“When you have a hammer in your hands, all you see are nails.”That’s certainly how I’ve been feeling with this book in my hands.
Paul Hiebert is quoted in the book, “The Shaping of Things to Come” with some brilliant insights into critical contextualization.
Frost and Hirsch, the authors share Hiebert’s thoughts (pp. 89):
A missional church ought to be filled with students of the Word of God. He [Hiebert] says: “This step is crucial, for if the people do not clearly grasp the biblical message as originally intended, they will have a distorted view of the gospel. This is where the pastor or missionary…has the most to offer in an understanding of biblical truth and making it known in other cultures. While the people must be involved in the study of Scripture so that they grow in their own abilities to discern truth, the leader must have the meat-cultural grids that enable him or her to move between cultures.”….
”(The gospel) is a me to which people must respond…It is not enough that the leaders be convinced about changes that may be needed. Leaders may share their personal convictions and point out the consequences of various decisions, but they must allow the people to make the final decisions in evaluating their past customs.”
He[Hiebert]wants leaders to trust the congregation, something that clergy have been notoriously poor at doing in the past. If the process is guided effectively, he suggests a number of ways a congregation might respond to old beliefs and customs. Continue reading