ChinaSource Podcast on Contextualization and Chinese Culture

Credit: Wikipedia

ChinaSource recently posted an interview between Joann Pittman, Sam Chan and I. I am grateful for the invitation as we had a great conversation.

ChinaSource gives the following introduction.

Their discussion examines the process of interpreting, communicating and applying the Bible in a particular cultural context. Effective contextualization communicates the gospel message in a way that is faithful to how God has revealed it through scripture but also in a way that hearers can understand in their own cultural setting. Jackson and Sam contrast the starting points for introducing the gospel in various contexts, be they Asian or Western, modern or post-modern. They also introduce Chinese cultural concepts such as face, honor, shame, authority and community as they relate to gospel presentation.

Joann also writes,

These are the ten questions that I posed:

  1.  How should we define contextualization?
  2. Why is contextualization important in presenting the gospel?
  3. Why is the concept of contextualization sometimes considered to be controversial?
  4. There is a lot of talk today about the need for a “Chinese theology.” Is there a problem in talking this way?
  5. What does contextualization look like in gospel presentations in China or among Chinese?
  6. Are there other Chinese cultural elements or Chinese worldview distinctives that we need to be aware of when presenting gospel to Chinese people?
  7. What are some examples of “over-adapting” and “under-adapting” in presenting the gospel?
  8. (Specifically to Jackson) How have gospel presentations using an honor/shame approach been received by the Chinese people you work with?
  9. Are there differences in receptivity to this approach between educated and uneducated people?
  10. (Specifically to Sam) What does contextualization look like in Australia?

Jackson and Sam give us plenty to think about, and I guarantee you’ll never think about Facebook the same again. I guess you’re just going to have to listen to find out why!

Click here for the mp3 file of the podcast.

Invite others into the conversation by passing the link along to others!

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