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One Savior: Many Cultures. SBTS Collegiate Conference February 21, 2009 Dr. David Sills www.reachingandteaching.org. One Savior: Many Cultures. The Biblical Mandate and Model Understanding the Cultural Realities Communicating the Only Savior. One Savior: Many Cultures.

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Sbts collegiate conference february 21 2009 dr david sills www reachingandteaching org

One Savior: Many Cultures

SBTS Collegiate Conference

February 21, 2009

Dr. David Sills

www.reachingandteaching.org


Sbts collegiate conference february 21 2009 dr david sills reachingandteaching

One Savior: Many Cultures

  • The Biblical Mandate and Model

  • Understanding the Cultural Realities

  • Communicating the Only Savior


Sbts collegiate conference february 21 2009 dr david sills reachingandteaching

One Savior: Many Cultures

The Biblical Mandate:

  • The Jerusalem Council: To ALL people

  • The Great Commission and panta ta ethne

  • The disciples stuck to the ultimate direction Christ had given them, despite persecution and circumstances.

  • The importance of declaring the Word of God to faithfully work toward biblical churches around the world.


Sbts collegiate conference february 21 2009 dr david sills reachingandteaching

One Savior: Many Cultures

The Biblical Mandate: Examples in Acts

  • First to the Jews: Acts 1-5

    • The initial struggle to understand the inclusive and transcultural dimensions of the gospel

  • Stephen and the Hellenists: Acts 6-15

    • “The gospel moves incrementally from a singularly Jewish to a multicultural sphere of influence” (Fleming)

    • There is a consistent movement in the advancement of the gospel among the Gentiles


Sbts collegiate conference february 21 2009 dr david sills reachingandteaching

One Savior: Many Cultures

  • The Biblical Mandate: Examples in Acts

  • A Tale of Two Conversions:

    • Cornelius: The beginning of a “bridge group” for the progress of the gospel into the Gentile arena

    • Peter: A theological and cultural conversion

  • Overcoming Barriers of Exclusion; lessons from Cornelius:

    • Soteriological Barriers: Jewish Council

    • Social Barrier: Peter’s vision


Sbts collegiate conference february 21 2009 dr david sills reachingandteaching

One Savior: Many Cultures

Defining the Cultural Realities:

  • Culture: The common beliefs, behaviors, values, norms, and rules of the game for life held by a group of individuals

  • Worldview: The lens through which an individual views the world, answers ultimate questions of reality, and processes information and experiences.


Sbts collegiate conference february 21 2009 dr david sills reachingandteaching

One Savior: Many Cultures

Defining the Cultural Realities:

  • Contextualization: Adapting the forms of Christianity to the cultural settings of the world in ways that are faithful to God’s Word, but are culturally appropriate for the target people.

  • People Group: The identification of a people based upon their common culture, language, values, and self-identification rather than geographical boundaries or mere racial identification.


Sbts collegiate conference february 21 2009 dr david sills reachingandteaching

One Savior: Many Cultures

  • Defining the Cultural Realities

    • Ethnocentrism- the degree to which individuals judge other cultures as inferior to their own

    • Ethnocentrism is often the result of a narrow understanding of another’s culture or worldview and results in a lack of contextualization among other people groups.


Sbts collegiate conference february 21 2009 dr david sills reachingandteaching

One Savior: Many Cultures

Who is an “American”?


Sbts collegiate conference february 21 2009 dr david sills reachingandteaching

One Savior: Many Cultures

Crucial Aspects of the Cultural Realities:

  • People Groups:

    • 27,000 in the world

    • 14,000 reached since the time of Christ

    • 13,000 people groups unreached

  • If God had not given us the Bible, what would we know about Him?

    • General Revelation vs.

    • Special Revelation


Sbts collegiate conference february 21 2009 dr david sills reachingandteaching

One Savior: Many Cultures

Crucial Aspects of the Cultural Realities:

  • Every person within the 27,000 people groups know that:

    • They have a broken relationship with their creator

      • Every single culture has a religion

      • Everyone worships something

  • Yet, salvation is through Christ alone.

  • We often forget that those to whom we witness are not a blank slate.


