Puritan Board Professor
What are your thoughts on the Perspectives class?
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Would like that please Perg.There are some problem areas I can go into if you want me to.
Problems:Would like that please Perg.
Very helpful insights. One comment: contextualization has been hugely influential at least since the mid 80's when I was arriving in seminary after a stint on the mission field. Donald McGavran's influential book, "Understanding Church Growth" was published in 1970.Problems:
(1) First, since about 2000 or so, missiology got overly focused on contextualization. This is part of the larger issue of missiologists looking for what I would refer to as some "Golden Key" to evangelism that unlocks the nations for God instead of hard slogging and dying for Christ.
(2) There is a focus on Church-Multiplication Movements and this is promoted using shoddy research. For instance, Frontiers reported a great movement of Christ among the Sundanese of West Java but upon investigation these groups of mslm women in prayer groups did not affirm the Trinity, still called Mhd a prophet, and did not understand the deity of Christ. False reports of success sells missions strategy and gets books sold, however. I have seen these groups and used one such lady as a maid. She was a mslm...not a convert.
(3) Missiology is prone to being gimmicky.
(4) The Honor/Shame aspect of non-Western cultures was rightly pointed out by Wu and others...but then they went too far with it. Asian culture still can understand legal/forensic atonement. Again, missiologists make too much out of their pet theories (their dissertations or positions ride on advancing some new approach to missions...but anything new in Christianity is suspect.
(5). Missions is largely assumed to be done by orgs. Many local churches do it badly, of course. And Perspectives is one way to help local churches do it better. But the assumption is that orgs do missions.
(6) The "Person of Peace" - many mission orgs create strategies to identify persons of peace (based on that passage in Luke when Jesus sent out the disciples). But that is not normative for our day.
(7) Lately in the past 10 years when missions and money is mentioned there is an undue focus on avoiding dependency rather than promoting generosity. They will only focus on the book When Helping Hurts and forget that the default position should be to help the poor.
(8) Business as Missions has been heavily promoted recently. But this usually results in doing 2 things badly, both business and missions.