your station. Filial worship is important - the spirit outlives the body Time - look back, where the ancestral spirits join the Golden Age of China. We should still plan foe today and the future
Differences between India &China India - negates the world. China affirms the world. People and nature have the center stage. India venerates the saint; China the sage - wise and practical, the sage within and the king without (the spirit fit for a king) China is pantheistic, but discovering a tao which is the Supreme Spirit and the Tao or inner law of the universe.
This amulet contains thepowder of a chosen baby whodied (amulet enlarged greatly)
Communistic changes toChinese thought Replace history with the future Replace tao with dialectic materialism Change yin and yang into thesis and antithesis Affirm humanity and the world
Communicating Christ in China Missionary source- integrity and goodwill important, but creditability is vital. They feel that we offer much in science but not in religion Represent Christ, not western culture You must really knows Christ and the Bible .You must appear knowledgeable in religious matters
Thoughts to approach Chinese The Bible is a holy book of history. We had a golden age in Eden, but it stopped when man was in rebellion against God. Christ is the one who said: A am the tao, and He is that perfect superior man Filial piety can be helpful but also enslaving
Monotheistic - Jewish & Muslim Worldview - an infinite-personal God created the universe out of nothing Cause and effect are open-ended. Universe does not exist apart from God
Monotheistic - Jewish & Muslim The Jew believes that God made man in His own image, so man can work in the cause-and-effect universe God has spoken in the space-time situation - the Bible and Christ The universe we have now is not normal, and there is a possible solution on God’s side
Mohammad rebelled againstthe polytheism around him Allah is one, eternal, mighty, forgiving, compassionate, all- knowing but indifferently assigns people to heaven or hell .Allah of the Qu’ran is basically unknowable The Muslim thinks of the trinity of the Christian as God the Father, Mary the mother, and Jesus
The mosque of the Prophet –second most holy place
Mohammad rebelled against the polytheism around him Muslims think that Jesus was talking about Muhammed himself when he talked about the coming comforter. This is the Holy Spirit who will live in you. Angels exist and countless jinn exist between man and angels - good & evil, who must do Allah’s bidding There is inconsistency - man must abandon idols, but he is weak and helpless There is fatalism, but no loving God
Witness to Muslims We must appear as persons of goodwill. The problem is that we don’t meet as strangers or friends – We must win with Christ-like qualities .Definitions .Sin - so radical it takes the death of Christ .God is holy and self-giving .Trinity clarified
Witness to Muslims We should work like Matthew, showing the history and miracles of Christ. It was only then that the disciples saw that He was the Christ Remember that 4 of the 6 muslim prophets = Adam, Noah, Abraham and Moses Organization and application of muslims is often like Christian missionaries Debate can sometimes be of help, but never lose your temper or show arrogance
Syncretic religions Hinduism often will incorporate other religions within itself Roman Catholicism - may leave God far away, and worship the Virgin and the Saints (ancestral spirits...) Japan - many are both Shintoist (national life) and Buddhist (intellectual pursuits, etc) Chinese may have 3 different forms of religion simultaneously - Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism
How to present Christ There is a difference in both worldview but also in thinking processes between the west and east as to which is primary: West - conceptual, relational, psychical China - concrete relational, psychical, conceptual Indian, - psychical, concrete relational, conceptual
How we think We have a tendency to intellectualize the Bible into our western organized thought Northrup - east thinks more aesthetically, west theoretically and then checks a priori to see if it corresponds to reality.
Paul’s thinking Paul shows that it is not that man could not have authored the Bible, but that he would not have done so, because the gospel is foolishness to man- but it is the wisdom of God and the power of God.
