By Barbara Helen Burns
III. Attempting a Definition: What is Biblical Contextualization?
I will try to capture what for me is the essence of Biblical contextualization in a simple and concrete way. To me it is a three-step process that takes place on three levels of missionary life and work. It involves identification, confrontation, and transformation in the missionary’s living, in his communication and in outcomes that are sustainable and relevant in context. I believe that this is a widely repeated process in Biblical models and teaching.
Contextualization is not a conflict with superficial and irrelevant customs, but the truth of the Gospel with old belief systems and non-Biblical values and ethics. The missionary must discover underlying meanings so that he can identify with the culture in his every-day living and know where Biblical limits prohibit identification and call for repentance. The result will be transformation—freedom from bondage, fear and syncretism—of a people who are true servants of the Sovereign Lord through Jesus Christ, the Son of God and the only way to Salvation. This seems clear even in Old Testament times.
A. In the Old Testament
Israel as a nation was to be unique—the covenant people of God—holy, royal and sacerdotal (Ex. 19:1-6). The Canaanite nations were to be completely destroyed because of the extent of their idolatry and depravity (Lev. 18:21-30; 29:23; Deut. 7:1-11; 9:4), but to the other nations Israel had a mission. The Gentiles were also to worship the One God to whom Israel belonged. The everlasting promise of a Savior was to them as well (Gen. 3:15), clearly to be fulfilled in Jesus.
He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, and by His scourging we are healed. All of us like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; but the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Him. (…) My servant will justify the many, as He will bear their iniquities. (…) Yet He Himself bore the sin of many and interceded for the transgressors.Is. 53:5-6, 11-12
Israel frequently forgot their mission and their God, but lovingly the Lord brought them back time and time again through punishment and suffering. If Israel succumbed to the religious gods of the nations, how could they be the channel of God’s nature and promises?
In the midst of this broad history, some specific cross-cultural people stand out, demonstrations of the model I am proposing for identification, confrontation, and transformation.
Joseph can be said to be the Lord’s servant in a far-off land and strange culture. He submitted to the anger and injustice of his brothers and faithfully served the one true God during his time in Egypt. He learned the culture, the language, the rules for relationships, greetings, administration, food and clothing. His identification was such that his brothers were unable to identify him.
At the same time, Joseph was faithful to what he had learned from his father Jacob and grandfather Isaac. He refused adultery and idolatry. He glorified the one true God who had given him gifts of interpretation and administration. He was eventually honored and his adopted nation prospered through his life.
Daniel is another case of identification, confrontation and transformation. Daniel (and his friends) learned culture and language, was elevated to high positions of leadership and served the Lord faithfully. At the same time he did not break Israelite food laws or change his routine prayer time. For this he suffered, but with the miraculous delivery and other miracles of interpretation, saw the one God glorified by king and people.
B. In the New Testament
Jesus is the example of true contextualization. In Philippians 2:1-11, Jesus was the master example of humility and identification when he left His glory and became a man. He took on human form and culture, standing firm until the final consequences on a cross. His profound identification did not lead Him participate in sinful acts or motives, but it did lead Him to take on our sin to pay it’s price in sacrificial death. This is an incredibly deep identification, but one that Paul urges us to imitate!
In the Gospels we can see why Paul was able to describe Jesus’ life in such terms. Jesus took on a human body, became a servant, renounced status and immunity to suffering. He used normal clothes, ate normal food, and slept where He could, with no pillow of his own. He went to people’s homes, walked on their roads, visited the Temple and the synagogues, mingled with lepers, cast out demons, multiplied bread, and raised the dead. He touched unclean people and held children in His arms. In His communication, Jesus used images, parables, metaphors all familiar and important to the people. His daily life was one of identification. He even told His disciples to pay tribute, so as not to offend the tax-collectors (Matt. 17:27). He told His disciples with Him so they could have a living model for Christian life and service.
