Gospel and Cultures in the Lausanne Movement

This article appears as a chapter in Regnum Books volume ‘The Lausanne Movement: A Range of Perspectives (Oxford: Regnum Books, 2014)’, and is published here with permission. The author is writing in a personal capacity and the views do not necessarily represent those of The Lausanne Movement. Learn more about the book from Regnum.

The International Congress on World Evangelization held in Lausanne, in July 1974 was a gathering of Christians ‘committed … to the task of world evangelization … despite the diversity of [their] racial and cultural backgrounds’ and ecclesial affiliations.[365] In light of this diversity, acknowledged and celebrated at the Congress, it is not surprising that the relationship between the Gospel and human cultures should become one of the ‘seven major emphases’ of the Lausanne Covenant, the document reflecting ‘the mind and mood of the Lausanne Congress’.[366] Why and how did the issue of culture occupy such a significant place at the 1974 Congress and in the Lausanne Movement?

The purpose of this essay is to assess how the Lausanne Movement has dealt with culture, one of the perennial issues encountered by Christians in all ages and all places.[367] It will do so by examining the issue of Gospel and culture in the documents produced by the Congress held in Lausanne in 1974 and the Consultation convened in Willowbank in 1978. The Congresses of Manila (1989), and Cape Town (2010) will not be considered here because the issue of Gospel and culture was not as central for these two gatherings as it was for the 1974 Congress.[368] We will deal extensively with the 1974 Congress and the Lausanne Covenant.

Lausanne 1974[369]

Andrew Walls has observed that “Christianity began the twentieth century as a western religion, and indeed, the western religion; it ended the century as a non-western religion, on target to become progressively more so”.[370] For worldwide evangelicalism, the de-westernization of the Christian religion was perceptible at the Lausanne Congress where it was noted “with special joy that 50% of the participants, and also of the speakers and the Planning Committee, were from the Third World”.[371] In the light of the demographic composition of the Congress and the binary division of the world between mission-sending nations (the west) and mission-receiving nations (the Third World), a view held by many Christians, “culture was a major topic of thought and discussion at Lausanne”.[372] In order to clarify the nature of the discussion, we will review the contributions made by McGavran, Padilla and Kato. The ideas expressed by these three speakers at the Congress introduce the discussion of the topic and provide the context for understanding the format and the contents of Paragraph 10 of the Lausanne Covenant (Evangelism and Culture).

In his plenary paper entitled ‘The Dimensions of World Evangelization’, Donald A. McGavran, at the time Senior Professor of Missions at the School of World Mission of Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California, made several statements relative to evangelization and culture. The most significant ones are:

A pernicious notion that world evangelism is a concealed form of Eurican imperialism and will destroy the beautiful cultures of Asia, Africa and Latin America has recently been retarding world evangelism. The idea is false and must be cleared out of the way. It is not in harmony with the revealed will of God. World evangelism has nothing to do with Eurican imperialism past or present. This Congress does not believe that Eurican culture is God’s chosen culture.

According to the Bible, God has no favorites among cultures. He accepts them all.

The cultures as they stand are incredibly varied and rich. Yet every one is a mixture of good and bad components.

Evangelism redeems each culture whose adherents believe the Gospel and makes each more beautiful while it remains itself. Evangelization is the greatest benefit possible to confer on any culture. Far from destroying it, evangelization brings out its latent goodness, which Christianity, the world religion, rapidly disseminates to all men.[373]

While many Congress participants agreed with McGavran, others distanced themselves from the ideas he expressed, especially his view that ‘world evangelism has nothing to do with Eurican imperialism past or present’. For them, this statement is problematic because McGavran does not acknowledge the long and complex history of the unhappy equation of the Christian faith with the culture of the Gospel proclaimer, a history dating back to Chapter 15 of the book of Acts. Especially troubling is McGavran’s quick dismissal of the link between European and American imperialism and world evangelization. McGavran was certainly aware of the link between colonialism and mission. It is therefore surprising that he did not make this link explicit in his address. For many participants from Africa, Asia and Latin America, the continued identification of Christianity with the cultures of Europe and Europeanized societies was, indeed, a significant issue in mission and world evangelization. Padilla’s plenary paper at the Congress expressed the sentiment of those participants.

