Thursday, February 24, 2011

discovering culture...

God is part of culture, has made Himself known in culture, and is working through culture. He sets the example in that He enters a foreign place to bring a foreign message and aims to communicate it in forms that make sense; not only linguistically, but in understanding, meaning, and form. When considering effective work in foreign cultures, translation of meaning is more critical than linguistic translation. When meaning is conveyed, grasped, and understood, we are able to operate most effectively among the host culture. The dynamic equivalent (meaning for meaning) illustrates the most effective form of communication in all sectors of life; personal and mass. When the gospel is effectively communicated, missionaries are able to communicate Christ through culture without asking them to compromise their culture. For effective ministry to remain and sustain, culture will be the vehicle by which the gospel is sustained and transmitted.

1. M’s should not determine the dynamic equivalent. This should be determined in meaning and conveyed in meaning by those within the culture.

2. Expressions of faith must remain very Christian and yet very true to the culture. If the gospel is seen as something from another culture it will be not received unless it has a direct benefit to the host culture.

3. When sharing the gospel, the M must be attentive to preach Christ and not Christian culture.

4. Recognition of diversity in culture can be a unifying bond in the faith. M’s need to celebrate differences when appropriate.

5. The dynamic equivalent of faith must be the central expression of faith locally within targeted culture. M’s must work with the culture to discover what it will be.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

God in Culture...

God is in culture. It's the tool that He's chosen to communicate Himself by. What's crazy is that
God, is a-cultural (unless you consider HOLY His culture). That's not the crazy part. The fact that
He is absent of culture and yet crosses all cultural lines and is able to relate culturally
appropriate and relative is what's incredible!

He is above culture and yet chooses to work through it. Makes one wonder on the value of
studying one's surrounding when it comes to effectiveness in out reach and service to others of
a different culture; whether it be a ethnic, social, spiritual, different age or class. God can
perfectly relate to everyone, at anytime, and in any place.

There is great value in diversity. I think that's simple to praise and difficult to embrace; for some
impossible. That may be why we're so far behind and slipping by the day, hour, and moment.
Cultural relevance is critical unless we withdraw from the culture altogether - it happens. Xn
school, Xn college, Xn job, Xn fast food, etc. One could literally live among a culture and yet be
absent to it.

This is true not only in spiritual terms but in social ones as well. Consider a foreigner moving to
a new city with new rules, customs, and people. One could easily navigate and make contact
with culture only when necessary and then withdraw just as easily. It happens, we all know that

Let's not forsake what is. Let's see how God is operating among the broken and see what He's teaching us
on how to love people where they are. Not embrace the sin of the culture, embrace the sinner that Christ
died for. We don't change people, God does. God and His culture of Holiness does.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Thoughts on culture, anthropology, and other stuff...

So I'm in the middle of finishing my masters; over the next few months, some excerpts will be from some of my working thesis...enjoy!


Often times, culture and ethnicity are commonly mistaken for being the same thing. However, culture does not equal ethnicity. Culture crosses all lines of race, class, socio economics, and even ethnicities.

Because all aspects of life evidence culture, one’s culture is a learned process of incorporative behaviors, languages, responses, and beliefs (enculturation).

Learned culture will begin to lead to the most effective forms of communicating, thus creating clearer opportunities for the gospel to be shared. However significant enculturation may be, it’s critical to maintain that biblical culture will always supplant any and all cultural ethics. Often times, this will lead to problems, especially when biblical culture is in direct opposition to the culture being engaged by the missionary/church planter.

Thursday, January 20, 2011


if you've ever done a cannon ball into a pool, you know how fun it can be, especially when the splash is great and you get folks wet...on purpose.

however, sometimes, i've splashed more people than i had originally planned. why? because when i jump in, i close my eyes and then come what may. that's good if i'm aiming to be reckless. that's not so good if i'm trying to calculate my move.

so i said something the other day that i regretted when it came out and i still regret it to this moment.

it was one of those comments that had a much larger affect than i expected it to have. rest assure that it wasn't a curse word or a poor joke. no, it was a comment that was pretty egotistical. i know, can you believe it? me? nah...

anyhow, my language made a pretty big splash, for the worst. especially to the folks that were around me whom heard me say the comment.

i know in time the splash dries off, but it takes time. same thing with the comment. but it takes different amounts of time for language to dry off of different people

all of that could have been avoided, had i controlled my tongue - James, authentic faith. DOH!

open your eyes before you jump. the splash may not be worth it

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


as the new year is getting started, i've been challenged early by my leadership to think farther and beyond. the only way that the movement of God will sustain and grow in the future will be thru:

a. the work of the Holy Spirit in the lives of His people
b. replication of the saints (at all levels)

as one who leads, the question that i'm facing most is "how many other folks am i training to lead at the same level as i, or greater?"

with that in mind, i've looked in the mirror and have stared at the statement "replication is intentional"

unless i replicate into others, it dies with me.

a goal for this year will be to apprentice others into leadership; intentionally.

who are you intentionally building into? how long is the process taking you?

we all need to learn together

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

He's got the whole world in His hands...

Colossians 1:17 - He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

He is the source; the starting place. And because He is, all things are. They are kept in order and in sync with everything else because He is. That is reason enough to want to know Him more deeply.


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

number your days...

may we number our days. don't miss the opportunity to love and care for those that God has placed around you.

i'm not sure why i'm always surprised at how God uses tragedy to bring his children closer to Him. yet He tells us to number our days, because one day it will end.

don't wait to love your spouse, do it today. don't wait to pray for your family, do it today. don't wait to serve your loved ones, do it today, because tomorrow is not guaranteed.

if there's one thing that's certain about life, it will one day end. don't miss your opportunity

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

major changes...

to make major changes, you have to make major changes.

specifically to those that seek to minister on behalf of Christ. as we lead where God has called us to lead, may we be striving towards having the same 'attitude of Christ'

the greatest change that needs to occur, is most often in me. in order for God to use me to make major changes, God has to work in me to make major changes.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Simple decisions...

Psalm 1:6 For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked leads to destruction.

This scripture makes most decisions pretty simple. Will it lead me towards His righteousness or towards wickedness?

Why is it then that at times we seem to prefer steps towards wickedness knowing that it openly displeases the Lord and it's end will always lead to our ruin? This is an incredible promise with great benefits that are based on our choice. Will we obey or not?

May we be drawn to paths that honor Him...He's will watch over us and our lives when we do so.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Dec 1...

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.

Why would God do that? Why would he leave everything that is perfect to come and be with us, me? why?

I don't know. It's almost as if He becomes the visitor who knocks at your door unexpectedly. You peek thru the window and you're not sure if you should open the door or not.

Have you ever been pleasantly surprised by a guest visitor?

For some reason, God came to make His dwelling among us. That's greatly in part because we could not go to Him. Again, why? Because He loves us.

This is the story of Christmas.