This identification, however, was limited. Although He was tempted in all ways, He did not sin (Heb. 4:15). In Mark 10:24 He limits the disciples as well, rejecting the customs of the contemporary rulers by saying “but it is not so among you.” They must not “lord it over” others and make people “feel their authority” (Weymouth).
Mathew makes it even clearer—the disciples must not imitate or reflect government styles or religious systems (Matt. 20:20-34; 23:1-12). Jesus uses the religious culture of the Pharisees to show that they must have humility as their basic attribute, not status or glory:
As for you, do not accept the title of ‘Rabbi,’ for One alone is your teacher, and you are all brothers. And call no one on earth ‘father,’ for One alone is your Father—the heavenly Father. And do not accept the name of ‘leaders,’ for your leader is One alone—the Christ. He who is the greatest among you shall be your servant; and one who uplifts himself shall be humbled, while one who humbles himself shall be uplifted.”
Matt. 23:8-12, Weymouth
In all we can see that Jesus understood deep meanings, and was interested in foundational transformation. He went to the soul of the problem when He confronted people with their sin (Mark 7:20-23). The Pharisees were like hidden graves, fooling people with good appearance but proud and ignorant of the truth (Lk 11:44). They were in error “not knowing the Scriptures or the power of God” (Matt. 22:29).They murdered the prophets in the past and continued doing so (Mark 12:1-11), showing they were “descendants” of those who had (Matt. 23:29-33). Their father is not God, but the devil! (John 8:42-47). The disciples were concerned that Jesus had turned the Pharisees against them, but He said, “leave them alone. They are blind guides of the blind; and if a blind man leads a blind man, both will fall into the same pit” (Matt. 15:12-14).
Kenneth Bailey helps us understand the depth of confrontation in Luke 14. In Jesus’ parable of the refused invitations to a feast, He makes it clear (to the hearers) that they deliberately slap God in the face in open and arrogant rejection. Here He was talking about motives and presuppositions.
Bailey also helps in Luke 9 where long-standing essential cultural and family norms and responsibilities were to be left to others in order to follow Jesus with no impediments, a radical break with some of their most important traditions.
Jesus had a major goal—the transformation of disciples who knew the Scriptures, knew Him as the divine Son of God and savior from sin and condemnation, and in the power of the Holy Spirit would be the foundation of a Church that would be salt and light in a lost world. His true disciples would be those who would be willing to give up their families, homes, comfort, culture and even the synagogue because of their declaration of faith in Him (John 12:42-43), and who would obey and worship Him in every detail. The Church is to be relevant, present, and a unique reflection of the person, grace and love of the Lord.
Paul’s life and writing open up another world of identification. He was able to become weak for the weak, follow the Law for the Jews, speak to Greek philosophers and discourse in the synagogues. God had prepared this first missionary with broad strokes of Gentile culture in Tarsus, Biblical knowledge in an orthodox home and at the feet of Gamaliel, a dynamic transformational encounter with Jesus, discipleship and practical experience in the desert and then with Barnabas, who had taken him under his wing and then brought him to the new church in Antioch.
The results of years of preparation in terms of character, content and capability can immediately be seen in such situations as the Lystran mission in Acts 14. In the midst of huge confusion, Paul and Barnabas throw themselves into the midst of the crowd and shout with all their might something that was integral to their radically transformed inner worldview —“We are men, flesh and blood, just like you!” They did not have the idea that they were superior, a huge miracle in light of the fact that both were thoroughly Jewish and both had been commissioned by the Almighty God for this mission. Their spontaneous reaction demonstrated an authentic humility and an identification on the deepest possible level! They were not worried about superficial appearances, but were convinced of an underlying unity in their humanity (no possibility for ethnocentrism here). The message they then spoke related to the life, religion and ideas of the people. They confronted the false idolatry and talked about the true Creator God. They “should turn from these vain things to the living God” (vs 15). In spite of severe persecution from the Jews, they were able to plant a viable church which eventually in turn sent its own missionary – Timothy. The outcome was a tremendous step in the ongoing advance of the Church of Jesus Christ.
