Wednesday, December 12, 2007

An insider take on the new IMB guidelines

I thought you might be interested in these remarks about the new contextualization guidelines by the other blogging IMB trustee, Dr. Hershael York. Two things in the post cause me to commend the article to you. First, Dr. York explains the C1-C5 spectrum, which I did not on my blog post on the topic. Also, he offers the following insight on the thinking of the trustees and the meaning of the new guidelines. He notes,

These principles represent a thoughtful, prayerful, and well-reasoned response to difficult missiological issues. Our missionaries are free and even encouraged to contextualize the gospel, but not to the point where it is unrecognizable. We are not free to misrepresent ourselves and claim to be members of a religion or sect other than Christian. Our missionaries can use the normal words of a receptor language, including their word for "God," so long as they theologically pack that word with the person of God revealed in Scripture. In the same way that I would explain to a Mormon that the God they believe in is different than the God of the Bible, so our missionaries should work toward that goal, even as Paul did on the Areopagus with "theos" in Acts 17.

You can read the full blog post here:
Confessions of a Pastor: The Most Important Business at the Recent IMB Meeting

-- Todd

Postscript: I would like to add, I have come to admire Dr. York not only as a scholar, but as a man of high Christian caliber. While I do not always agree with his positions on particular issues, he is a man of integrity and a real model for young Christian leaders. Thank you Dr. York for your leadership and example.

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