This guest post by Robert Strauss is Part 3 of 3 in the series introducing his book “Introducing Story-Strategic Methods” Part 2 ends with “bad theology”. Throughout the global mission community, storytelling has supplanted topical teaching. The advent of storytelling worked. Communication improved. But cross-cultural challenges remained. Abrupt entry into a culture is still a mistake, whether to outline topics or tell stories. Towards Strategic Storytelling Not knowing the local history and its accompanying stories as one tells a rival… Read more

Over at Radius International, Sam Trumball rightly observes how people incorrectly define contextualization. Trumball begins by stating, Pinning down exactly what they mean by contextualization, however, often proves elusive. Usually, the answer involves ministry strategies developed by successful missionaries.[1] There are two reasons why previously successful strategies should not stand alone to define contextualization. First, strategy is only part of contextualization. Second, specific strategies should be developed only after language and culture have been learned. I’d like to highlight and… Read more

This guest post by Robert Strauss is Part 2 of 3 in the series introducing his book “Introducing Story-Strategic Methods” Part 1 tells a remarkable story from Morocco about an incident on a train bound for Marrakesh. There is more to the story. In his Prologue, Reza Aslan (2011) tells part of it, including a bitter history throughout the region that not all understand, especially those coming in from the outside. Malcolm and Jennifer, the American couple on the train,… Read more

This guest post from Robert Strauss is part 1 of 3 in the series. Reza Aslan’s recent history of Islam, No god but God, tells the story[1] of a train conductor confronting a young American couple on a coach bound from Casa Blanca on the Atlantic to the interior city of Marrakesh. The conductor, upset, speaks loudly in Arabic, falling at times in anger into his Berber dialect. Long an economic center in West Africa, Marrakesh dates from the Berber… Read more

Most people understand God’s righteousness in Rom 3:4 and Ps 51:4 as punitive, referring to God’s judgment against sin. As I show, this reading is flawed on multiple levels. Both Psalm 51:4 and Romans 3:4 refer to God’s saving righteousness. I suspect the main reason people overlook this view is they miss the structure of Ps 51:1–4. Read more

I’m grateful to let people know about two recently published reviews of my books. They have written generous critiques of each work. If anyone has not read either of these books, the following reviews offer helpful introductions. Read more

Jen Hatmaker’s arguments are flawed because of an increasingly popular but superficial way of interpreting Scripture. This post examines the specific passage she seems to use in order to justify her views on LGBTQ and same-sex marriage. Read more

Sadly, people like Jen Hatmaker give us poor examples of contextualization. She cast aside nearly every principle of biblical interpretation. Because interpretation is the first step of contextualization, various comments on the podcast superficially resemble statements I and others make about contextualization. Read more

If you ever sang “Take my Life” in church, you have probably been taught that “ holiness ” refers to a moral condition, a state or moral purity that reflects God’s unique character. Accordingly, you were taught Lev 19:2, “Be holy because I, the Lord your God, am holy.”[1] However, both the Hebrew and the Greek Septuagint of Lev 19:2 use indicative, not imperative, verbs. In other words, you are holy because I, the Lord your God, am holy. In… Read more

Section 3 of The Lost World of the Israelite Conquest is called “The Canaanites are not depicted as guilty of breaking God’s Law.” To make that claim, John and Harvey Walton make a few observations and claims that will certainly grab attention. (In this series, click for Part 1, Part 2) “What’chu talkin’ about, Walton?” As I read this book, I imagine some readers echoing Gary Coleman’s line on the 80’s show Diff’rent Strokes, “What’chu talkin’ ‘bout, Walton?” This section… Read more

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