When Paul spoke to the Athenian philosophers, he had admirable control and used the logic, myths, poets, worldview, and rhetoric style relevant to the context, in spite of the fact that Luke lets us know a few verses before that he was really angry at the idolatry which dominated the city. He had one objective, and built corresponding bridges so as to reach that objective.
Dean Flemming raises some cautionary flags regarding some current interpretations and applications of the Athenian account. He shows that Paul respected the people at Lystra and Athens and their worldviews and used them as steppingstones to the true gospel, but he did not think they were worshipping the true God with another name such as Zeus or “the Unknown God.” Flemming writes in regard to Athens, after explaining a long list of identificational points:
There are definite boundaries, however, to the plot of common ground. When Paul says he is about to proclaim to them what they were worshiping as unknown, he is not simply identifying for them the God they had been honoring all along without realizing it, as some have claimed [citing Panniker and Sanders]. The Athenians are hardly “anonymous Christians.” The wording of Acts 17:23 makes it clear that they have been worshiping a “what” (bo), not a “whom”; an object, not a personal God (cf. Acts 17:29). Paul is keenly aware that their present state of ignorance must be corrected by a true knowledge of God through the proclamation of the gospel. 1
Paul confronted the philosophers in Athens. All those majestic temples and alters were in vain. In the end a Judge would come and all would have to appear before Him. This Judge had come and was raised from the dead, a concept totally foreign and noxious for the stoics and epicureans present. Dean Flemming 2 shows that Paul was not saying the unknown god was the true God. They had worshipped a “what” (ho) and not a “who.”
We can see this same identification and confrontation in Acts 13, 22, and 26—a synagogue, a Jewish mob and to the Roman ruling class).
A look at the images, language, styles of rhetoric, cultural institutions, and conventions Paul utilized is a treasure for any missiologist, student or New Testament scholar.
But because the Biblical story is foundational for the church, Scriptural images join contemporary ones in the service of communicating the good news. Paul’s willingness to adopt new ways of expressing the saving word does not mean a wholesale abandoning of the old. His communications to the churches show continuity with Biblical and traditional language as well as innovation. Paul gladly embraces whatever linguistic and cultural resources are available to him in order to convey the significance of Jesus Christ to his readers[/ref]Flemming, Dean. Contextualization in the New Testament: Patterns for Theology and Mission (InterVarsity Press, 2005), 131.[/ref].
Identification, however, goes only so far. “Paul demonstrates enormous flexibility in making use of the cultural materials that were available to him – whether from language, religion, philosophy, ethics, rhetoric, literature, politics, social institutions, family and community life – as long as they did not conflict with the gospel.” 3
Luke’s account of Paul’s mission to Ephesus is a clear example of identification, confrontation and a resulting viable, dynamic church. In Acts 18 he is responsible for the fall of idol sales and the burning of thousands of dollars worth of fetishes and idolatrous objects. He himself described his contextualization to the elders when they gathered for the farewell in Mellitus (Acts 20). In humility and love he lived with the Ephesians, taught the Scriptures night and day in their homes, on the street corners and in the school of Tyrannus, cried, did miracles, warned, exhorted and cared more for them and for his mission to them than even his own life. His letter to this church is one of the highlights of the New Testament, full of deep truth about the Gospel, God’s love, the Church, Christian life, family relationships and relationships with those around them.