Paul’s thinking But the Greek shows that the force of arguments rested on logical validity and historical fact. You must have solid thinking and persuasion. We need to do our homework to communicate, but also depend on the Holy Spirit
Intuitional thinking Two forms of knowledge - higher = Brahman. Reason does not invade with logic, theories, doctrine, explanations, or sensory experience Lower - math, science, theology, philosophy - all have relative truth
Intuitional thinking Mystical experience Unity with the universe Deeper understanding of his own personality Yoga, psychoanalysis, drugs Personal god - coming one with him, but he is really impersonal: Krishna is Ultimate reality and Arjuna bows in devotion
Mystical or intuitional thinking Stress on the universal Preference for negative Minimizing individuals Emphasis on unity of all things Static quality of universality Subjective idea of personality
Mystical or intuitional thinking Supremacy of universal self over individual self Subservience to universals Alienation to the objective world Introspective stance Metaphysical qualities Tolerance
Sometimes we are not totally logical-rational too Eastern philosophy thinks that know- ledge is transient and illusionary Christians should be able to under- stand .Sometimes we jump logical gaps .Revelation sometimes comes by inner illumination Knowledge comes from Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit
Remember also here We are now surrounded by this type of thinking, acceptable in the USA We see this particularly in the emerging church and also post- modernism We see pseudo-Christianity with facts about God without making it personal through repentance and faith in Christ
What we must do Avoid over-intellectualizing. Christ is the way .Avoid oversimplifying with just few premises and conclusions Communicate the mystery of knowing God and the awe of approaching Him
We must take seriously thebiblical doctrine of illumination The Father reveals truth: Mt. 16:  And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.
We must take seriously thebiblical doctrine of illumination The Son reveals the Father Matthew 11: All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him.
We must take seriously the biblical doctrine of illumination The Spirit leads us into all truth & The Spirit bears witness with our spirit: Jn. 16: Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.
Approaching the eastern mind Christian truth is different from the Hindu mystic’s idea of the human mind, The mind is God’s creation, not His emanation.
Approaching the eastern mind The human mind is at enmity with God Colossians 1: And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight.
Come to Jesus personally Matthew 11:28. Come on to be, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me, for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest for your souls. 30. For my yoke is easy; and my burden is light.
Approaching the eastern mind God works in real history and through history The truth of God is understood in the OT and NT in their historic and grammatical senses. God’s word is more reliable than the self-deception of intuition. We approach the Bible like any other book, but aided by the Holy Spirit
Concrete relational thinking Use myths, aphorisms, fables, analogies, tribal lore Chinese & Japanese - uses the concrete to occasion intuitional apprehension. The rational or theoretical is all but omitted
Approaches to concrete relational thinking Remember the historical context - and it is accurate history, as opposed to the mythological or visionary system of most religions. Tell the events. The bible uses truth communicated through concrete illustrations, parables, etc. Think of Nathan and David. Remember that the Word became flesh
Approaches to concrete relational thinking Be able to distinguish and use types, metaphors, similes, symbols, and emblems. But be able to communicate them as well .Baptism and communion were concrete and simple
Approaches to concreterelational thinking Be careful of idolatry Places of worship must be clean and orderly - they do not have to be ornate Drama can be used as well as illustrations and pictures
Conclusion: All people use all 3 methods of reality .Indian - to go back to Eden and direct communion with God .Chinese - finding God in nature - but confusing the two .Western - believing too much in the rational mind .Each group has a priority order - we need to look at how to present things appropriately
Now let’s look at other aspects to help us evangelize better #1 – Language The power of language is present in all humans - separating them from animals. Adam showed his superiority in naming all the animals Any language can be used to convey God’s truth
Now let’s look at other aspects to help us evangelize better Less than 50% of people can write, but all have fully developed language to speak You need a complete set of linguistic habits Every language has a complete system which correlates with their understand-ing of the world
Language Language word meanings are assigned by the culture, and are both individual and social in character Language is the means by which we acquire a world-view
Language You can also evaluate a connotive meaning (emotional response), depending on .Evaluation - good or bad .Activity - active or passive .Potency - strong or weak
Language shapes our thinking It is a fault to say that logic goes before language Linguistic patterns themselves determine how a man perceives his world and thinks about it Linguistic patterns vary widely and result in different worldviews Language shapes our ideas, and not merely expresses them
Language shapes our thinking However, others point out that this is superficial, and that there is a basic universal logic But the ultimate factor in recep- tivity is whether the Holy Spirit has been allowed to prepare the people.
Our behavior communicates What we say and how we say it are both important. What we do is also important. All behavior is potentially communicative .Meaning is more difficult to pin down. Also there is informational content and relational content - and about 35% verbal, and 65% is non-verbal
Our behavior communicates .Missionary .Behave according to God’s standards of scripture .Accommodate to the behavioral patterns that are acceptable in the respondent culture .Distinguish between supracultural and cultural norms
How we behave… People must see Christ in our lives - as they did in the early church Our response to strange behavioral patterns tends to be automatic and reflexive, centering on the emotions and the subconscious
How we behave… Physical appearance - try not to be offensive in style, hair, etc... Body gestures are important - some are instinctive, but many are learned How we position things is important - priorities, interaction, etc. Americans love “their space” which is usually about 3 or more feet around us. This is very different in many other countries
Behavior Be careful not to insist too much on privacy. True missionary evangelism is more than delivering the facts of Christ - it is living out the implications of these in everyday life.