At the time of the Congress, C. René Padilla, based in Buenos Aires, Argentina, was Associate General Secretary for Latin America of the International Fellowship of Evangelical Students. In his paper entitled ‘Evangelism and the World’, Padilla warned that “we cannot fool ourselves about the actual historic situation of the church in relation to the world”, and pointed to the fact that a “form in which worldliness enters the life and mission of the church today is the adaptation of the Gospel to the ‘spirit of the times’”.[374] Padilla then provides ‘two examples’ of the church’s ‘adaptation to the “spirit of the times”’: ‘secular Christianity’ and ‘culture Christianity’. Although both forms of adaption distort the Gospel and are cultural, we will focus our attention here on ‘culture Christianity’. Padilla defines ‘culture Christianity’ as ‘the identification of Christianity with a culture or cultural expression’[375] and provides the following specific instances:

In the sixteenth century, Latin America was conquered in the name of the Catholic king and queen of Spain. The conquest was not only military but religious as well. It was concerned with implanting not merely Spanish culture, but a ‘Christian culture’ … In the nineteenth century, the Christian missionary outreach was so closely connected with European colonialism that in Africa and Asia Christianity would become identified as the white man’s religion.

Today [1974], however, there is another form of ‘culture Christianity’ that has come to dominate the world scene – ‘the American Way of Life’.

In light of the powerful influence that this type of Christianity has had in what is known as ‘the mission field’, the Gospel that is preached today in the majority of countries of the world bears the marks of ‘the American Way of Life’.[376]

One may object to Padilla’s criticisms by pointing out their un-nuanced over-generalizations. Indeed, these observations could have been more nuanced but they highlight an enduring problem that must be taken seriously in all discussions relative to the issue of Gospel and human cultures.

Contrary to McGavran’s claim, and in support of Padilla’s warnings, there are numerous examples of cultural superiority in the history of Protestant mission practice since the seventeenth century.[377] This should not be a surprise because we know “that the gospel never comes alone to a culture: it is always brought by someone who is part of some cultural form of Christianity”.[378] Gospel proclaimers may unwittingly transplant their own ‘cultural form of Christianity’ but, when they possess an acute sense of cultural superiority, they willingly promote what Ghanaian David Kpobi calls ‘cultural mission’, a situation “whereby the church seeks to transfer what is perceived as a superior culture to a people through evangelization”.[379] It is worth noting that Kpobi is describing the mission practice of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana in Northern Ghana at the end of the twentieth century. Strange as it may seem, this practice coincides with the view expressed in the message of the Imperial German Colonial Office to the Edinburgh 1910 World Missionary Conference: “The German Colonial Office recognizes with satisfaction and gratitude that the endeavours for the spread of the Gospel are followed by the blessings of civilization and culture in all countries.”[380] The reproduction of ‘cultural forms of Christianity’ is, therefore, a more general problem besetting Christians from all continents and from the various cultures of humankind. What should Gospel proclaimers do?

At the Lausanne Congress there was a recognition that Gospel proclaimers must make sure the Gospel is understood by people in their social and cultural situations and that the Christian faith should be expressed in the plurality of human cultures. McGavran proposed the following: “The true goal [of world evangelization] is to multiply, in every piece of the magnificent mosaic, truly Christian churches which fit that piece, are closely adapted to its culture, and recognized by its non-Christians as ‘our kind of show’.”[381] Byang H. Kato, based in Nairobi, Kenya, at the time and General Secretary of the Association of Evangelicals of Africa and Madagascar, took a similar approach in his paper entitled ‘The Gospel, Cultural Context and Religious Syncretism’. Kato defined ‘contextualization’ as ‘making concepts or ideals relevant in a given situation’ and affirmed that “since the Gospel message is inspired but the mode of its expression is not, contextualization of the modes of expression is not only right but necessary”.[382] But Kato was concerned about syncretism and the possibility of the Gospel being ‘compromised’. This concern may be the reason for his suggestion that:

Contextualization can take place in the area of liturgy, dress, language, church service, and any other form of expression of the Gospel truth … Not only should the message be preached in the language best understood by the congregation, but terminology of theology should be expressed the way common people can understand. But theological meanings must not be sacrificed at the altar of comprehension.[383]

Kato’s understanding of contextualization reflects the sentiment of many evangelicals who, in 1974, were cautious in adopting the relative new terminology of “contextualization”.

