Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Missionaries must be theologians

"Missionaries must cross linguistic, cultural, and social boundaries to proclaim the gospel in new settings. They must translate and communicate the Bible in the languages of people in other cultures so that it speaks to them in the particularities of their lives. They must bridge between divine revelation and human contexts, and provide biblical answers to the confusing problems of everyday life. This process of cross-cultural communication means that missionaries, by the very nature of their task, must be theologians. Their central question is: 'What is God's Word to humans in this particular situation?'"

Paul G. Hiebert, R. Daniel Shaw, and Tite Tienou. Understanding Folk Religion. 1999:26

2 comments:

act of kindness said...

this is over thinking the entire issue of missions. The most effective missionary I have met has no training, is not a theologian , in fact he is just a man that loves the Lord and wears his heart on his sleeve. . By living out the love of Christ and supporting the local churches, putting workers into to orphanages and seniors homes he has touched the lives of thousands. This article sounds like it is written by someone who is trying to justify themselves. Pure religion that God finds acceptable is to visit the widows and Orphans in there time of kneed, and to keep yourself pure in this world. Do that, and God will take care of the rest.

Joey said...

Hi Act,

I agree with you. But in a sense we are all theologians, we may not have theological trainings but the fact that we communicate the gospel to the lost in a way that they can understand is indeed a task of a theologian.