A while back, I wrote about Gospel Contextualization as part of the Live Sent series. Today I came across a post on Ed Stetzer’s blog that I thought might be helpful in explaining another aspect of what contextualization means in relation to the gospel.
Ed Stetzer’s primary role is Vice President of Research and Ministry Development for LifeWay Christian Resources. He is Visiting Professor of Research and Missiology at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Visiting Research Professor at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, and has taught at fifteen other colleges and seminaries. He also serves on the Church Services Team at the International Mission Board.
Here’s an excerpt from his latest post on Gospel Contextualization:
“How can they hear?” might be the most appropriate question related to contextualizing gospel communication. Those who would respond to the gospel must have some basic understanding of what they are being asked to consider. Understanding something of the environment in which the original action took place and how the gospel impacts the conditions of their own setting is essential for a person to respond to the gospel message. It is not what the gospel means to them, but what the gospel means for them, as it is the objective, real work of the Son of God. This is something that Paul understood clearly. When the Apostle stated his willingness to become “like” a Gentile, express weakness or much more, the purpose was so that his hearers could grasp the implications of the gospel where and “when” they were.
You can (and should) read the rest of what Stetzer has to say on The LifeWay Research Blog.