Taken as a whole, the ideas of McGavran, Padilla and Kato indicate the state of evangelical wrestling with contextualization at the time and shed light on the contents, emphasis and formulation of Paragraph 10 of the Lausanne Covenant. They also explain why, in his commentary on the covenant, John Stott states that Paragraph 10 (‘Evangelism and Culture’ and paragraph eleven ‘Education and Leadership’) ‘handle two related subjects, culture and leadership’. “Both,” he writes, “have to do with churches which come into being as the fruit of missionary labour.”[384]

Regarding the issue of the relationship between the Gospel and human cultures, treated specifically in Paragraph 10,[385] one can make several observations. First, the interest in Gospel and culture seems to focus on “the development of strategies for world evangelization” and on “imaginative pioneering methods”. Secondly, such strategies and methods will produce “churches deeply rooted in Christ and closely related to their culture”. Thirdly, Paragraph 10 is clear that “culture must always be tested and judged by Scripture”. Fourthly, there is acknowledgement that “the Gospel does not presuppose the superiority of any culture to another”. Fifthly, there is recognition that “missions have all too frequently exported with the Gospel an alien culture, and churches have sometimes been in bondage to culture rather than to Scripture”. Sixthly, Paragraph 10 calls “Christ’s evangelists” to “humbly seek to empty themselves of all but their personal authenticity in order to become the servants of others”, but falls short of issuing a call for lament, confession and repentance. The absence of a call for lament and confession was noted by some participants, especially so by those who formed an Ad Hoc Group, during the Congress.

The Ad Hoc Group gave itself the task of probing the ‘Theology Implications of Radical Discipleship’. It produced a statement dealing with numerous issues and containing a list of confessions. The following two confessions deal with the issue of Gospel and culture: We confess that “We have often been in bondage to a particular culture and sought to spread it in the name of Jesus”; that “We have not been aware of when we have debased and distorted the Gospel by acceptance of a contrary value system”.[386] While the Lausanne Covenant did not include a statement of confession on matters pertaining to Gospel and culture, confession appeared elsewhere in the document. In Paragraph 7, ‘Co-operation in evangelism’, one reads: “We confess that our testimony has sometimes been marred by sinful individualism and needless duplication.” Perhaps one should not speculate on the reasons for the difference between Paragraphs 7 and 10 (confession in one but not the other), but the difference is striking.

Now, forty years after Lausanne 1974, what should be the overall assessment of its treatment of the relationship between the Gospel and human cultures? I offer a threefold assessment. In the first place, the focus on strategy was too narrow, and this limited the impact of the work done in the Lausanne Movement. Secondly, Lausanne 1974 did not sufficiently extend the discussion on Gospel and culture to all aspects of Christian life, including theology, as the deliberate choice of the word evangelization would have encouraged. Bishop Jack Dain, Executive Chairman of the Congress, explained this choice by affirming that “Lausanne is a Congress on evangelization, not a Congress on evangelism”, because “we not only need to think of evangelism, that is, the proclamation of the Gospel, but the whole task given to us by the risen Christ. This, I think, is more aptly called evangelization”.[387] Thirdly, Lausanne 1974 did not concern itself with matters related to the definition of culture. This is not surprising because “many [Congress participants] were introduced for the first time at Lausanne to the problems raised by culture”.[388] In the years following the Congress, the Lausanne Movement would devote time and energy to aspects of this threefold assessment. An example of this is the international consultation on Gospel and Culture convened in Willowbank, Bermuda, in January 1978.

Willowbank 1978

The Willowbank 1978 international consultation on Gospel and Culture was the second of six consultations sponsored by the Lausanne Theology and Education Group between 1977 and 1982.[389] The Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization established the Lausanne Theology and Education Group ‘to promote theological reflection on issues related to world evangelization and, in particular, to explore the implications of the Lausanne Covenant”.[390]

Paragraph 10 of the Covenant, as we have noted above, raised issues needing further exploration. The exploration of these issues was the task given to those assembled at Willowbank for an international consultation on Gospel and Culture. The work of the consultation resulted in the publication of the book containing the papers presented at the event, Gospel and Culture, edited by John Stott and Robert Coote (Pasadena, CA: William Carey Library, 1979) as well as the Willowbank Report – Consultation on Gospel and Culture (Lausanne Occasional Paper 2).

