The Continuing Search for Relevance

Richard B. Pease

It was late August in the summer of l963. My wife and I, along with our two small children, accompanied another missionary family to our very first church service in Japan. We made our way through the narrow, incredibly crowded streets to the little Christian and Missionary Alliance church in suburban Osaka, Japan. The small congregation greeted us with bows and awkward handshakes. We slipped off our shoes and went into Pastor Oizumi’s cramped apartment, where the church met.

 We sat with our legs crossed on zabuton cushions on the tatami straw mat floor. After what seemed an eternity, the service drew to a close. With considerable difficulty we unwound our legs and stood for the benediction. Following the service, we were warmly welcomed as the new missionaries. The meal consisted of very generous portions of raw fish on rice, which we washed down with green tea. Then we bowed, shook hands, slipped back into our shoes and returned home.

 Thus began our first introduction to the intricacies of cross-cultural communication. Though we had not started language study and could not understand the message, we had recognized the hymns. Except for the offering being taken after the message, the order of worship was similar to our Alliance church back home. A few months later, the pastor moved into a single residence and the church moved as well. Now the congregation could worship more like a “real church,” seated on folding chairs instead of the floor. A pump organ was purchased and the pastor preached from a pulpit instead of from a kneeling position.

 We watched with great interest as the church wrestled with the question of how to establish a vibrant witness for Christ in a major urban area of Japan. We soon discovered that the issues the Osaka church struggled with were not unlike the questions being asked in other areas of the world. What is the culturally relevant way to preach, to plant churches, to do evangelism, to train leaders and to establish a theologically sound scriptural base for mission? Though the terminology would be popularized later, I came to share the conviction expressed by Dean Gilliland that “contextualization, biblically based and Holy Spirit-led, is a requirement for evangelical missions today.”1

 The ongoing discussions concerning contextualization are taking on an added urgency as the Church in America joins in the debate. Immigration has brought large numbers of people of other religions to our doorstep. While it is estimated that over sixty percent of the United States population of some 270 million are related to some form of a religious organization, more than thirty percent, or about 81 million, claim no religious affiliation.2 Since there are only nine other nations in the world with a total population of more than 81 million, the United States is one of the greatest mission fields in the world today. Only China, India, and Indonesia have more lost people.3

 The Alliance, like many other denominations, is experiencing significant growth in its ethnic churches. Church leaders are developing strategies at all levels to find more effective ways to evangelize unreached people groups here and overseas. Much prayer and planning are currently focused on effectively reaching major resistant blocks of people, such as the Muslim world. Contextualization must then be seen as an ongoing challenge and not just a passing fad. The fundamental issues involved are simply too important.

 David Hesselgrave and Edward Rommen state the matter succinctly in their book, Contextualization: Meanings, Methods and Models, by noting that contextualization

is more than a neologism, it is a necessity. Of course this thesis rests on certain presuppositions. First, it is imperative that the Great Commission be fulfilled and the world evangelized. Second, however world evangelism is defined, at the very least it entails an understandable hearing of the gospel. Third, if the gospel is to be understood, contextualization must be true to the complete authority and unadulterated message of the Bible on the one hand, and it must be related to the cultural, linguistic, and religious background of the respondents on the other.4

 The Apostle Paul framed the issue in First Corinthians 9:22: “I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some.” Thus, while the concept of contextualization is hardly new, the terminology is of recent vintage. Until the late l960s, the term of choice was indigenization. In the nineteenth century, two great missionary strategists, Henry Venn of the Church Missionary Society in London, and Rufus Anderson of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, developed the famous “three-self formula.”5 Early Protestant missionaries tended to fear that any use of pagan forms and symbols would lead to syncretism. As Hiebert notes, in an attempt to avoid syncretism, “Western forms were often introduced to convey Christian meanings.”6 Generally, a Western model of the Church was imposed, sometimes with little attempt to adapt it to the local culture. Not surprisingly, the result was that nationals often associated Christianity with the West.

 Anderson and Venn attempted to address the prevailing missionary methodology in their day, insisting that churches should be self-supporting, self-governing and self-propagating.7 However, times change and the Church’s response to these changes is a dynamic process.

