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.