The consultation set four goals. These goals established the framework of the consultation and, ultimately, the drafting of the results were communicated to the public. For the purposes of this essay, I will note only one of the goals: “To develop our understanding of the interrelation of the gospel and culture with special reference to God’s revelation, to our interpretation and communication of it, and to the response of the hearers in their conversion, their churches and their lifestyle.”[391] Were this and the other three goals reached at the consultation? This question can be answered only after a careful and complete analysis of the Willowbank Report, a task beyond the scope of this investigation. In my opinion, Willowbank 1978 has made significant contributions to an evangelical understanding of the relationship between the Gospel and culture in at least three areas: the definition of culture, the emphasis on humility on the part of messengers of the Gospel, and a clear statement on the nature and content of the Gospel. I will make observations on the first and the third.

The definition of culture is found in Section 2 of the Willowbank Report. After acknowledging that “culture is a term which is not easily susceptible of definition”, the Report states: “In the broadest sense, it means simply a patterned way in which people do things together.” This is closely related to Paul Hiebert’s definition of culture as “the more or less integrated systems of behavior and products shared by a group of people who organize and regulate what they think, feel, and do”.[392] This section of the Willowbank Report also recognizes the plurality of cultures. “Cultures,” we read, “are never static; there is a continuous process of change.”[393] This definition of culture offered hope for the possibility of an open and fruitful discussion among evangelicals worldwide.

In Section 5, the Willowbank Report considers ‘The Content and Communication of the Gospel’. Although there is no definition of the Gospel, stated explicitly as such, the following statement can be taken as defining the Gospel: “The Gospel is to be found in the Bible. In fact, there is a sense in which the whole Bible is Gospel, from Genesis to Revelation.”[394] This understanding of the Gospel is accepted today by evangelicals across the spectrum of evangelicalism, from Padilla to Hesselgrave.[395]

John Stott provides this very helpful summary of the contributions of Willowbank 1978. According to him, the Willowbank Report

considers [culture’s] influence in six areas – in the writers and the readers of the Bible (since they and we are both culturally conditioned), in the preaching and the receiving of the gospel (contextualization and conversion), in the formation of the church and in ethical behavior.[396]

In many ways Willowbank 1978 represents a high-water mark in the Lausanne Movement in matters pertaining to the relationship between the Gospel and human cultures. It probed the issue with greater depth and it provided the stimulus for further work in this area. It was at this consultation that contextualization acquired greater acceptance in evangelical circles. Overall, though the Willowbank Consultation acknowledged “cultural diversity and the development of a culturally pluriform Church”,[397] it did not deal with the full ramifications of this diversity. In the years following Willowbank, in evangelicalism and in the Lausanne Movement, the implications of cultural diversity in Christianity were captured in one word: contextualization.

Gospel and Culture in the Lausanne Movement since Willowbank

The Consultation on Gospel and Culture appeared to have created an evangelical consensus regarding the vision of contextualization, a vision whereby “Jesus Christ and his kingdom will find fuller expression in the whole life of people in every culture”.[398] Perhaps this is the reason why, in the 1970s and 80s, evangelicals devoted significant energy and resources to the issue of contextualization. The numerous publications on the topic, in these decades, attest to evangelicals’ engagement with contextualization. A sampling of these publications is provided in the bibliography below.

In January 1978, soon after the Willowbank Consultation, the journal Gospel in Context was launched. In the Premiere Issue the publisher stated the purpose of the new journal in these words:

Gospel in Context will be about ‘contextualization’, the challenges presented by the new awareness of the Church’s inevitable incarnation in particular societies and cultures for a faithful proclamation and demonstration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It will focus on the critical problem of how the Church can avoid the kind of captivity to particular cultures or class interests which blunts its faithfulness as a messenger of the Gospel while allowing the Gospel to speak meaningfully within particular contexts.[399]

For a brief period, before it ceased publication abruptly, Gospel in Context generated a healthy conversation on Gospel and culture among evangelicals. In addition to this journal, articles on contextualization appeared in other evangelical periodicals. Books dealing with contextualization, or Gospel and culture, were published. As the literary output on these related topics increased, evangelical consensus, if it existed, decreased. For evangelicals in the United States, the 1979 publication of Charles H. Kraft’s Christianity in Culture: A Study in Dynamic Biblical Theologizing in Cross-Cultural Perspective brought to light significant differences among evangelicals.