Paul was also responsible for writing a long text helping the Corinthian church do contextualization in their own right. He did not give them a list of do’s and don’ts, but principles of care and faithfulness to the one true God. They were to love their neighbor and glorify God, which included never participating in idolatry or even appearing to participate. They had to be the ones making contextual decisions day by day, not Paul, based on several principles:
- Do not be a stumbling block (8:9-13; 10:32)
- Live so as to gain the most people possible (9:19-23; 10:33)
- Don’t sin against the Lord (8:12; 10:14-24)
- Glorify God (10:33)
- Promote Unity (10:17)
- Love one another in humility (8:1)
In this text Paul is concerned that new believers not be tempted to return to their confidence in idols or demonic power. Even though mature Christians could eat meat offered to idols, when only part of a normal meal (not as a ritual or part of a ritual), they were warned against doing so if it would hurt the faith of others.
First Corinthians 9:9-23 is a classic text for contextualization. Paul strongly identifyied with people, but did not cross Biblical lines. He truly imitated Jesus (Phil. 2:5).
Transformation for Paul was on a worldview level. In Acts 26:18, he explains he was to help people to open their eyes so they could “turn from darkness to light and from Satan’s authority to God, in order to receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified through faith in [Jesus].” Christians are to put away “the old man,” the “original evil nature” (Weymouth) and put on the new man which has been “created in righteousness and holiness of the truth” (Eph. 4:20-24). He said “But may it never be that I should boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world” (Gal. 6:14 NASB). In Galatians 4:10 the Christians were not to become enslaved again….observing special days and months—they were NOT to go back to the old observances.
One huge culturally noxious concept of the Gospel was the cross. The cross was infamy. It was a curse which tinged the entire family of the condemned. It certainly was not a symbol of honor or good. But Paul declares in no uncertain terms that he preaches the cross, in spite of what people think (1 Cor. 1:18-24). The cross is central to the message of the Gospel. People are saved from something and the price of that saving is Jesus’ sacrificial death on a cross where He shed His blood. Ephesians 2:11-22 resonates with the effect of the cross—salvation, community, unity, access to God, peace, hope, reconciliation with God. People had to hear about and believe in what Jesus did on the cross (the Gospel) to be transformed by God’s grace (Eph. 1:13; Rom. 10:13-14).
3. Peter and Others
Peter is another, although mixed at times, example of identification, confrontation and transformation. He and the other disciples were together when the Holy Spirit descended in such dramatic form as to call the attention of thousands. Peter stood to speak to them, reminding them of their common heritage and foundation in the Scriptures. He also blatantly told them they had crucified their long-awaited Messiah! (Acts 2:36). The result was repentance and salvation for 3,000 people that day. These people were to “escape from this perverse generation” (2:40), a reference to the need to be different. The church was formed, a distinct and wonderful fellowship of redeemed men and women (2:41-47).
Peter broke all custom in obedience to the Lord’s direction to visit Cornelius’ home, baptizing him and his household after they accepted the Gospel of forgiveness in Jesus Christ. He was able to convince the others in Jerusalem that his acts were Biblically appropriate. When he vacillated in Antioch, I do believe he accepted Paul’s stern admonition against hypocrisy in not wanting to eat with the Gentiles when the Jews came from Jerusalem. Later, he lovingly praised Paul and put his writings on the same level as the Scriptures of the Old Testament.
C. History and Current Comments
Many writers in our time complain, sometimes bitterly, about the lack of contextualization in the history of missions. Sometimes the complaints are distorted and not supported by true history. 4Gratefully some more recent studies have corrected the idea that Westerners went only with the Bible under their arm, with no cultural or social sensibilities. In spite of a growing body of corrections, it is still true that the missionary is always tempted to have a large supply of cultural biases in his baggage. It was true of Western missionaries and it is very true of Brazilian missionaries, who often do not take into account local leadership, norms, or customs.