 Daniel Sanchez has noted that the “change in focus from indigenization to contextualization is one of the most significant in contemporary missiology.” Indigenization comes from the word indigenous, which means “native to a given area.” The term contextualization is derived from the word context, which has its roots in the Latin word contextus, meaning “weaving together.” Sanchez says that contextualization may be understood then, in terms of “making concepts and methods relevant to a historical situation.” He defines missiological contextualization as “enabling the message of God’s redeeming love in Jesus Christ to become alive as it addresses the vital issues of a sociocultural context and transforms its worldview, its values, and its goals.”8

 Compared with indigenization, contextualization takes the process of cross-cultural communication of the gospel to a deeper involvement with the cultural context in missiology.9 It focuses on the importance of culture and context. As C. Gordon Olson says, it is “a strategy which takes into account the various cultures into which God’s eternal message comes and is communicated to people of diverse cultures.”10

 The 1970s are usually identified as the time when the concept of contextualization began to move onto center stage. Sanchez has noted the earlier consultations on contextualization convened in Africa, such as the 1955 conference in Ghana exploring the relationship between African culture and Christianity, followed by several other conferences.11 In Latin America, concerns about the Church and society led to discussions focusing on doing theology in context. Gustavo Guttierez wrote Theology of Liberation in 1971, followed by J. Migueuz-Bonino’s Doing Theology in a Revolutionary Situation in 1975, both illustrations of contextual theology.12 The World Council of Churches consultations in Uppsala in 1968, followed by Bossey in 1971 addressed issues in contextualization. The Lausanne movement, beginning in 1974, dealt with crucial concerns in contextualization.13

 Though the term contextualization has all but replaced the earlier concepts of indigenization, certain problems remain unresolved. One is the problem of definition. Hesselgrave has noted the lack of agreement as to the precise definition, pointing out the danger of an Alice- in-Wonderland approach which insists that “words mean what I say they mean.”14 A second issue is the array of models put forth to deal with contextualization. Van Engen describes Stephen Bevans’ six models of contextual theology: the anthropological, translation, praxis, synthetic, semiotic and transcendental.15 Van Engen then proceeds to present four major models of contextualization: communication, cultural relevance, liberation and interfaith dialogue, and suggests a fifth model, knowing God in context.16 These models illustrate the wide impact con- textualization is having on the contemporary church scene.

 The lack of precise definition and broad application make it more difficult to evaluate and critique the movement and the methodology involved. It is probably fair to say that virtually any attempt today to formulate theology and communicate the gospel cross-culturally can legitimately be described as contextualization. David Hubbard, former president of Fuller Theological Seminary, was probably correct when he wrote, “no word in the Christian lexicon is as fraught with difficulty, danger and opportunity as contextualization.”17

 A crucial issue in the search for relevance is the extent to which the context dictates our message and methodology. The Missio Dei is nothing less than God’s mission. But as Van Engen points out, “the Missio Dei happens in specific places and times in our contexts. Its content, validity, and meaning are derived from Scripture; yet its action, significance and transforming power happen in our midst.”18 Van Engen summarizes four ways that others have suggested for addressing this issue, then adds a fifth way for us to consider.

 The first linkage that Van Engen describes involves a “theology from above.” In the Roman Catholic Church and mainline Protestant denominations, this usually involves using church tradition as the link between the Bible and its mission. In this case, the church interprets Scripture and derives its missiological and evangelistic task from what it sees in Scripture. In this setting, “the extension of the institutional church and its agendas become the heart of mission.”19

 A second method in the “from above” category involves seeing the Bible as the source of the commands for mission in such passages as the Great Commission in Matthew 28:18-20. Van Engen identifies the basic problem with these approaches as not allowing the Scriptures themselves to interact with the present contexts of mission. He says in doing this, the Scriptures are “mediated, reduced, and filtered either by the agendas of the institutional church or by the guilt-based appeal of the one who expounds on the commands.” Either way, when we put church tradition or our understanding of the commands between the Scripture and the context, we “reduce the impact that Scripture can have in transforming the way we understand, exercise and evaluate our missional action.”20

 The third and fourth models are based on doing theology “from below,” where the starting point is not the Scripture, but the contextual agenda.21 This approach has characterized churches associated with the World Council of Churches since World War II. In effect, once the agenda has been determined, the search is made for “exemplary cases” in the Bible to support their position. Van Engen then moves on to critique evangelical missions, which are engaged in ministries such as church planting, development, health, education, urban ministries, etc., and seeks to legitimatize their activities by appealing to Scripture.

