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…]

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…]

Contextualize. Don’t Merely Evangelize.

As I waited for my plane, I was stumped by what I was looking at. If Chinese understood the English on the KFC sign, no one would want to eat there. It simply read, “finger lickin’ good.” (See the pict below) For anyone who knows Chinese culture, this slogan would be like Colgate advertising that [Read More…]

Contextualizing Christmas in China

If you are interested in contextualization in China, you might want to check out Ruth Wang’s article, “Yellow Christmas.” She points out that many Chinese people complain that Christmas is a “Western” holiday, so it shouldn’t be celebrated in China. How are churches responding? She writes, The programs designed by Chinese Christians to celebrate Christmas [Read More…]

Do We Foster Humility and Hutzpah?

Previously, I claimed that good contextualization requires two things: humility and hutzpah. In this post, we want to ask a simple question, How are we doing? Do evangelicals encourage the people to have the humility and hutzpah to contextualize? Do we foster these qualities? It might be harder than you think to develop humility and [Read More…]

Humility and Hutzpah: Two Characteristics of Biblical Contextualization

Contextualization requires character more than competence. Too few people talk about this. As a result, all discussion focuses on (important) intellectual issues but rarely is consideration given to the character that yields good contextualization. Yes, contextualization often requires a bit of creativity and experimentation. But what else goes into it? The Character of Biblical Contextualization [Read More…]

The Yin-Yang of Contextualization

The male students in my class agreed, “The Bible says that men are more important than women.” In Chinese culture, one never wants to provoke a teacher, but that is exactly what they did that day. Of all people, my Chinese students should grasp the interdependence of maleness (yang) and femaleness (yin). The yin-yang symbol [Read More…]

“There is no God without me.” I’m disappointed.

Disappointed. That’s how I felt recently after attending a meeting for the Society of Asian Biblical Studies (SABS).  Sadly, I’m reminded that much of what passes for scholarship is sheer speculation (if not pleas for attention). The presentations came from people who actually lead seminaries, universities and churches! As I listened horrified by these presentations, [Read More…]

Contextualizing One Gospel (Training Video)

Here is the second in a series short training videos. Last time, I gave a basic explanation of contextualization. This video introduces the basic biblical framework for contextualizing the one gospel in any culture. It proposes a model that is both firm and flexible so that gospel presentations can be biblically faithful and culturally meaningful. [Read More…]