René Padilla and Samuel Escobar are well known for their criticism of Western missions. They complain that American and European missionaries in Latin America were paternalistic and condescending in the past and that in the present they come with their solution-filled “packages,” often based more on sociology than on the Scriptures. Padilla calls for repentance in this, and asks for missionaries to be aware of contextual social and spiritual problems. 5Our heroes have become Roberto de Nóbili, even though he left no discernible church or movement, or Ricci, who uncritically accepted ancestor rites which included helping the dead on their way, making sure the dead would protect and bless them and do no harm. These Confucian ideas split the new church in China and eventually was the reason all foreign missionaries were expelled and thousands of their Chinese followers executed. 6
Paul Hiebert’s widely known corrective is important—“Critical Contextualization,” where all identification has Biblical limits. David Hesselgrave calls this “Apostolic Contextualization” and Nicholls “Dogmatic Contextualization” as opposed to “Existential Contextualization.” In order to do this kind of contextualization, or Biblical identification, the missionary must have at least several components of the same training Paul had— deep Biblical knowledge and commitment, comprehension of what is Biblical and what is his own cultural bias, cultural respect and knowledge and capacity to lead others to salvation, transformation and discipleship in a contextualized manner.
Ronaldo Lidório 7 warns against three dangers in the missionary’s contextualization task. He emphasizes the importance of NOT exporting the “political” aspects of church, including architecture, meeting times or the color of the tablecloth used for the Lord’s Supper. He says the political presentation of the gospel must not come with cultural clothing of the missionary, leaving behind the presentation of Christ and “proposing a simple empty religiosity with no significance for the receptor people.”
A second danger is a pragmatic approach to contextualization, making “what works” based on anthropological and sociological theories more than on theological foundations. He cites several examples in Ghana, where he worked for several years, of heretical churches that grow, but have destructive components of the traditional culture included. “Pragmatism takes us to the extreme of valuing the method more than the content in contextualization.”
Lidório’s third danger is sociological. It sees contextualization as simply a solution for human necessities, in a purely humanist approach instead of the presentation of the Gospel. Theologians in the past, such as Bultmann and Kierkegaard laid humanistic foundations for our contemporary detours from a determined commitment to the Word of God as truth.
The question of identification and confrontation is at a high point, especially in discussions about “seeker-friendly” movements and churches, Inclusivism, and Pluralism. There is a tendency to avoid confrontation, to make the Gospel “Muslim-friendly,” “Hindu-friendly,” or friendly to whatever people or social class being reached. Here is the fine line between identification and confrontation, both essential to Biblical contextualization. Without going into the details of the current debate, especially in the area of Muslim evangelism and discipleship, I would like to show that confrontation was a normal Biblical occurrence and should be a normal part of missions work.
How can we know with what to identify and what to reject and reprimand? This is the central question in contextualization. We have only one ruler to help us decide—the Scriptures, which are to be taught to all nations until the end of this age. One thing is sure, this world is replete with evil influences and intentions. The heart is contaminated (Matt. 15:18-19). Our world is under the massive power of Satan (1 John 5:19) and man himself is ungrateful, negating and idolatrous (Rom. 1:18-25).
The Old Testament as well as the New warn against false prophets, those who would distort God’s truth, saying they had received revelation and teaching false doctrines. The Hebrews and the Christians could not be “patient” or “contextualized” with these prophets or their followers. They had to be separated, openly declared guilty, and often killed. The sin of leading people astray, as if you had the truth, was not to be tolerated in the least degree. (Matt. 7:15, 24:11, etc.)
Dean Flemming effectively treats the subject of how Paul instructs the church in Corinth about contextualization. Some things were optional, depending on others’ reactions. Meat that has gone through temple rites has no power over the Christian. Other things are absolutely forbidden, such as participating in the temple feasts, thinking there is no danger or that demons do not really exist. “What [these people] had not considered, however, is that behind the worship of idols is the very real activity of hostile spiritual forces, which may gain power through pagan cultic practice.” 8 In 1 Corinthians 10:14-22 he radically forbids such participation, a “contra-cultural stance to the core” 9
There are clear limits . . . to what Paul included in the “all things” [referring to 1 Cor. 9:22] which he could adopt. Witherington’s comment is well put: “He does not say that he became an idolater to idolaters or an adulterer to adulterers. But in matters that he did not see as ethically or theologically essential or implied by the gospel, Paul believed in flexibility” 10. Paul is no Christian chameleon. Doing everything “for the sake of the gospel” (1 Cor. 9:23) and “for the glory of God” (1 Cor. 10:31) provides the key to determining what is acceptable identification with others and what is not.