Evangelicals could agree, in principle, that “historically the Church has taken certain peculiarities from the national and racial traits of those who have composed it”.[400] They were less unified on the possibility of extending the influence of “national and racial traits” to theology. Kraft’s book suggested the latter and it was met with sharp criticism, in print and in conversations. Some authors portrayed Kraft as an advocate of continuity between the Gospel and culture, a view incompatible with evangelicalism in their judgement. Edward N. Gross, for example, wondered if Kraft could still be considered an evangelical since “he, evidently, does not appreciate the irreconcilable differences between Christianity and anthropology”.[401] Carl F. H. Henry is another evangelical who expressed strong disagreement with Kraft. In his 1980 review article of Kraft’s book, with the title ‘The Cultural Relativizing of Revelation’, Henry understood Kraft to suggest the ‘normativity of anthropology’. According to Henry, Kraft’s view is incompatible with ‘Judeo-Christian revelation’. Henry warns that “the normativity of biblical theology cannot survive alongside the normativity of anthropology”.[402] In their criticisms of Kraft’s book, Gross and Henry seem to favour the view of radical incompatibility or discontinuity between the Gospel and culture.

Other evangelicals joined Gross and Henry. One example will suffice. In 1988 Culture and Biblical Hermeneutics, by William J. Larkin, was published. It was not a direct reply to Kraft but, in this book, Larkin dismisses the idea of accommodation to culture. For him, “the Bible as divine revelation has its source a priori outside any given culture”.[403] In one of his statements, Larkin disagrees with the idea of the cultural conditioning of the Bible. He writes: “if the message is applicable to all cultures, the language in which it was revealed must not have cultural conditionedness as its basic characteristic.”[404]

On the issue of Gospel and culture, Kraft, Gross, Henry and Larkin, evangelicals from the United States, have articulated, as we have seen, viewpoints reminiscent of those attributed to Clement of Alexandria: continuity (Kraft), and Tertullian of Carthage: discontinuity (Gross, Henry, Larkin). One can find a similar pattern among evangelicals of other continents. Though the words continuity and discontinuity are convenient labels, they imply rigidity, and individuals seldom use either one of them to describe their own position. This raises the question: Is there a correct evangelical view of relating the Gospel to human cultures? Attempts to answer that question once and for all may be futile. Given the complexity of the issue, evangelicals should reconcile themselves to the fact that “there is no single correct way to relate to a given culture as a whole, or even to its dominant thrust”.[405] Evangelicals have much work to do before they are comfortable with the ambiguity entailed in this suggestion. Many evangelicals seek a clear and definite evangelical position in matters related to Gospel and culture. The debate over contextualization provides an additional illustration.

Evangelicals have recognized the importance of contextualization since the Lausanne Congress. They probed it further at the Willowbank Consultation and in subsequent years. On the topic of contextualization, evangelical positions represent a spectrum similar to the one observed above regarding the relationship between the Gospel and culture.

The word contextualization caused uneasiness for evangelicals, in part, because of its perceived link to theological liberalism. In 1999 David Hesselgrave stated that “in the early 1970s liberals coined the word ‘contextualization’ and infused it with a meaning that detracted from biblical theology and mission. In response, conservatives adopted the word but redefined it to agree with Scripture and enhance mission”.[406] Hesselgrave’s statement alludes to the fact that the word contextualization originated in the work of the Theological Education Fund (TEF), an organization established in 1958 by the International Missionary Council. The Theological Education Fund adopted the word contextualization as its focus for the years 1970 to 1977, the so-called Third Mandate. But, did the TEF “infuse it with a meaning that detracted from biblical theology and mission”? Not everyone would agree with Hesselgrave. After all, as Christine Lienemann-Perrin writes,

