The Gospel is Transcultural

The Gospel is transcultural and in a sense, hyper-cultural, or above all cultural interpretations, judging them all. The Gospel is identical in every culture into which it comes and has no cultus as a referent which is not subordinate. As such there is no “Chinese Gospel” and a “European Gospel” an American Gospel and an African Gospel. There is exactly one Bible, one Gospel, one Christ and one Church, and these have no shift nor can they be, contextualized. These rather, are the context for every other thing that claims to be, Christianity.

In this, the ordained practice of the Church, prayer and praise, sacraments and worship, preaching and teaching, singing and believing, are identical in every true church. For them to differ does not mean that a church has a different cultural context, it implies that some church has a misunderstanding. Difference in the carpet color and the style of the architecture are the effects of applied human reason; it is hard for them to be “wrong” in the significant sense.

But differences in theology raise the necessity of someone being wrong. In the laws of God, the Gospel and the signs of a true church (the right preaching, right administration of the sacraments and the exercise of church discipline) these are either in accord with the divine mandate, or not. It matters not upon which continent they occur.

Taken from Christopher Neiswonger’s Facebook post, which can be found here.

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “The Gospel is Transcultural

  1. Probably Christopher Neiswonger is not saying that every church needs to have the same music and form of worship when he writes:

    In this, the ordained practice of the Church, prayer and praise, sacraments and worship, preaching and teaching, singing and believing, are identical in every true church. For them to differ does not mean that a church has a different cultural context, it implies that some church has a misunderstanding.

    If he is, he’s going beyond Scripture. The liturgy of the church (which includes format, singing or no singing, etc) is not specifically defined, though there are outlines in the New Testament. He is right though that all ways of worship are not equal. (And some much less so.)

    Having said that, he is exactly right that the gospel cannot be contextualized. This cannot be emphasized enough!!!

    Thanks for this thought provoking quote, Timothy. 🙂

    Like

    1. Bernard

      Totally right – the but is of course it is cultural in the sense of language – this teaching is in English and quite often it can seem the gospel is above culture but the marker is our understanding of the gospel which is set in our own culture

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s