<a href="https://biblicalmissiology.org/author/donm/" target="_self">Donald McKeon</a>

Donald McKeon

Don has a B.S. in missiological studies, Nyack College; an M.A. in Teaching English as a Second Language, New York University; and a Ph.D. in Linguistics, New York University. He taught in and directed ESL programs for 50 years, and linguistics for about half of those years. His published books include Intensive Course in American English Grammar, Series I (Prelim. Ed.), co-editor. American Language Institute, New York University (1964), Modifying English as a Second Language Materials, and Placement Guide; University of State of New York (1975), and The Language Gap. [on the uniqueness of human language] Zondervan, Probe Ministries (1984). He has served as a teaching elder for many years.

2 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Thank you, Fred. That’s a telling quote, which, if true, should cause anyone to wonder why God has given us the responsibility to spread the Gospel of Christ in the first place. (I don’t mean to preach or meander here, but I’m stirred by this quote, so pardon the verbiage.) We know that “sinfulness” is the root cause of any distortion of God’s truth, but Kraft ends on a rather hopeless note because he doesn’t expressly take into account (not here anyway) that the Gospel itself is the Divine Solution. Regarding “limitations,” it would be important to know what Kraft is specifically referring to. Misperceptions due to incomplete or faulty knowledge, for example, can cause unintentional distortions of the truth, and, if left unchecked, could eventuate in syncretism. I don’t know if Kraft was also alluding to language (and its use in communication)–maybe not–but any language is organized so intricately and precisely (with its system of units and principles of combination) as to guarantee the truth-preserving property in semantics (a long story). Otherwise, communication (from God to us, from us to others) would be impossible. That’s how God designed language in the mind, and entrusts us to communicate His revealed truth by His Spirit to the ends of the earth. Thank God for all those who haven’t given up on the task.

  2. Fred Farrokh

    Thanks, Don, for the very thorough and informative piece. You raise an important point on the contextualization/syncretism fault line. While many IM proponents may have crossed into syncretism unintentionally, this was not the case with Chuck Kraft. I provide this quote from his 2005 work “Appropriate Christianity:” “What about the concept of syncretism? Is this something that can be avoided or is it a factor of human limitations and sinfulness? I vote for the latter and suggest there is no way to avoid it” (p.77).

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