American Christianity has long been identified with an institutionalized and democratic church structure. What happens when such institutions are superimposed upon a quasi-Western cultural mold operating in a basically oriental society?
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If you are shocked by the opening sentence of the article below, then read on, because many of us without realizing it have offended nationals to the point of no return.
The history of missions has seen many changes – in the culture of those ministered to, the strategy of missions, the methods and techniques of communication of the gospel. The one factor that has remained constant in all of this, however, is the message: salvation as by faith in Jesus Christ.
I am a WASP and thankful for it!
“A WASP? You mean White, Anglo-Saxon, Protestant? And you’re glad of it? You’ve got to be kidding!”
ISRAEL: CONFLICTING TREND Two significant and somewhat conflicting trends concerning Jesus Christ are emerging in Israel. Jews are showing more open interest and less animosity toward the historical Galilean than in centuries past. At the same time opposition to Christian missions within Israel is growing.
An anthropological view of missions relates to values, ethnocentricity and missionary ghettos, says William Kornfield. This article, which sets the stage for the next four, shows the practical issues in a missionary’s life and work that care affected by his attitudes toward national culture. He gives five guidelines for cross-cultural missionary situations.
What is your communications batting average? If you act the way the nationals thank you would act, then you can be pretty sure your average is about zero.
Is “going native” the answer to the missionary’s quest for identification? David Hesselgrave shows that this is a superficial, and not completely biblical, solution to the problem of identification.