In little more than ten years St. Paul established the Church in four provinces of the Empire Galatia; Macedonia, Achaia and Asia... Today if a man ventures to suggest that there may be something in the methods by which St. Paul attained such wonderful results worthy of our careful attention, and perhaps of our imitation, he is in danger of being accused of REVOLUTIONARY TENDENCIES.
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
USA - Baptists Set Guidelines for Contextualization
Making the Gospel more accessible to the world's 6,500 unreached people groups - that was the goal of new guidelines adopted by trustees of the International Mission Board at their Springfield, Illinois board meeting November 6-7.
Trustees outlined five "principles of contextualization" to further the church-planting efforts of more than 5,300 Southern Baptist missionaries serving around the globe. The guidelines' purpose is to help missionaries more effectively share Christ across cultural and religious boundaries without compromising the Gospel.
"Anthropology and sociology teach us that every people group has distinctive differences in language and culture," explained Gordon Fort, IMB vice president for overseas operations.
"Contextualization allows a missionary to separate a people's traditions from our doctrinal foundations and apply an appropriate trellis that shapes the new church in its most indigenous form. This allows new believers to grow within a cultural framework that is true to biblical foundations. It helps us avoid building rectangular buildings for people who live in round huts."
Noting that the guidelines are already practiced by Southern Baptist missionaries, IMB President Jerry Rankin affirmed the trustees' action.
The full text of the principles of contextualization adopted by the board of trustees, including footnotes is availablehere.