Is inefficiency a spiritual problem? Or contrarily, is efficiency a sign of hastiness and impatience, hence a kind of spiritual deficiency? The answer to the questions above depends on which culture you are coming from. We operate according to our respective culture or worldview. Those who are raised in a modernist culture where efficiency is highly valued often think that ministry in church must be as efficient or even more efficient that works done “in the world.” Some experience God through their serving in church or when they “feel” that the church is progressing with a good momentum. Others are … Continue reading Efficiency and Spirituality in the Church
Some time ago I shared an infograph on my instagram and received some positive responses. I feel that I might as well outline my other concerns with the church today. Yes we are in a consumerist culture and this needs to be accepted. No amount of attacks towards consumerism is going to yield more disciples. Worse, most of our approaches of merely condemning the present cultures only distance the church from the ‘normal’ people around us. Accepting the reality of consumerist culture helps us to realistically assess the situation and prayerfully seek God’s way of engaging with the people in … Continue reading Consumerist Church vs Missional Church
This is a long-awaited and much needed treatment on the subject of mission, the book of Acts and their relation to the contemporary context. Mission in Acts: Ancient Narratives in Contemporary Context (American Society of Missiology) Continue reading Mission in Acts: Ancient Narratives in Contemporary Context
There is a postmodern theology. Although the term ‘postmodern’ might be overused, it still mean something. Modernity has passed. Not all elements of modernism has left us, just as not all of Medieval left Enlightenment Europe, or tribal/traditional culture left the developed Asian countries of today. Yet, postmodernity has arrived. Whenever the overarching, over-confident meta-narrative of the Enlightenment project is in doubt, modernism fades and postmodernity arises. It is in politics, society and arts. There is a certain ‘postmodern’ culture which defines its own meanings and symbols. The very reactions towards the failed Enlightenment confidence, coupled with a world dominated … Continue reading Theology in the 21st Century
I have posted some pieces about inculturation earlier and the posts have been receiving on average 3 views per day ever since. I am currently writing a paper on ‘redefining inculturation’, attempting to propose a more comprehensive definition for inculturation. My previous posts were mainly a combination of thoughts and theology from the Roman Catholic Church and the Protestant Churches. They were basically not critical work and has very little academic value. In my present research, I have managed to review a whole range of definitions of inculturation and the ways in which those definitions have come into being. All … Continue reading Inculturation Explained (con’t)
East Meets West: An Infographic Portrait by Yang Liu Click to find a series of infographics designed by Yang LIU, a Chinese living in Germany. Question to ponder: If these are cultural outlook what would be the underlying worldview, beliefs … Continue reading East Meets West: An Infographic Portrait by Yang Liu
I have been using Microsoft Word as my standard essay and dissertation writing tool. Recently I came across Scrivener, a writing tool for Mac OS and Windows which also includes many project management functions. It enables me to drag and drop sections of my writings whenever I need to reorganise the structure. It also allows links within the application which connect me to articles or resources which I refer to. The best about Scrivener to me is the way it allows me to focus on a section of a long writing, while enabling me to jump from section to section … Continue reading Recommended Writing Tools for Thesis/Dissertation
Tom Wirght talks about the gospel. I have doing some research on inculturation. One of the main confusions people have – be they Roman Catholics or Protestants – is whether the ‘gospel’ interacts with ‘culture’ or actually the church, the … Continue reading What is the Gospel?
This is a must read for anyone who seriously wants to learn about culture: Readers’ tipping nightmares and fairytales Some excerpts: 1. Kenneth McLeod, Xiamen, China: I live and work in China; last year at a trade conference we were invited to a banquet by our Chinese hosts. The waitress was giving top class service and an American tried to give the waitress a tip, which she refused. However he still forced the tip into her pocket; at this juncture the waitresses manager saw the money go into the waitress’ pocket, the manager came across to the waitress and sacked her on the … Continue reading The Culture of Giving Tips
In my further research into the subject of ‘inculturation’, I have found that ‘proclamation’ plays a key role in the whole process. I have also found the following, which I think is useful for Protestants (especially Evangelicals) in their attempt to re-examine their attitude towards evangelism. 20. The Church in Asia is all the more eager for the task of proclamation knowing that “through the working of the Spirit, there already exists in individuals and peoples an expectation, even if an unconscious one, of knowing the truth about God, about man, and about how we are to be set free … Continue reading Proclamation is necessary!
Dr. Howard Culbertson posted the following in his website: Here are 14 lessons which John Slack learned in his church growth research with congregations of the Southern Baptist Convention. This is an example of what can be learned from demographics, spreadsheets, surveys, interviews, and historical studies by analyzing the information secured from various sources. New units grow faster than established churches. Aging within a church almost inevitably ushers in a “come-oriented” ministry in contrast to a “go-centered” ministry. Older churches do not start as many new churches as do younger churches. Churches and church planting drift upward on the economic scale. … Continue reading How does a Church Grow?
I cannot help but share this. Also do note how many times Wright refers to some sort of contextualisation in this video: Continue reading N. T. Wright explores the question, “What is the gospel?”