 While these approaches deal with contextual issues, Van Engen says that the Bible “is not allowed to critique the assumptions, motivations, or rightness of the action itself—it is used only as a justification for what has been predetermined.” He also points out that “this mission is not God’s. It belongs to the practitioners. The text is used primarily as a justification of the activity.”

 Though theology “from above” may result in irrelevance, theology “from below” carries the risk of the Church losing all sense of its prophetic role, along with being salt and light. Its desire for relevance potentially allows for the context to set the agenda. To address these problems, Van Engen advocates seeing the Bible as a “tapestry of missional themes and motifs in context.”22 This approach affirms the centrality of Scripture in missions and evangelism while acknowledging the impact of culture in communicating the message of God’s Word.

 This raises the question as to what people should do about their old cultural ways when they make the decision to become Christians. The interplay between culture and religious belief systems is enormously complex. In Chicago and Cairo, New York and New Delhi, Tokyo and Toronto, the questions that missionaries, pastors and those engaging in evangelism must answer are these: How does the new Christian relate his or her faith in Christ to the existing cultural beliefs and practices? Are the old ways all bad? Or are they good?

 Paul Hiebert identifies three approaches to dealing with these questions. Hiebert first of all discusses denial of the old ways, which he says is rejection of contextualization. This involves rejecting most of the old customs as pagan or demonic. We do live in a fallen world where Satan has invaded all the structures of society; however, wholesale rejection of the old cultural ways leads to problems. First, it leaves a cultural vacuum that needs to be filled, and this is often done by incorporating the customs of the missionary.23 The new missionary to Japan should not be surprised at how “Western” the Church is, since that was the model the early missionaries introduced.

 A second problem in rejecting the old ways is that they merely go underground, Hiebert adds. New converts in Africa may continue to be involved in traditional celebrations, which can result in a form of Christopaganism, a blending of Christian and non-Christian practices. A third problem is that the rejection of the old ways turns the church leaders into the role of police, deciding what is right and wrong.24

 Hiebert says a second approach is to accept the old ways, or uncritical contextualization. This also is problematic because it opens the door to serious compromise and even syncretism. It overlooks the possibility of corporate and cultural sins and minimizes the change in the lives of the converts. It can ignore the need to critically examine every facet of culture under the lens of the Word of God. While the motive to respect people and culture is admirable, the call of Scripture to growth and maturity demands that our lives be measured against the standards of God’s Word.25

 Hiebert advocates a third approach, which is critical con- textualization, where “old beliefs and customs are neither rejected nor accepted without examination. They are first studied with regard to the meanings and places they have within their cultural setting and then evaluated in the light of biblical norms.” He explains that this involves the leaders teaching converts the need to deal biblically with all areas of life, studying the Scripture in relation to the question under consideration.26 These ideas have merit whether the issue is Christian young people listening to hard rock in Los Angeles, or the appropriateness of children attending Buddhist funerals in Shanghai.

 The contemporary search for relevance also involves a careful examination of the current debate over the adequacy of some of the contextualization models. Louis Luzbetak, who in 1970 authored The Church and Cultures, in later writings suggested developing contextualization models based on translation theory. Charles Kraft built upon the work of earlier writers, suggesting that the dynamic equivalence model has certain advantages over the formal correspondence model of contextualization.27 The formal correspondence view essentially involved a literal word-for-word translation. As Sanchez points out, it was based on the conviction that this was the most effective way of conveying the meaning and message of the Bible from one language to another.28

 Kraft explains the concept of dynamic equivalence in translation as follows: “The informed translator endeavors to be faithful both to the original author and message and to the intended impact that the message was to have upon the original readers.” Kraft contends that there is really “no such thing as an exact correspondence between a given word in one language and the most nearly corresponding word in another language.” To resolve that problem, the translator seeks to produce a translation that is “true to both the message of the source documents and the normal ways of expressing such a message in the receptor language. This tends to remove the impression of stiltedness and foreignness from the translation.”29

 For better or worse, the dynamic equivalence model has had broad application in contextualization, entailing church planting, evangelistic methodologies, leadership patterns and worship styles. Essentially the question is this: What does the Church look like in another cultural context? As practitioners wrestle with cross-cultural communication of the gospel, critical contextualization becomes increasingly urgent.

