The process of communicating the gospel cannot be isolated from the human culture from which it comes, or from that in which it is to be proclaimed. This fact constituted one of the preoccupations of the Lausanne Congress on World Evangelization in July 1974. So the Lausanne Committee's Theology and Education Group convened a consultation on this topic to meet in January 1978. It brought 33 theologians, anthropologists, linguists, missionaries and pastors together from all six continents to study "Gospel and Culture." Co-sponsored by the Lausanne Committee's Strategy Working Group, it had four goals:
"Cross-cultural messengers of the gospel have to ask themselves: 'How can I, having been born and raised in one culture, take the gospel from Scripture which was writte in other cultures, and communicate it to people in a third culture, without either distorting the message or rendering it unintelligible?' To help us to answer this question, the report contains both a moving analysis of missionary humility and a reflection on the Incarnation as a model of Christian witness."
Read the Lausanne Occasional Paper that emerged from this gathering:
The Willowbank Report on Gospel and Culture