When there are things whichthe missionary cannot do Avoid the situations which bring them up Seek culturally approved alternatives Explain beforehand why you cannot participate
Ways of perceiving time Time seen differently West - time is linear, going and gone, time to accomplish things. Symbol hourglass East - time is cyclical - symbol wheel Other ideas of time: .Chinese - great value on past .African - long past, short future .Youth in USA - nownow
Time concepts… Remember that the way time is divided is cultural - you may not agree, but you must understand it Religious time may not be business time People are more important than schedules The quality of the event is more important than the starting and closing time
Social structure Western society puts great emphasis on individual and individual freedom we tend to ignore the rights of society Linguistically “I” is used in every situation Often introduce with first name
Social structure Japanese - promote the ends of the larger group Shows in how they are introduced
Social structure Remember - we are each made in the image of God, but God said that it is not good for man to be left alone. Society is important Status - what position one holds; Role - how to act that out
What is the status of themissionary? Paul at Athens was a foreigner .We are a foreigner - Sir, we would see Jesus... .We are a guest .We are experts in religion
What contacts help us? USA may put a reformed drug addict or so and get an audience .Our society is unusally open .The church is not built on that person, but is already in existence There are exceptions, like Ko Tha Byu, converted criminal of Judson working among the Karens = but he ministered to his people, not those who despised him
What contacts help us? Prestige influence - are formal leaders Personal influence - opinion leaders - If either are gifted in speaking, it is very helpful
Working through families is avery effective way to go Societies vary as to the importance of the family - extremely important to the Chinese, to not so important in the USA Kindred - directly related through both parents, has a direct obligation. Lineage - ancestor-focused - usually paternal or maternal, not both - many countries
Non-kinship groups Some were households where the leader had lots of say - so whole families were baptized, Some are associations of common interest - economic, recreational, etc. Vertical communications are often difficult - particularly going from lower class to higher class.
Non-kinship groups Higher class to lower has prestige, but may not have much impact in terms of persuasiveness, which is most effective within the same class In Japan, using the local associations can be very effective
Cities versus peasant andtribal societies Rural - more homogenous, traditional in values and lifestyle, resistant to change, often negative to outsiders. Not a big range of leadership, and kinship predominates .Decisions are often group decisions Time taken before decisions made
Cities versus peasant and tribal societies Effective communication based on personal relationships .Initial approach to those who can pass on information in the family grouping .Time allowed for internal diffusion of new ideas The challenge of change must be addressed to those capable of initiating the change.
Totalitarianism Its nature is to control direction and content of communication The Roman Catholic church is totalitarian by design and so is communism
Totalitarianism Some things toremember .God wants all people to have the opportunity to hear the gospel and be saved .Government authority is ordained by God and to be obeyed, even if they do not recognize God But we are to obey God more than man
Totalitarianism Primary responsibility to communicate Christ is to the Christians in that society Mission agencies have a responsibility to encourage and strengthen the witness of Christians, and avoid activities which would make it more difficult for them to function Pray for the day that totalitarian societies will be open to the Word
Thoughts aboutcommunication The more closely communication follows the prevailing social structure, the more effective it will be People communicate more & more effectively with people of their own class Interpersonal horizontal communication is most effective in voluntary changes in attitude and behavior
Thoughts about communication Prestigious communication is from the upper to lower classes Prestigious vertical communication is best suited to effecting social control
Thoughts about communication The farther apart on the social scale, the more difficulty in communicating The farther apart on the social system (city, rural, tribal) the more difficulty communicating The more face-to-face, the more difficult for an outsider to communicate
Thoughts about communication Try to communicate to responsible members of the society to spread the word The more heterogeneous the society, the more varied the communication must be
Thoughts about communication In face-to-face societies, try to work with someone in a leadership position who can make decisions for the group. In face-to-face societies, it is more likely that communications will go by family lines, and be group decisions In face-to-face societies, you must be willing to spend more time