 Does good contextualization mean good results in ministry? Michael Pocock, a professor at Dallas Theological Seminary and president of the Evangelical Missiological Society (EMS), was quoted in an interview as saying that “one hundred percent contextualization is not going to guarantee belief.”30

 The 1997 annual meeting of EMS focused on the theme “Reaching the Resistant”; the presentations and other material were compiled into the book Reaching the Resistant: Barriers and Bridges for Mission. Some of the questions dealt with included: What is meant by resistant? Is resistance a result of the failure of God’s people or of it not being the “fullness of time”? What degree of contextualization is legitimate?31 Missiologists generally agree that resistance to the gospel is sometimes more related to the methodology of the messenger than to the message. In short, at least the partial answer to resistance and lack of response was and is more effective contextualization.

 However, the 1997 EMS meeting challenged the assembled evangelical missiologists to consider other factors in addition to good contextualization as ways of overcoming resistance. The Church Growth Movement has used the resistance/receptivity axis as refined by Edward Dayton as a way to conceptualize the task.32

 C. Peter Wagner says that the “first indicator of receptivity is where churches are already growing” and the second indicator is “where people are changing.” These changes may be political, economic, psychological or social; they may be caused by war, internal migrations, urbanization, industrialization and many other things. However, Wagner makes an important point when he says that the “nature of the change is not as significant as the change itself.”33

 The third indicator of receptivity to the gospel is that the “masses are usually more receptive than the classes.”34 In this context, the masses refer to the ordinary working people and the poor, while the classes refer to those who are reasonably well off.

 Van Engen observes that these terms, “receptive” and “resistant” have been “essentially sociological terms, descriptive of an observable phenomenon (the numerical growth of congregations), and not theological terms speaking about the spiritual state of a people group.”35 Van Engen later points out that an important missiological development that came out of the resistance/receptivity theoretical framework was the “desire for careful contextualization of the gospel in such a way that resistance could be avoided or at least lessened.”36 One assumption has been that receptivity was due, at least in part, to good contextualization; resistance was due, at least in part, to a lack of good contextualization.

 Van Engen makes what may prove to be a significant contribution to the debate over resistance/receptivity by insisting that the issue be viewed far more broadly and comprehensively than good or bad contextualization. It is important to emphasize that Van Engen does not downplay the impact contextualization can have. In commenting on the resistance of the Japanese, he makes an important point:

The insistence of the older churches in Japan on basing their theological reflection and ministry formation on German theology, coupled with their heavy use of an educational model of being a church, together with their strong avoidance of interacting theologically with issues of Shinto shrines, holy places, family theology, and the world of the unseen—all of these have, it would seem, contributed to the sense of foreignness of the older churches in Japan, as seen through the eyes of the Japanese people. Thus, at a time of profound religious searching, especially on the part of Japanese young people, the older churches in Japan seem isolated and out of touch—possibly increasing resistance rather than aiding receptivity.37

 Thus, while contextualization remains a crucial factor in effectively evangelizing Japan today, it is not the whole issue. There is more involved than fine-tuning our methodologies.

 Contextualization not only involves how we communicate the gospel, it also affects our concepts of leadership in the church. To illustrate the point, it may be helpful to compare and contrast the concept of the strong leader in the American and Japanese context. C. Peter Wagner’s definition provides a starting point: “Vital Sign Number One of a healthy, growing church is a pastor who is a possibility thinker and whose dynamic leadership has been used to catalyze the entire church into action for growth.”38 Such words conjure up a popular image. Edwin Hollander, in his book, Leadership Dynamics, says it well:

Mention the term leadership and to most people it is likely to suggest an image of action and power. Leaders of social movements, political leaders, military commanders, and corporate and union heads may readily spring to mind. They usually are highly visible and often have compelling personalities.39

 In Getting Things Done, Lyle Schaller gives the following account of a discussion between a senior pastor and his young associate. The associate pastor had been schooled in a more democratic leadership style, and was puzzled that the senior pastor was so successful, though autocratic. In the lengthy conversation, the senior pastor made two key points. He said, “You have to recognize that we have a lot of high-powered business and professional leaders here and they expect me to be the chief executive officer.” Later he says, “I am somewhat directive in my leadership approach, but I don’t apologize for that. In a big church someone has to point the way, and I’m willing to do that.”40

