I am part of a group of bloggers, who received a free copy of MissionShift: Global Mission Issues in the Third Millennium, edited by David Hesselgrave and Ed Stetzer, in order to participate in a discussion on Ed Stetzer’s website.
I am responding to Paul Hiebert’s Essay entitled, “The Gospel in Human Contexts: Changing Perceptions of Contextualization.” Here is the summary of his thesis provided in MissionShift.
Thesis: The purpose of this essay is to offer some discussion of the state of “Contextualization” as a critical aspect of missions, and of the changing perceptions of contextualization among missionaries and missions scholars. Any analysis of the current status of the Christian mission in the world must take social, historical, personal, and other contexts into account, and examine the relationships between the different contexts in which the people we serve live. In this sense this essay addresses the PRESENT of what has traditionally been termed “missions.”
I am not monocultural – never was and never have been. I’m multicultural by birth: I am Canadian and I am also Korean – I’m Korean-Canadian. I agree with Hiebert when he suggests that individuals like me “are aware of cultural differences and have learned to negotiate between two worlds in daily living.” However, I disagree with him when he suggests that individuals like me “often do not stop to consciously examine these contexts, how they shape their thinking, or the deep differences between them.” Perhaps I’m different in that I am always constantly wrestling with my Korean and Canadian cultural differences – perhaps this is because I believe that I am a ligament in the Body of Christ.