Use of media to communicate All media are extensions of the person - physical or psychic .Each of the media has its own impact, vibrancy, and social consequences. We need to be careful of the media’s impact on our lives and values Simple media are often very effective - especially where people think concretely Remember our authority is from God, Jesus Christ, and His Spirit-inspired Word
Media & communication We need to be careful of the effects, associations, and effectiveness of the message and media. Books have more permanent effects TV may be more persuasive The use - for example is TV entertain- ment or propaganda? Mass media has relatively little effect on long held opinions, etc. Better face to face or family influence
Media thoughts… Books, and especially the Bible - are important. They should be attractive and well- indexed or illustrated if possible. Tracts need to be attractive and speak to needs - otherwise they are seldom read
Media thoughts… Radio - economic, easy to listen to, gives good retention - but often little re-exposure TV - both eye and ear - but more expensive, must be done carefully
Platform media Evangelists - follow-up is very important Films - often the response is deceptive. Also some illiterate people have difficulty following the film
Communicatie methoden Group dialogue - cell groups - can bring rapid growth. Radio cassettes can be very effective if properly used - gospel recordings Video cassettes or DVD - different from TV - can be very effective in pre- evangelism, evangelism, etc. Slides can be effective, especially for teaching
Mixed media: Choose media based on the objectives desired: .Exposure .Attention .Comprehension .Retention
Mixed media: Choose on the basis of audience preferences .Low speed, low transmission - better for instruction .High speed, high transmission - persuasion & reporting Look at reach, frequency, and cost
Media… Telephone can be used Computers have not been used that much yet in the developing world, but this will radically change in the days to come .Direct mailing can be used selectively
Media… People are important, not only the respondents, but those who reinforce the message Mass media is a supportive role, but not usually a decisive role, where personal contact is necessary
We have the TRUTH, and we havethe responsibility to communicate it The Bible calls us to bring people to faith and repentance The Holy Spirit can use us as His instruments
We have the TRUTH, and we havethe Holy Spirit Only the Holy Spirit can convict that the sin that sends us to hell is failure to trust Christ Only the Holy Spirit convicts us that the perfect righteousness is in Christ. .Only the Holy Spirit can convict that Satan and his evil spirits are already defeated at the cross of Christ
We are engaged in a greattruth and power encounter.. The triune God is involved in missions, and .He can do everything .Without Him we can do nothing .Mankind is helbent with self- destruction
We are engaged in a greattruth and power encounter.. The missionary is the servant of God, and he can depend on God’s help to make his pleadings, reasoning, etc. effective People are still in the image of God in their reasoning, conscience, aspirations, striving, hopes, fears,
What about psychology – seebasic problems Modern psychology based on the following: Naturalism Determinism Mankind is intrinsically good
Psychology and theChristian There must be no conflict with the Word of God The treatment must be consistent with the divine purposes and aims The treatment must be subject to biblical principles and the direction of the Spirit of God
Guilt vs. Shame Guilt - concerned with separate acts violating rules or codes; Advance to health means removing wrong acts & adding right ones; Emphasis on decision making; Emphasis on content of experience in work, leisure, personal relations. Surmount guilt brings righteousness
Guilt vs. Shame Shame - concerned with the overall self; Shame is falling short and failing to reach an ideal; Total response involving insight; Ability to live with some indecisiveness (multiple possibilities), Emphasis on the quality of experience; Transcending shame brings identity and freedom
Repressive vs. Suppressive Repressive (USA & Germany) – Internal controls important, Individual centered life, Search for individual soul, Stress one religion and monotheism
Repressive vs. Suppressive Suppressive (China & Japan) External controls important; Pattern of life is situation centered; Religion adjusting to all powers – polytheism
We need to be careful about ourappeals for salvation and sanctification Western - appeal to the individual, even to stand against persecution But non-western ideal may be to also consider the family, which is also very important
Remember… When we talk about self-supporting, self-governing and self-propagating - look out that we do not put “myself” in the center, but Christ must be central! Individualism can be good - but Christ- centered, not Western. The scripture emphasizes both self- interest and self-abnegation, individualism and communalism. The problem is one of emphasis
Remember…. You can appeal to shame as well as guilt - both are guilty before God. Shame culture - the problem is that you get caught - but you are still guilty We should deliver the message of God in such a way to concentrate on glorifying God, and not the messenger.
Decision making Some cultures will feel that it is an advantage to keep your options open as long as possible, and change them if necessary with the circumstances It is important to understand how decisions are made in a society, and who has the power to make them.
