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Ch.16 culture - the milieu of missions


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Ch.16 culture - the milieu of missions

  1. 1. Introduction to Missiology Ch.16 - Culture: The Milieu of Missions By Ebbie Smith
  2. 2. Mongolian Family – c.2002
  3. 3. Peruvian Family – c.2002
  4. 4. Maasai Family – c.2002
  5. 5. American Frontier – c.1870
  6. 6. Latvian Family – c.1919
  7. 7. Culture <ul><li>Definition: the learned pattern of living of a particular group of people </li></ul><ul><li>Key terms </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Learned behavior </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Patterns of living </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Particular group of people </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Components of Culture <ul><li>Allows a group of people to adapt to their physical, social, and ideational environment </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Physical environment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Desert – culture centered on water </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Jungle – culture centered on rice </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Social environment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Political system </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Economic plan </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Communication patterns </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ideational – secular, magic, monotheistic, male/female dominance </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Components of Culture (2) <ul><li>Cultures are relative , not good or bad in themselves </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Does not imply ethical relativity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Highlights the mission problem of ethnocentrism </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Culture is an integrated system </li></ul><ul><ul><li>All aspects of culture tend to function as a whole </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Change in one aspect of culture tends to change every aspect of that culture </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Components of Culture (3) <ul><li>Culture assigns symbolic meaning to behavior </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Language is the most complex set of symbols </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Non-verbal symbols include </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Dress codes </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Facial movements (sticking out your tongue) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Only one enculturated in that society will understand the symbols </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. Components of Culture (4) <ul><li>Culture is dynamic and adaptive </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Allows people to adapt to a changing environment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Adapt also to evolving ideational settings </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Culture is both stable and changing </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Stable in seeking to maintain the status quo </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Changing to meet new environmental conditions – allows change to be faced collectively </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Components of Culture (5) <ul><li>Environment is an important factor in development of culture </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Not determinative </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sets boundaries on what can develop </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Personal Adjustment to Culture <ul><li>Missionaries learn to use the symbols of the host culture. </li></ul><ul><li>Adjusting to culture is a distinctive and demanding missionary task. </li></ul><ul><li>Adaptation passes through phases </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Tourist – new culture is all good </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Rejection- old culture is all good </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Toleration – accept without enthusiasm </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Accommodation emerging from appreciation </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. Principles of Accommodating the Gospel Message <ul><li>Bible, not culture, is foundational. The Bible will judge all cultures </li></ul><ul><li>No syncretism (EX: adding a female deity) </li></ul><ul><li>Bible message expressed in ways that are meaningful, relevant, acceptable, and communicative for the local people </li></ul><ul><li>Help the local people express the Christian message in their own terms, words, and mannerisms - contextualization </li></ul>
  15. 15. Principles of Accommodating the Local Church <ul><li>Goal: A local expression of organized Christianity suited to the culture. </li></ul><ul><li>Guide local believers to develop worship times, use of buildings, music, modes of teaching that fit the culture </li></ul><ul><li>Help local believers identify sinful aspects of culture to exclude from local church life </li></ul>
  16. 16. Principles of Accommodating Local Christian Life <ul><li>Goal: an indigenized expression of the Christian life </li></ul><ul><li>Identify sinful aspects of culture to exclude </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid bringing in cultural practices from the sending culture </li></ul><ul><li>Teach Christian living by biblical principle, guiding believers to define local expression </li></ul>
  17. 17. Accommodation by Transformation <ul><li>Goal: Expressing Christianity in local terms </li></ul><ul><li>Never adjusting sinful local behaviors </li></ul><ul><li>Outsider can advocate change, but insider must be change agent </li></ul><ul><li>Advocate must understand the culture well enough to know what changes to recommend </li></ul><ul><li>Test changes by whether they result in long-term growth of the church </li></ul><ul><li>Transformation is a process taking time </li></ul>
  18. 18. Accommodation by Possesio <ul><li>Selecting from the receptor culture a trait that can be infused with biblical Christian meaning </li></ul><ul><li>Select only elements that can be fully incorporated into messianic tradition </li></ul><ul><li>Reject elements incompatible with Christianity </li></ul><ul><li>Reinterpret pre-Christian concepts, practices and goals </li></ul>
  19. 19. Accommodation by Experiential Process <ul><li>Discover felt needs </li></ul><ul><li>Lead people into a power encounter where they break with the old ways </li></ul><ul><li>Help them develop a functional substitute for those aspects of culture which had to be replaced </li></ul>
  20. 20. Accommodation by Dynamic Equivalence <ul><li>“Dynamic equivalence churches produce the same impact on the society and its people that the New Testament church had on its members.” </li></ul><ul><li>Allow experimentation with indigenous forms to express Christian faith on the local scene. </li></ul>
  21. 21. Pragmatic Criteria on Contextualization <ul><li>Is the result biblical? </li></ul><ul><li>Does the result protect against reversion </li></ul><ul><li>Does the result promote long term church growth in that context? </li></ul>