How does the Bible contextualize the gospel? (Session 2 Training Video)

Here is SESSION TWO of 4 training videos I will release this summer. Below, you’ll find links to the video, audio as well as an accompanying study guide. SESSION TWO HOW DOES THE BIBLE CONTEXTUALIZE THE GOSPEL? This session considers the question, “How does the Bible frame the gospel?” To answer the question, we survey various [Read More…]

Reinterpreting Contextualization (Session 1 Training Video)

In the coming weeks, I will release 4 full length training videos. The audio comes from the 2016 theology conference hosted by Singapore Bible College. I have overlapped the audio with visuals to assist groups who might want to use the material for training purposes. Session 1: Reinterpreting Contextualization Session 2: How does the Bible [Read More…]

True but Confusing Advice for Missionaries

Mack Stiles’ recent post on The Gospel Coalition causes unnecessary confusion.[1] Why? It offers advice that is merely true. He suggests “3 Great Missionary Confusions.” In principle, his comments are true enough. But they could be misleading in practice. The Gospel in Context The first “confusion” he mentions begins like this: Don’t we adjust the [Read More…]

Contextualize. Don’t Merely Theologize.

I was a math major. But it was my college soccer class that made me feel dumb. In our first scrimmage, the teacher told me to kick off the ball. Since I attended school in America, I knew what a “kick off” is. So, I naturally ran up to the ball and kicked it as [Read More…]

Why is Sin Considered a "Debt"?

Sin is debt. That’s how the Bible describes it. Why? I’ve given a lot of attention lately to the doctrine of the atonement. One key motif that arises again and again is debt. People are accustomed to using this kind of language, such as when someone says, “Jesus paid our debt.” In the Lord’s Prayer, [Read More…]

Reply to Doug Coleman (Part 2) — Defining "Dishonor"

In a previous post, I responded to Doug Coleman’s question about the meaning of sin, including how “missing the mark” relates to shame and law language. In his reply, I think he really gets at the crux of the matter. Given the feedback I’ve heard from readers, I suspect having this conversation in public helps [Read More…]

The Genesis of Contextualization

It is very possible that we do not honor biblical authority precisely by forcing an overly literalistic interpretation on the text. Why? A “literal” reading (from our perspective) may in fact overlook the biblical audience’s cultural context. Accordingly, we might impose our assumptions onto the text, resulting in interpretations that ignore the writer and audience [Read More…]

Five More Ideas for Crafting Stories among UPGs

In a previous post, I suggested 10 ideas for crafting stories among unreached people groups (UPGs). Here are a few more. Start with the human family Within traditional cultures, family is central to daily life, moral decisions, and sense of identity. Many people discuss the fact that God is “Father” and that his people are [Read More…]

10 Ideas for Crafting the Biblical Story among UPGs

Storytelling often is a key component of ministry among many Unreached People Groups (UPGs). Various organizations, such as the International Orality Network, have given significant attention to developing strategies to reach oral learners. This sort of ministry is about more than simply telling true stories in an interesting way. How we tell the biblical story and [Read More…]

Changing the Gospel or Just Our Perspective?

Does contextualization mean “changing” the gospel? That is exactly what one missions leader seemed to suggest in a recent meeting. This leader was speaking about ministry in East Asia. When someone in the audience asked him how honor and shame should influence our gospel presentations, he struggled to answer the question. Not really knowing what [Read More…]