Stages in the conversion process: Discovery: There is a person called Christ who is the true God. He came into the world to be the Savior and Lord of mankind Deliberation: There is a possibility that I (we) should forsake the old ways and follow Christ Determination: I (we) will repent and believe in Christ. The next 48 hours are decisive, and the individual needs support!
Stages in the conversion process: Dissonance: Shall we (I) resist the forces that draw us back to the old ways, and follow Christ despite difficulties? Discipline: I will identify with the people of Christ in the church and live in submission to His Lordship and church discipline. This is absolutely vital.
Remember There is a tendency to weigh as such: Profit = reward - cost This is not necessarily wrong. We need to minister to the whole person while emphasizing his soul People are persuaded by their reasons, not ours...
Critical contextualization Some deny the old - reject contextualization This leaves a cultural vacuum – Often filled with western culture although then Christianity is seen as a foreign religion Often this results in a syncretic mixture of paganism & Christianity
Critical contextualization Be careful not to turn missionaries into church leaders, and deny church leaders the right to make decisions The problem is that many things are associated with heathen religious rites, since these are virtually all pervasive
Uncritical contextualization This overlooks that there are corporate as well as individual sins like slavery & idolatry It opens the door to all types of syncretism – neo-paganism By the way, that is what we see with “post-modernism”
Critical contextualization Examine the beliefs in terms of their old culture and in light of biblical norms First try to understand the old ways Then study biblically the situations Evaluate customs critically in terms of the bible We need to continually re-evaluate and also pass them on to our children
Theological background forcritical contextualization Priesthood of all believers The Bible must have first place The faithful are lead by the Holy Spirit The church as a discerning community
The fourth self – a challenge Self-propagating, self-supporting, self-governing churches - unity of world-wide churches Self-propagating - they must be taught. Otherwise they see propagation as the responsibility of the missionary
The fourth self – a challenge Self-support. The problem is that the missionary started the program with foreign funds, and that sometimes national churches were unable to continue that without outside help Self-governing - give them the right to make mistakes and learn from them
Self-theologizing Consider especially with national leaders after 3-4 generations The bible is the historical document of God’s revelation to humans Theology is systematic and historical explication of the truths of the Bible.
Self-theologizing But theology may be culturally based to a certain extent; We are sinners, and can reject hard sayings Our language also shapes our theology
What we need: Clear exegesis - study the biblical texts in their historical and cultural context A clear exegesis of our own cultural and historical contexts - the needs of our own culture A good hermeneutic - making things culturally relevant today
How to begin Start with the Bible, not our theology, and the willingness to change if we see that we are clearly wrong The ongoing work of the Holy Spirit guiding into truth. Be humble! .The Christian community has a responsibility to preserve truth
Develop theology within theculture We don’t need to be afraid - this will ultimately give more confidence We need to apply the findings to our everyday life Think long-term so that the church does not drift - 50 or 100 years
Functions of theology Organize and make sense of our experiences Maps for guiding our behavior It makes explicit theologic ideas which we have It is apologetic so that we can make ourselves clear to non-believers It is a model of reality to counteract heresy
Steps to contextualization First - the missionary tries to make things relevant - but we have a bias of our own cultural assumptions & theologies. We also want to develop a rational organized system of thought But later every church must face the issue of making the theology in view of its own culture
Steps to contextualization .The missionary must truly understand the culture, but later insist that they hear the voice of God through the scriptures, and encourage national theologians. Every generation must come to grips with the truth itself. If you don’t allow them to develop, they will often go off and start their own denomination...
Trans-cultural theology It must be Biblically based. Its deepest concerns must be sin, salvation, and God’s rule over His people Outsiders can see the cultural bias of your theology more clearly - we need to listen to each other It must focus on God’s acts in history, and especially on Christ It must be done through the Holy Spirit and with humility
Initially missionary is spiritualparent Relationship of dependency Then the person becomes independent Then it is possible to become interdependent as equals
Initially missionary is spiritualparent Missionaries can leave, but they can also serve as catalysts and counselors. They must refrain from giving answers, but seek the various options and advantages and disadvantages, but the national leaders should make the decisions.
The missionary and the nationalChristian: members of a family We must not become policemen but help the nationals enforce rules for purity We must model forgiveness and redemption We must be careful of what sins we emphasize - and see what the culture also emphasizes
The missionary and the nationalChristian: members of a family We need to model confession and forgiveness; otherwise we put a barrier between ourselves and the nationals See ourselves as saved sinners I Tim. 1:15 (I am, not I was)