 Even from these limited references, some key descriptive words stand out: action, power, compelling personality, high-powered, directive, dynamic, someone who points the way. Gradually, a mental image forms. We Americans begin to think of a strong leader primarily in terms of our own conceptual mapping, which becomes highly subjective. In contrast, Akio Morita, in his book, Made in Japan, comments on Japanese management, with special focus on Sony. He speaks of such things as developing a healthy relationship with the employees, creating a family-like feeling and developing a shared sense of fate among all employees.41 Morita and other writers emphasize the fact that leadership in Japan is much more relationship-oriented as compared with the task-orientation of American leadership.

 Japanese leadership takes into account the group consciousness so highly valued by society. The uniquely Japanese manner for reaching a consensus is called nemawashi. Christopher has defined it well:

The manner in which such a consensus is achieved is known as nemawashi, or root-binding—a term taken from bonsai culture, in which, whenever a miniature tree is repotted, its roots are carefully pruned and positioned in such a way as to determine the tree’s future shape. In human context, nemawashi involves a cautious feeling-out of all the people legitimately concerned with an issue, a highly tentative process in which no firm stands are openly taken and argument is implicit rather than explicit.42

 Clearly Americans and Japanese have significant differences in leadership styles in management and business, and those differences carry over into the Church. From the perspective of contextualization, the issue is not primarily which style is superior. The consensus-based, relationship-oriented, non-directive leadership style that predominates in much of Japanese society has much to commend itself. Likewise, the task-oriented, individualistic, more highly directive style that predominates in America has value. The point of contextualization is that when cross-cultural church planting is done and church leadership trained, it is very helpful to understand the significant points of difference in how the concept of a strong leader is expressed. The American model may not work well in other cultures.

 Similar points can be made when issues such as worship style, church architecture, youth programs and various outreach programs are discussed. The magnificent diversity that marks all of God’s creation suggests that there may be diverse, culturally conditioned ways to express our worship to Him and how we organize ourselves into communities of believers called the Church.

 The Messianic Jewish (MJ) movement represents one of the boldest attempts in recent times to contextualize. Gary Thomas, in an article in Christianity Today, recounts visiting Beth Yeshua in Philadelphia, a leading Messianic Jewish congregation, and asking a lady, “How long have you been a Christian?” “I’m not a Christian,” the woman replied indignantly. “I’m a Messianic Jew.”43 Her rejection of the label Christian is but one of the many points of controversy in the MJ movement. Thomas quotes Jamie Cowen, a rabbi of Tikvat Israel, an MJ congregation based in Virginia, as saying:

The whole thrust of Messianic Judaism is to restore the roots of the faith as a belief in Jesus as a Jewish Messiah. . . . We see our mission as being two primary things—to help Jews understand Jesus as their Messiah, and to help the Christian church understand her Jewish roots.44

 It is not difficult to understand the desire of Jewish converts to remain Jewish. Thomas notes that the founder of Jews for Jesus, Moishe Rosen, has written:

Jewish people often have aversions to Christian symbols such as the cross, the creche and depictions of Jesus. . . . At the very least those symbols puzzle Jews, who have been taught from childhood not to make images of God. At the worst, they seem to a Jewish person to verge on idolatry. . . . For these reasons, sometimes a messianic congregation can be very helpful in bridging the culture gap between Jewish and Gentile Christians.45

 The efforts within the Messianic Jewish world to contextualize their Christian faith have attracted considerable attention. It is perhaps fair to say that the questions about not using creches, crosses and pictures of Jesus as proper symbols of their faith have been answered to the satisfaction of many. They seem to fall within the range of Paul’s formula, “To the Jews I become like a Jew, to win the Jews” (1 Corinthians 9:20). The continued practice of circumcision and kosher food preparation may be more problematic if it moves in the direction of a works-based view of salvation. Arthur Glasser is probably correct in saying that Christian churches are very Gentile, and adding, “what the Messianic Jews are doing is not different from what the Chinese and German Christians are doing—working hard to contextualize a faith that supersedes all nationalistic cultures and makes sense in their own.”46

 Recent developments in approaching the Muslim world have resulted in widespread controversy over what constitutes legitimate methods of contextualization. At the heart of the issue is this question on the cover of the October, 1998 issue of the Evangelical Missions Quarterly: “Do some approaches to Muslims cross the line into syncretism?” The messianic mosque movement has similarities to the Jewish messianic movement. In much the same way as Jewish believers ask if they must abandon their “Jewishness” in order to become a Christian, Muslim believers ask if they must leave their Muslim roots to follow Jesus.

