Thursday, September 09, 2010


Much has been said, as of late, regarding the subject of contextualization.  The problem with much of the discussion is that almost everyone has their version or defintion of what the term means.  David Sills, in his new book "Reaching and Teaching" has devoted an entire chapter to this topic; and, in my opinion, is the most balanced and fair treatment of the topic.  Although his book and his discussion are concerning foreign missions, much of it is transferable to church life here in the states.  The chapter entitled "Critical Contextualization" is relevant for any discussion on contextualization regardless of the culture. 

In this chapter, on page 199, he makes statement that not only sums up the entire chapter; but sums up what the entire discussion on contextualization should be centered upon.  It is this, "The goal of contexualization is to be culturally relevant and faithful to God's word."  He also gives many good examples of contextualiztion and shows how we all do it. 

A very good read, and I think that those interested in church planting should also read this book.  As I mentioned earlier, even though this book addresses foreign missions, much of what is said is transferable to church planting and evangelism here in the states.  I could not help but see the similarities, and there is much in this book that is both challenging and affirming.

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