Module Four Overview
While contextualization is central to communicating the gospel, it is often ignored—often to our own peril! When we become aware of the process and pitfalls of this important task, however, we will be better equipped to consider the effects of culture on proclaiming the unchanging truths of Scripture. In this module you will craft a definition of contextualization. You will then post that on a discussion board where students will comment on each others definitions. Finally you will attempt biblical applications from Mt. 28:16-20. Begin this unit by completing this reading. Then, work through the other readings, lectures and assignments in the order that they appear on the course map.
The goal of the exegetical process is not only to explain the meaning of the text in its original literary, historical, and theological contexts but to demonstrate how those ancient truths apply to the contemporary reader. The method of writing applications is, however, not haphazard. Rather, it requires careful consideration of multiple factors.
Ott, Craig and Stephen J. Strauss. Encountering Theology of Mission: Biblical Foundations, Historical Developments, and Contemporary Issues (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2010), pp. 265-91.
As you read, consider the following:
What is contextualization and why is it necessary?
Explain how culture and context overlap.
Compare contextualization examples from the OT and NT. Why do they differ?
What is syncretism and how can it be avoided?
Describe the role that the context of the reader has on how the biblical text is interpreted.
What areas of context need to be “touched” by contextualization and what are the possible responses of culture?
Describe the benefits for promoting global theology.
In addition to the assigned readings, be sure to watch the following lecture videos online:
Session 20 (Links to an external site.): Definition and Goals of Contextualizationhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CQTC_TXkOPU
Session 21 (Links to an external site.): Definition of Contextualizationhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xhmPn0zhWRg
Assignment 4b: Discussion
For this assignment, you will engage in a discussion with your classmates on their definitions of contextualization.
1. Read Assignment 4b Grading Rubric in Materials below for an understanding of what is expected of you in this assignment.
2. In a post to the discussion below, share your working definition (not the defense) from Assignment 4a: Paper.
3. Read the definitions posted by your classmates and consider how they are presented.
4. Post a substantial comment or question for one of the definitions to the discussion below. Each student post should have at least one comment, so be sure to first select one which has not received comments.
Example from another student’s definition: “Contextualization is the process of communication of the eternal Gospel truth of Scripture from one cultural context to another in a meaningful, faithful manner. It is a holistic process that involves the translation of the verbal and non-verbal meaning of Christianity to another context with the express rhetorical purpose of provoking a life-changing response to the Gospel.”
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