For Flemming idolatry in all its forms is still off-limits to Christians of all cultures today, whether it be traditional rites or nationalism, materialism and self-gratification. In matters when the integrity of the gospel is not jeopardized, he encourages “principled flexibility, not restrictive legalism, must still govern our approach to nonessential matters” 11. This is such a controversial issue in missions today, I cannot resist quoting Flemming’ conclusion to this extensive and important section.
Paul responds to the problem of idol food with theological imagination and communicative skill. He draws upon a quiver full of persuasive strategies in order to call the Corinthians to re-envision their world in light of the gospel: quoting his opponents terms and slogans; appealing to Scripture (1 Cor. 9:9; 10:1-12, 22,26); illustrations from common life (1 Cor. 9:7-11, 24-27); concrete case studies (1 Cor. 8:10; 10:27-29); rhetorical questions (1 Cor. 1, 4-12) and direct commands (1 Cor. 10:14), just to name some. What is more, Paul refuses to offer a single-note solution to the idol meat problem. He speaks of its effect on the weak and its danger for the strong, its connection to idolatry in some settings and its lack of idol involvement in others, and the need for both responsible freedom and self-renouncing servant hood. This ought to caution us against simplistic answers to contemporary cultural questions, especially those gray areas over which sincere Christians disagree. At the same time, it should challenge us to exercise theological imagination under the leadership of the Spirit, so that the story of God in Christ might engage the complex “idol meat” issues of our own world. 12
Harvie Conn was a missionary scholar who, in spite of his commanding size and appearance, identified with those around him. He also defended loving confrontation. His in-depth identification, whether in Korea or living in a black neighborhood in Philadelphia, did not exclude the need to show the difference between the Lord of heaven and the lords of this earth. He defended “Decontextualization” where God confronts culture and transforms it. The relationship between God and culture is a “monologue” where we must listen to God, discern obey His will. He showed the difference between churches in Korea which confronted the sinful focus on self-satisfaction (the Confucian idea that sin does not exist) and those who did not, resulting in the sad history of divisions and regional factions between clans in the Korean church 13
Hundreds of thousands have died over the past two thousand years because they have refused to deny the true God or His Son. They have refused to follow idolatrous rituals or to deny or denigrate the name or the image of Jesus Christ. The result of the Gospel is transformation, not continuance (1 John 5:21; 1 Thess. 1:9).
Paul Hiebert shows how the common search for true theological meaning is a complementary growth of knowledge, the church in one culture learning from the insights of the other. Each must humbly listen, and not lock itself into a self-defense of cultural interpretation. We must keep growing, as Ephesians 4 says, until we all come to maturity after receiving the help of each part. Hiebert 14says
The day of moral neutrality has passed. It is important to remember that human contexts are good and bad. Persons are created in the image of God and are the object of His great love. But persons are also fallen in sin, and the societies and cultures they build are influenced by the Fall. There is personal and corporate sin and personal and corporate dimensions of God’s redemption.
Knowledge is not just information. It is a power used by those who have it in social, economic, political and cultural arenas of life. The knowledge of the Gospel makes us responsible for sharing its message of salvation and the transformation for all, including care for the poor, the oppressed, the sick and to take the good news to the lost. (…)
In this process of transformation, we need to involve persons in evaluating their own cultures in the light of the new truth. They know their old culture better than any outside person, and are in a better position to criticize it and live transformed lives after receiving Biblical teaching. We can share external visions that will help them see their own preconceived cultural ideas, but they will need to decide for themselves about how to apply Biblical concepts to their daily lives. The Gospel is not just information. It is a message to which people should respond. More yet, it is not sufficient that leaders are convinced of the need for change. They should have the opportunity to share their convictions and point to the consequences of possible various decisions with the people as a whole, and together take steps to reinforce the decisions which were made corporately. Only this way will there be a guarantee that old beliefs will not continue hidden underneath and ready to subvert the Gospel.
