Tuesday, June 24, 2014

A Gospel for a Digital Age

By Jay Haug
Special to Virtueonline
June 24, 2014

The word of God is eternal. In Isaiah’s phrase, it “stands forever.” (Isaiah 40:8) And yet history shows us time again that encounters with new cultures, philosophies and movements have caused and even forced Christians to adapt their message, in order to speak to would-be Christians. Paul at Athens in Acts 17 abandoned his normal practice of arguing from the Old Testament Scriptures that “Jesus was the Christ.” (Acts 18:28) and instead approached his audience from the perspective of their own poets and philosophers. The Greek apologists of the 2nd and 3rd centuries took up a similar task. John Wesley and George Whitfield, having been shut out of most Anglican churches, took to the coal fields of Bristol, offering Holy Communion to soot-faced coal miners at 4am, presenting a far more direct and engaging message than commonly heard in Bishop Butler’s rationalistic 18th century Church of England.

More recently, Don Richardson in his book Peace Child writes of the difficulty in presenting Jesus to head-hunting tribes who valued treachery as the highest cultural value, viewing Judas as a hero in the Christian story. Only when missionaries found the cultural connection of the “peace-child,” sacrificed to bring warring tribes together, were they able to communicate the gospel in a way their listeners could understand.

Read the full story at www.VirtueOnline.org

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