Sbts collegiate conference february 21 2009 dr david sills reachingandteaching

One Savior: Many Cultures

Crucial Aspects of the Cultural Realities:

  • Everyone has a religion

  • With their religion comes spiritual baggage

  • We must be prepared to present the Truth of the Gospel in culturally appropriate ways.


Sbts collegiate conference february 21 2009 dr david sills reachingandteaching

One Savior: Many Cultures

Categorizing the Cultural Realities:

  • NOT to prejudge or stereotype or pigeon-hole others unfairly, But, to . . .

    • Predict behavior

    • Clarify why people do what they do

    • Avoid giving offense

    • Standardize policies

    • Perceive neatness and order

    • Search for a bridge to the Gospel


Sbts collegiate conference february 21 2009 dr david sills reachingandteaching

One Savior: Many Cultures

Cultural Realities & Lingenfelter’s Basic Values:


Sbts collegiate conference february 21 2009 dr david sills reachingandteaching

One Savior: Many Cultures

Cultural Realities & Lanier’s Hot vs. Cold Climate Cultures:


Sbts collegiate conference february 21 2009 dr david sills reachingandteaching

One Savior: Many Cultures

Addressing the Cultural Realities

  • The Church Planting Mandate

    • The desperate need for biblical ecclesiology

    • Your ecclesiology will determine your missiology

      • Discipleship

      • Training trainers

      • Biblical contextualization

      • Culturally appropriate expressions


Sbts collegiate conference february 21 2009 dr david sills reachingandteaching

One Savior: Many Cultures

Communicating the One Savior:

A Comprehensive Approach: the Quadrupal Helix

  • Theological Reflection

    • Missio Dei, Kingdom of God, incarnation

  • Cultural Analysis

    • Social, linguistic, beliefs, worldview

  • Historical Perspective

    • National, ethnic, church, mission

  • Strategy Formation

    • Methodology, priority, team, endview-Dr Gailyn Van Rheenen


Sbts collegiate conference february 21 2009 dr david sills reachingandteaching

One Savior: Many Cultures

Communicating the One Savior:

A Comprehensive Approach: the Quadrupal Helix

  • Theological Reflection

    • The exclusivity of the gospel

    • The lostness of man, regardless of the culture

    • The command to be faithful to Matthew 28: 18-20, Acts 1:8, etc.

    • The ultimate worship of the Son Revelation 7:9-10


Sbts collegiate conference february 21 2009 dr david sills reachingandteaching

One Savior: Many Cultures

Communicating the One Savior:

A Comprehensive Approach: the Quadrupal Helix

  • Cultural Analysis

    • The significance and influence of language

    • The influence of false religions

    • Cultural aspects as barriers to the Gospel

    • Cultural aspects as bridges to the Gospel


Sbts collegiate conference february 21 2009 dr david sills reachingandteaching

One Savior: Many Cultures

Communicating the One Savior:

A Comprehensive Approach: the Quadrupal Helix

  • Historical Reflection

    • The role of outsiders

    • The impact of Christians

    • The role of the church

    • The place of syncretism


Sbts collegiate conference february 21 2009 dr david sills reachingandteaching

One Savior: Many Cultures

Communicating the One Savior:

A Comprehensive Approach: the Quadrupal Helix

  • Strategy Formation

    • Evaluate the circumstances

    • Build a team

    • Develop a theological triage

    • Study the culture and language

    • Set goals

    • Love the people

    • Stay grounded in the Word

    • Pray, Pray, Pray


Sbts collegiate conference february 21 2009 dr david sills reachingandteaching

One Savior: Many Cultures

“Every statement of the gospel in words is conditioned by the culture of which those words are a part, and every style of life that claims to embody the truth of the gospel is a culturally conditioned style of life. There can never be a culture-free gospel.”

- Lesslie Newbigin, Foolishness to Greeks: The Gospel and Western culture, 1986, p.4


Sbts collegiate conference february 21 2009 dr david sills reachingandteaching

One Savior: Many Cultures

“May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face to shine upon us, Selahthat your way may be known on earth,your saving power among all nations.Let the peoples praise you, O God;let all the peoples praise you!

Let the nations be glad and sing for joy,for you judge the peoples with equityand guide the nations upon earth. SelahLet the peoples praise you, O God;

let all the peoples praise you!” -Psalm 67:1-5


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