For Hiebert, transformation is on every level of culture. He calls this “transformational theology,” that integrates knowledge, emotions, evaluation. Conversion involves faith as a mental affirmation and as an experience with God which leads to submission to His will and to true worship.
David Dixon 15 writes of the impressive growth of the church among Muslims in Indonesia where 12,000,000 came to Christ in the 70s and 80s. Several factors contributed to this growth and the planting of churches. Among other things the people themselves were responsible for deciding questions of contextualization, not the missionaries. They were clearly Christians, not Muslims. On the day of their baptism they knew they were to stop their magic rites and give up their amulets. Total loyalty was to God. The church was planted as an open entity and Jesus taught as the Son of God and Savior of the world. The new Christians sought to serve their communities in various ways, evangelizing, becoming involved in politics and helping needy people or in community crises.
Watch for Part 4 coming soon!
- Flemming, Dean. Contextualization in the New Testament: Patterns for Theology and Mission (InterVarsity Press, 2005), 75 emphasis the author’s. ↩
- Flemming, Dean. “Contextualizing the Gospel in Athens: Paul’s Areopagus Address as a Paradigm for Missionary Communication” em Missiology: an International Review. April 2002, 202-203 ↩
- Ibid.,134. ↩
- See Frances F. Hiebert, “Beyond a Post-Modern Critique of Modern Missions: The Nineteenth Century Revisited” In Missiology, July, 1977. ↩
- C. Rene Padilla. El Evangelio Hoy. Ediciones Certeza, 1975:310. 16
It is impossible to over-emphasize the need for identification in missions, but it is possible to exaggerate and go beyond Biblical limits. Perhaps because of guilt feelings, accusations from the left and from secularists, or deconstructionist historical writers or post-modern relativism, many have felt the need to swing to the other side of paternalism and ethnocentrism. Many have come to “reverence” culture instead of just respecting it 17O´Brien, Dave. “Between the Dark and the Daylight” em Evangelical Missions Quarterly. July 2005, 354-360. ↩
- “The challenges the Jesuits faced from their own Church … were now joined by domestic crisis, as the new emperor Yongzheng decided in 1724 that the best solution to the squabbles among Christian missionaries was to expel them all, excepting those in service to the court. Chinese Christians were not in general subjected to harsh persecution, and a few individual missionaries continued to operate underground, but the Jesuit mission was essentially drawing to a close, as it could win few new converts.” Fouraker, Lawrence. “Historical Legacy of Jesuits in China,” Verdum, Volume 6 Issue 1 Article 18 (2008). ↩
- Lidório, Ronaldo. “Teologia Bíblica da Contextualização,” In Burns, Barbara Helen, Org. Contextualização: a Fiel Comunicação do Evangelho. Transcultural Editora, 2007, 4-5, emphases the author’s. ↩
- p. 189 ↩
- p. 189 ↩
- Conflict and Community (Eerdmans, 1995), 213. ↩
- Ibid., 200. ↩
- Ibid, 201. ↩
- Stott, John and Coote, Robert, eds. Down to Earth: Sudies in Chrstianity and Culture (Eerdmans, 1980), 158-67. ↩
- Burns, Barbara Helen, Org. Contextualização: a Fiel Comunicação do Evangelho (Transcultural Editora, 2007), 91-92. ↩
- Dixon, Roger L. ‘The Major Model of Muslim Ministry” em Missiology:an International Review. Outubro 2002:443-454, 446-451. ↩