 The C1 to C6 spectrum has been developed as a practical tool for defining six types of “Christ-centered communities” (groups of believers in Christ) in the Muslim world. The six Cs are essentially a categorization for stages of contextualization within Islamic outreach and church planting. The six Cs were formulated by a man using the pseudonym John Travis, who has been a long-term missionary among Muslims in Asia.47 The six Cs may be described as:

C1—Traditional church using outsider language.

C2—Traditional church using insider language.

C3—Contextualized Christ-centered communities using insider language and religiously neutral insider cultural forms.

C4—Contextualized Christ-centered communities using insider language and biblically permissible cultural and Islamic forms.

C5—Christ-centered communities of “Messianic Muslims” who have accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior.

C6—Small Christ-centered communities of secret/underground believers.48

 Phil Parshall, himself no stranger to controversies over contextualization in the Islamic world, warns of the slippery slide toward syncretism by some who are ministering in the Muslim world. He places C4 at high contextualization, and C5 and C6 on the syncretism end of the continuum.49 In doing so, he joins a loud chorus of critics who raise questions about Muslim converts remaining in the mosque, reciting the Qu’ran and praying to Allah, while secretly embracing Christ.

 For those of us who have had ministry experience with other non-Christian religious traditions, the messianic mosque model raises profound questions. If that model is adopted, is it not possible to move a bit farther and propose messianic temples in Buddhist countries, and messianic shrines in Japan where Shinto shrines are found in virtually every neighborhood? As Parshall draws the line in the six Cs spectrum, other attempts to contextualize must be evaluated carefully lest high contextualization drift into serious compromise and even syncretism. Conversion in the Islamic world is serious business; it may be a life or death issue in some countries. However, if the message is so compromised by attempts at contextualization, we run the risk of preaching what Paul called in Galatians 1:6-7, “a different gospel,” which he then declares is “no gospel at all.”

 The urgent needs of our world demand our best efforts to communicate the unchanging gospel message. That message must be contextualized as we preach Christ to Hindus, Buddhists, secularists and Muslims, and it must be contextualized if the Church is going to reach New Agers, Generation Xers and others in the 81 million Americans who have no religious affiliation. Efforts at all levels need to be continually evaluated lest our user-friendly, seeker-sensitive approaches move from good contextualization toward compromise.

 In conclusion, Daniel Sanchez suggests eight general principles to guide the process of contextualization which are helpful.50 These eight principles are summarized as follows:

1. The Bible must be the final authority in the contextualization process. Culture and cultural items must be judged by Scripture, not Scripture by culture.

2. The supracultural elements of the gospel must be preserved in the contextualization process.

3. Local leaders need to be at the forefront in the reflection which results in contextualized theological formulations, ecclesiastical structures and evangelistic methodology.

4. Theological formulations that are developed need to be informed by previous theological reflection (e.g., dogmatic theology) and to be in dialogue with the broader Christian community to avoid heresy and syncretism.

5. Syncretism needs to be avoided in the process of local theological reflection.

6. Patience and humility need to be exercised by the broader Christian community (especially missionaries).

7. Adequate tools for an analysis of a sociocultural context need to be utilized.

8. A contextualization model that does justice both to Scripture and the sociocultural context needs to be employed.

 Finally, it must be remembered that in our search for relevance, contextualization is never an end in itself. The apostle Paul said in First Corinthians 9:22, “I have become all things to all men,” and then stated his purpose, “so that by all possible means I might save some.” Such a lofty goal demands our best efforts to contextualize.


1  Dean S. Gilliland, ed., The Word Among Us: Contextualizing Theology for Mission Today (Dallas: Word Publishing, 1989), 3.

2  Charles Chaney, “Garden or Wilderness?: The Mission to America,” in Missiology: An Introduction to the Foundations, History, and Strategies of World Religions, ed. Terry, Smith and Anderson (Nashville: Broadman and Holman, 1998), 243.

