Globalization, Cultural Differences and the Gospel

Discussion in 'Cults & World Religions' started by RobertPGH1981, Mar 4, 2017.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. RobertPGH1981

    RobertPGH1981 Puritan Board Freshman

    Hello All,

    I have been reading a lot of material by Van Til, Sproul and others on apologetics. The main theme that is stated is that all of us presuppose a worldview and that worldview is defined by our culture. I experience this through my job since I have to travel internationally and notice major differences in thought. This is even true within the Christian sphere of influence and within a Christian worldview across country borders. As an example, all of us would agree there are differences between Eastern and Western thought. I heard a historical teaching of the rabbinical system that says that when an individual wanted to become the Rabbi they would need to follow a specific Rabbi. This process wasn't just to know everything that Rabbi knew but to mirror the way the Rabbi was as a person. This is in contrast to western culture since teachers will instill information while students try to absorb. However, the application of that knowledge is amiss within the west. I think this can also be applied to some within the church as well as many within the church lack full understanding of discipleship.

    I am curious to know if there are any on the puritan board who have experienced this through missions work or in other forms. Have any of you had the opportunity to share the gospel overseas within a culture that is different from our own? What main differences have you noticed and how did you approach these differences through the scriptures? What made sharing the gospel different (not talking about the overall gospel message, but the approaching to sharing)?

    God bless,
  2. Guido's Brother

    Guido's Brother Puritan Board Junior


    You might find this interesting: Predestination in Mission.

    As a Canadian living and ministering in Australia, I'm quite interested in these questions. My interest began as a missionary to a First Nations people group in northern British Columbia back in the early 2000s.
  3. jwithnell

    jwithnell Moderator Staff Member

    Perhaps you are mixing a few thoughts together? The apologists you mention have two differing, though in some cases similar viewpoints.

    In any case, Dr. Van Til would say there are only two world views. One based in God, and another in no-God. That's the difficulty in arguing for the existence of God--one would have to presuppose no-God as a possibility in order to proceed.

    All that said, Paul certainly recognizes that context drives how one talks with one group over another.

    In the 90s, I spent a fair amount of time in new age-y places, and knew that their "no-God" presupposition forced them into a belief in no absolute truth. I could ask questions that would lead them into the reality that man cannot live consistently in a no-God world.

    In South America, I enountered people with an extreme veneration of Mary. In that case, I emphasized that Christ alone could save and that He alone could intercede for us. Talking about absolutes in this case would have been baffling to my companions. (Not to mention, my Spanish wouldn't have supported that level of talk!) Discusing solo Christo with someone at a California hot spring would have been equally baffling.
  4. RobertPGH1981

    RobertPGH1981 Puritan Board Freshman

    Hello Wes,

    I actually heard a similar statement in a bible study once. The person basically said that the Bible is based on Kingdom principles in which Americans have a hard time relating due to our democratic nature. The American mindset is equal opportunity for all and when you talk about predestination the kingdom principle is missed. Great example.
  5. RobertPGH1981

    RobertPGH1981 Puritan Board Freshman

    I always interpreted Van Til's teaching as being related to various worldview which include Atheists, Agnostics, Pluralists ect.. We basically need to show others the logical conclusion of their own worldview without Christ. However, the idea that there is Jesus or no-God may also mean that any God other than Jesus is no-God. Is that what you mean?

    I have been to South America I have also noticed this attitude toward Mary. Colleagues of mine even told me about Immaculate Conception Day in Chile where people walked over 50 miles on foot to a Church location. What brought you to South America? What parts?
  6. jwithnell

    jwithnell Moderator Staff Member

    Equador making some assessments on food production and nutrition. TV had made vast inroads, but I still encountered people who had no idea people believed anything but the Roman church. We definitely see a "spruced up" version of the church here.

    Strangely the quote I'm thinking about is on Christian education. I've been in Georgia a few weeks; I'll have to find that work upon my return to Virginia in a week or so.
  7. Jack K

    Jack K Puritan Board Professor

    Americans typically ask, "How does the gospel or this Bible passage matter to me?" In many other parts of the world they think, "How does it matter to us?" The lack of a plural "you" in modern-day, formal English writing may add to this disparity; Americans read "you" in a recent translation of the Bible and tend to assume it is singular.

    (This is not meant to be a commentary on translations, but a commentary on cultures.)
  8. RobertPGH1981

    RobertPGH1981 Puritan Board Freshman

    Hello Jack,

    I suspect that translators wouldn't want to say you all or yall in all the 'you' locations. The yinz where I come from wouldn't be grammatically correct either. What culture did you have in mind? I have been to Japan and I can see this in their culture. Actually, I think the biggest differences are between Eastern and Western thought. I recently heard a TED Talk when the guy compares eastern and western through a story. Here is the TED Talk that had me thinking about the post in general. Enjoy:

    Devdutt Pattanaik: East vs. West -- the myths that mystify

    (I Don't agree with his view points but thought it was a great presentation to invoke thought)
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2017
  9. dece870717

    dece870717 Puritan Board Freshman

    This is somewhat off topic but have you ever looked into Dr. Greg Bahnsen's arguments or listened to his incredible debate? He died back in December 1995, Dr. Jason Lisle I think presents his method the best in these videos, he also has a book called 'The Ultimate Proof of Creation' which is basically everything he says in those videos but with even more depth, more explanation of logical fallacies, and with more answers to various objections to the argument that are often raised. I honestly think that book is a staple/must have for anyone doing presuppositional apologetics.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page