The Church and Culture

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The Church and Culture




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Slide1

The Church and Culture

Slide2

Understand how the deepest level of cultural reality, 

worldview

, is the backbone of religious systems. 

Integrate concepts of culture that have been explored thus far in

Pre-field

Training into an evaluation of culture and its role in the life of the Christian community, the Church.

While affirming the Biblical authority over belief and practice of all men and all nations, realize that Biblical instruction to the Church can be sorted into categories of culturally universal (or supra-cultural) expectations and culturally conditioned behavioral specifics.

Accept and embrace the broad range of specifics of church life, customs, systems, and relationships that can be and are influenced by national culture.

Slide3

What is this?

Slide4

What can you tell me about South Suburban Evangelical Free Church?

Slide5

Symbols Make Communication Possible By Turning Meanings into Forms

Person A

Person B

form

form

function

function

Form and Function

Question:

How should we communicate the message when the forms we are familiar with do not carry the same implications (do not have the same

meaning)

in the new culture?

Slide6

Slide7

Missionary culture

Unreached culture

Biblical

culture

How can God’s truth communicated to

ancient cultures

, be communicated to today’s

unreached cultures

, through a

messenger from still another culture

?

Slide8

We cannot advance church planting movements when we uncritically assume as normative in all settings our North American ecclesiology: our Western assumptions about the nature of the church, our church practices, our forms of worship, our systems of church government, our standards for the education of church leaders, our focus on buildings, etc….

Contextualizing the church

Slide9

Contextualization continuum

Under-contextualized

Foreign

Irrelevant

Over-contextualized

Confused

Relativized

Distorted

Distorted

Contextualized

Understood

Relevant

Balanced

i.e. “ethnocentrism”

Or: “Rejection of contextualization”

i.e. “Relativism, Syncretism”

Or: “Uncritical contextualization”

idolatry

idolatry

Slide10

De-constructing of our culturally-shaped models of church and church life… You must know your own culture and the ecclesiology assumed in your culture. You must be able to analyze your own ecclesiology and critique it according to biblical truth.Commitment to biblical absolutes regarding nature and purpose of church… You must know the biblical teaching on the church. Biblical ecclesiology must be biblical! Analysis of target culture’s forms of social grouping, social meetings, organizational structures so that biblical ecclesiology can find appropriate cultural expression. You must know: (a) the ecclesiology assumed in that culture; and/or (b) forms the church might take in the target culture given its social structure.

Contextualizing the church

Slide11

Beliefs

Values

Behaviors

Worldview

Slide12

time and event

t

ask and relationship

individualism and collectivism

c

ategorical and holistic thinking

s

traight logic or curved logic

a

chieved status or ascribed status

g

uilt and shame

l

ow worship or high worship

Slide13

Understand how the deepest level of cultural reality, 

worldview

, is the backbone of religious systems. 

Integrate concepts of culture that have been explored thus far in

Pre-field

Training into an evaluation of culture and its role in the life of the Christian community, the Church.

While affirming the Biblical authority over belief and practice of all men and all nations, realize that Biblical instruction to the Church can be sorted into categories of culturally universal (or supra-cultural) expectations and culturally conditioned behavioral specifics.

Accept and embrace the broad range of specifics of church life, customs, systems, and relationships that can be and are influenced by national culture.

Slide14


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