3  Ibid.

4  David J. Hesselgrave and Edward Rommen, Contextualization: Meanings, Methods, and Models (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1989), xi.

5  Jonathan Lewis, ed., World Mission: An Analysis of the World Christian Movement (Pasadena, CA: William Carey Library, 1987), 18.

6  Paul G. Hiebert, “Form and Meaning in the Contextualization of the Gospel” in Gilliland, The Word Among Us, 103.

7  Lewis, World Mission: An Analysis, 18.

8  Daniel Sanchez, “Contextualization and the Missionary Endeavor” in Missiology: An Introduction to the Foundation, History, and Strategies of World Missions, ed. Terry, Smith and Anderson (Nashville: Broadman and Holman, 1998), 318.

9  Ibid.

10  Gordon C. Olson, What in the World Is God Doing? (Cedar Knolls, NJ: Global Gospel Publishers, 1994), 317.

11  Ibid., 317.

12  Gilliland, The Word Among Us, 2.

13  Sanchez, “Contextualization and the Missionary Endeavor,” 318-327.

14  Hesselgrave and Rommen, Contextualization: Meanings, Methods, and Models, 31-35.

15  Charles Van Engen, Mission on the Way: Issues in Mission Theology (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 1996), 72-73.

16  Ibid., 73.

17  Gilliland, The Word Among Us, viii.

18  Charles Van Engen, Dean S. Gilliland and Paul Pierson, eds., The Good News of the Kingdom: Mission Theology for the Third Millennium (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 1993), 29.

19  Ibid.

20  Ibid., 29-30.

21  Ibid., 30.

22  Ibid., 30-31, 33.

23  Paul G. Hiebert, Anthropological Insights for Missionaries (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1985), 171, 184.

24  Ibid., 184-185.

25  Ibid., 186.

26  Ibid., 186-192.

27  Charles H. Kraft, Christianity in Culture: A Study in Dynamic Biblical Theologizing in Cross-Cultural Perspective (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 1979), 261-275.

28  Sanchez, “Contextualization and the Missionary Endeavor,” 330-333.

29  Kraft, Christianity in Culture, 270-271, 267.

30  Stan Guthrie, “Missiologists Take a Hard Look at Reasons for Gospel Resistance,” Occasional Bulletin of the Evangelical Missiological Society 10, 1 (Winter 1998).

31  Dudley J. Woodberry, ed., Reaching the Resistant: Barriers and Bridges for Mission (Pasadena, CA: William Carey Library, 1998), vii.

32  Peter C. Wagner, Strategies for Church Growth (Ventura, CA: Regal Books, 1987), 78.

33  Ibid., 81.

34  Ibid.

35  Charles Van Engen, “Reflecting Theologically about the Resistant,” in Reaching the Resistant: Barriers and Bridges for Mission (Pasadena, CA: William Carey Library, 1998), 33.

36  Ibid., 34.

37  Ibid., 63.

38  Peter C. Wagner, Your Church Can Grow (Ventura, CA: Regal Books, 1976), 57.

39  Fred Hollander, Leadership Dynamics: A Practical Guide to Effective Relationships (New York: Free Press, 1978), 1.

40  Lyle F. Schaller, Getting Things Done (Nashville: Abingdon, 1986), 86.

41  Akio Morita, Made in Japan (New York: E.P. Dutton, 1986), 130-131.

42  Robert C. Christopher, The Japanese Mind (London: Pan Books, 1984), 48.

43  Gary Thomas, “The Return of the Jewish Church,” Christianity Today, September 7, 1998, 63.

44  Ibid.

45  Ibid., 64.

46  Ibid., 65.

47  Phil Parshall, “Danger! New Directions in Contextualization,” Evangelical Missions Quarterly, 34, 4 (October 1998): 404-410. For further research, see the explanation of the C1-C6 spectrum and two responses in the same issue, 407-417.

48  John Travis, “The C1 to C6 Spectrum,” Evangelical Missions Quarterly, 34, 4 (October 1998): 407-408.

49  Parshall, “Danger! New Directions in Contextualization,” 4, 405.

50  Sanchez, “Contextualization and the Missionary Endeavor,” 332-333.

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©2006 by K. Neill Foster