Introduction to Missiology Ch. 19 – Contextualization and the Missionary Endeavor
Definitions <ul><li>Indigenization – developing a church that is self-governing, self-supporting, self-propagating, and th...
Introduction <ul><li>The shift from indigenization to contextualization is the greatest methodological issue facing the Ch...
New Testament <ul><li>Paul contextualized his message to his audience </li></ul><ul><ul><li>God-fearers </li></ul></ul><ul...
Contemporary Developments - Africa <ul><li>1955 – Ghana – rise of syncretistic indigenous churches points to a problem </l...
Contemporary Developments - Latin America <ul><li>1962 – Brazil – Church and Society Movement – dominated by liberation th...
Contemporary Developments – World Council of Churches <ul><li>1968 – Upsala – addressed contextualization in world perspec...
Contemporary Developments – Lausanne Movement <ul><li>1974 – Lausanne – a distinction must be made between the gospel and ...
Lausanne (Con’t) <ul><li>1975 – Detroit – contextualizing in North America </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Minorities in industriali...
Evangelical Boundaries <ul><li>The evangelical framework views the task of contextualization in terms of disengaging the s...
Key Issues in Contextualization <ul><li>Nature of the Gospel – supracultural or culture bound? </li></ul><ul><li>Authority...
Key Issues (con’t) <ul><li>Contextualizing participants – Outsiders, insiders, or combination of both? </li></ul><ul><li>S...
Translation Models of Contextualization <ul><li>Formal Correspondence </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Literal, word-for-word transla...
Existential Models of Contextualization <ul><li>Dialectical  </li></ul><ul><li>Dialogical </li></ul>
Guidelines for the Process <ul><li>Bible the final authority </li></ul><ul><li>Supracultural elements of Scripture preserv...
Guidelines (con’t) <ul><li>Syncretism carefully avoided </li></ul><ul><li>Patience and humility by broader Christian commu...
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Ch.19 contextualization

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Ch.19 contextualization

  1. 1. Introduction to Missiology Ch. 19 – Contextualization and the Missionary Endeavor
  2. 2. Definitions <ul><li>Indigenization – developing a church that is self-governing, self-supporting, self-propagating, and that reflects positive aspects of the local culture in its expression of Christian community and ministry. </li></ul>Contextualization – Enabling the Christian message to become alive as it addresses the core issues of a sociocultural context and transforms people’s worldview, values, and goals
  3. 3. Introduction <ul><li>The shift from indigenization to contextualization is the greatest methodological issue facing the Christian mission today – Alan Tippett </li></ul><ul><li>Contextualization implies a deeper involvement in the social issues of the local setting, especially where there is rapid social change </li></ul>
  4. 4. New Testament <ul><li>Paul contextualized his message to his audience </li></ul><ul><ul><li>God-fearers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Athenians </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The writers of the gospels contextualized their message to the audience </li></ul>
  5. 5. Contemporary Developments - Africa <ul><li>1955 – Ghana – rise of syncretistic indigenous churches points to a problem </li></ul><ul><li>1965 – Nigeria – Consultation of African Theologians </li></ul><ul><ul><li>attempted to express historic Christianity in African cultural forms </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Raised issue of the relationship between the gospel and traditional religions </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Contemporary Developments - Latin America <ul><li>1962 – Brazil – Church and Society Movement – dominated by liberation theologians </li></ul><ul><li>1971 – Latin American Theological Fraternity – dialogue among evangelical theologians on issues of contextualization </li></ul>
  7. 7. Contemporary Developments – World Council of Churches <ul><li>1968 – Upsala – addressed contextualization in world perspective </li></ul><ul><ul><li>In the struggle for peace and justice the church must bear witness and speak out. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>1971 – Bossey, Switzerland </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Dogmatic theology fails to address ethical-social issues that arise in times of rapid change </li></ul></ul><ul><li>1972 – Theological Education Fund Report </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Issues: social justice, local culture, and universal technological civilization </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Contemporary Developments – Lausanne Movement <ul><li>1974 – Lausanne – a distinction must be made between the gospel and the cultural forms in which it is expressed </li></ul><ul><li>Latin American Theological Fraternity (FTL) </li></ul><ul><li>The Willowbank Group – theology & education – sought to place greater emphasis on the influence of cultural factors upon the Scriptures as well as upon the reader </li></ul>
  9. 9. Lausanne (Con’t) <ul><li>1975 – Detroit – contextualizing in North America </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Minorities in industrialized countries as participants in the theologizing process </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Encouraged affinity groups to theologize regarding issues in American society & the world </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Evangelical Boundaries <ul><li>The evangelical framework views the task of contextualization in terms of disengaging the supra-cultural message from a cultural context and enculturating it into another </li></ul><ul><li>Priority is always upon the authority and integrity of the biblical text </li></ul>
  11. 11. Key Issues in Contextualization <ul><li>Nature of the Gospel – supracultural or culture bound? </li></ul><ul><li>Authority of Scriptures – normative or parallel significance with the sociocultural context? </li></ul><ul><li>Starting Point – sociocultural context or biblical text? </li></ul><ul><li>Traditional Religions – total continuity, total discontinuity, or another option? </li></ul>
  12. 12. Key Issues (con’t) <ul><li>Contextualizing participants – Outsiders, insiders, or combination of both? </li></ul><ul><li>Syncretism – inevitable outcome of pushing contextualization too far? Result OK or non-Christian blend? </li></ul><ul><li>Tools to use – Marxist focus on conflict, functionalist focus on harmony, or another approach? </li></ul>
  13. 13. Translation Models of Contextualization <ul><li>Formal Correspondence </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Literal, word-for-word translation best carries the message into another culture </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Institutional parallel between cultures </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Dynamic Equivalence </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Meaning-to-meaning translation best carries the message into another culture </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Organizational equivalence to produce NT impact </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. Existential Models of Contextualization <ul><li>Dialectical </li></ul><ul><li>Dialogical </li></ul>
  15. 15. Guidelines for the Process <ul><li>Bible the final authority </li></ul><ul><li>Supracultural elements of Scripture preserved </li></ul><ul><li>Local leaders’ theological reflection given precedence </li></ul><ul><li>Local theology informed by historic Christian theology </li></ul>
  16. 16. Guidelines (con’t) <ul><li>Syncretism carefully avoided </li></ul><ul><li>Patience and humility by broader Christian community as local contextualization emerges and is tested – it takes time and revision </li></ul><ul><li>Adequate tools for sociocultural analysis provided to local leaders </li></ul><ul><li>Model used that suits both Scripture and context </li></ul>

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