Missional Journal Vol. 3 No. 5 – Through a Glass Darkly

What’s your take on theology and culture? Do you agree that “we are all perspectivalists”? How should that impact the way we relate to one another?

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One Response to Missional Journal Vol. 3 No. 5 – Through a Glass Darkly

  1. Joel says:

    Dave, I think you are very much “on” here. Two comments from a missionary’s perspective.

    I heard an excellant message by a biship (can’t recall his name right off) of the evangelical church in Africa (was a presentation at the most recent Urbana conference) calling the West to recognize that we (the western church) need the church in Africa just as much as the church in Africa needs the Western church. His point was well made and I remember feeling a sense of “pride” that the African church needed the west; “Of course they need us, we have it right!” But I felt the sense of rebuke that it wasn’t in my thinking that we need the African church. Speaks directly to your point and for sure we have much to learn from this other culture(s) and the powerful things they can teach in the West.

    Secondly, as I see the impact of the Western church on other cultures, I am saddened to see so much Western “form” and the indigenous cultural (rich as it is) excluded from the thinking and practice of the planted church. A few silly examples are the need for things like choir robes, powerpoint presentations, sound systems, western music, buildings to meet in, etc… I am not making judgement of these “forms” desired by the western church to meet and worship “effectively”, but rather want to point out how silly they are in many other cultural settings where they just don’t make any sense. Nonetheless, the western missionary has transported these “forms of church/worship” and totally missed and shut down the indigenous values of expression, etc… Your point in reverse.

    Keep up the good challenge to us in the West!

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