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
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?
One of my favourite authors and renowned historian, John Dickson, was interviewed by Marshall Shelley and Drew Dyck recently. The interview, which is titled, ‘The Church in Secular Culture – Moving from a stance of admonition to mission’ is available in the Leadership Journal. Below is the excerpt of a section of interview which I think speaks for itself: — What advice do you have for church leaders in America about how to engage the broader culture effectively? I think the very first thing is to do is adopt a stance of mission instead of admonition toward the world. Here’s an example. … Continue reading Church – quit admonishing the world and start engaging!
The April version of the International Bulletin of Missionary Research has a number of interesting articles. Articles are available for free at the website after your subscribe to its email newsletter. Among articles which are relevant to faith, culture and mission in the postmodern context are: 1. Emerging Adults and the Future of Missions by Rick Richardson In his introduction: Several recent studies have focused on emerging adults in the United States, considering the spiritual and religious lives of high school teens (ages 14–18) or of twenty-somethings (ages 19–29). Two works helpfully draw out the implications of this research for … Continue reading Useful Resources for Mission at the International Bulletin of Missionary Research
From my MA Dissertation: Inculturation is centred on culture. This marks the primary difference between inculturation and contextualisation. Most Protestants consider inculturation as a subset of contextualisation. Bosch for example, placed inculturation under contextualisation together with liberation theology; with inculturation the primary concern is the relationship between faith and culture, while liberation theology includes the larger context, namely the socio-political situation. So although there remains close ties between culture and the socio-political context, when inculturation is in question, the focus should always be ‘culture’.  Bosch, Transforming Mission: Paradigm Shifts in Theology of Mission (American Society of Missiology Series) 1991, 420ff. By … Continue reading The Difference between Contextualization and Inculturation
Cultural Anthropology is now a necessity for mission studies. Surely no student of inculturation would want to miss out course material on cultural anthropology, especially if is in good quality and produced by a top university. The good news is MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) has just a course like this. Under its Open Courseware, MIT has since make the undergraduate (and some graduate) level Anthropology Courses available online. The emphasis of some of these courses are on Cultural Anthropology. The Introduction to Anthropology, for example, gives students a good basic grasp of Anthropology from the cultural perspectives. Amongst the courses … Continue reading Cultural Anthropology Course Material Made Available Online