The TEF is … credited with having pioneered the promotion of what came to be known as ‘contextualization’ – the embodiment of the Gospel in different socio-economic-cultural situations, as a means of releasing its transforming, liberating and reconciling power … But it would be more accurate to say that the TEF gave a name to a dynamic process which was there in the first place, and joined forces with this process.[407]

Evangelicals were familiar with the history of the Theological Education Fund. They did agree with the need for ‘the embodiment of the Gospel’ but some wondered if a new word was required to describe that process. Some evangelicals, such as Bruce Fleming, preferred the word indigenization and suggested it as the evangelical alternative to contextualization. According to Fleming, “properly speaking, evangelicals do not, and should not, contextualize the gospel. The indigenizing, or more properly, the context-indigenizing of the gospel, should be the method of evangelical work”.[408]

Fleming’s suggestion did not gain wide acceptance. Most evangelicals in the Lausanne Movement chose to use the word contextualization. In 1997 Bryant Myers noted that “contextualization is accepted dogma now. Studying local culture and language is important so we can answer the question, ‘How can we best present the gospel in this place or to this people?’”.[409] For Myers, and for many evangelicals, contextualization is useful as a method and a strategy.[410] In June 1997, fifty-two evangelical missiologists, theologians and mission practitioners met in Haslev, Denmark, to assess the progress made by evangelicals in the area of contextualization since Willowbank 1978. They expressed “disappointment” and “penitence” over evangelical preoccupation with method and they made a plea to evangelicals to “seek … a deeper understanding of contextualization by moving from contextualization as a method towards it as a way of life and a way of being more fully human”.[411] In my opinion, the assessment made in 1997 is still valid today: evangelicals have much work to do before they reach a comfortable consensus on the implications of contextualization in discipleship. Ultimately, contextualization fosters the development of Christian faith with many cultural centres. Accepting the “polycentric nature of Christianity” may cause uneasiness for some people, “nevertheless returning to a Christianity with only one cultural centre is now an impossibility”.[412] The Lausanne Movement seems to be moving forward in this direction.

The Cape Town Commitment captures the current sentiment in the Lausanne Movement in these words: “We long to see the gospel embodied and embedded in all cultures, redeeming them from within so that they may display the glory of God and the radiant fullness of Christ”.[413] This shows the significance of the Lausanne Movement as a major contributor to global evangelical conversations on the issue of Gospel and culture. This issue has not been as central in Lausanne II (Manila 1989) or Lausanne III (Cape Town 2010) as it was in Lausanne I (1974) but the Movement has continued to build on the foundations established in 1974 and 1978.

[365]‘The Lausanne Covenant, with an exposition and commentary’ in Making Christ Known: Historic Mission Documents from the Lausanne Movement, 1974-1989, John Stott (ed) (Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing House, 1996), 5, 7. Unless noted otherwise, quotations of documents of the Lausanne Movement of this period will be from the volume indicated above.

[366]‘An Historical Introduction’ and ‘Preface to the Commentary’ in Making Christ Known, xv, 5.

[367] The nature and focus of this essay should be understood within the broader context of evangelical discussions of issues related to Christian mission and human cultures. Given its limited scope, no attempt is made to provide either the overall history of the discussions or the nuances of the various positions taken by evangelicals. For succinct treatments of these, one can read the following two chapters in Appropriate Christianity, Charles H. Kraft (ed) (Pasadena, CA: William Carey Library, 2005); Charles H. Kraft, ‘The Development of Contextualization Theory in Euroamerican Missiology’, 15-34; and Wilbert R. Shenk, ‘The Missionary Encounter with Culture since the Seventeenth Century’, 35-48. Eugene L. Smith’s Mandate for Mission (New York: Friendship Press, 1968) deserves special mention. According to Smith (73ff), four areas of compromise have plagued the church-in-mission throughout the ages: compromise with the state, with culture, with disunity in the church, and with money.

[368] This essay is written by one who has been a participant in all three Lausanne Congresses and in the following consultations: Gospel and Culture, Willowbank, Bermuda, 1978; Simple Lifestyle, High Leigh, England, 1980; Consultation on World Evangelization, Pattaya, Thailand, 1980; and Evangelism and Social Responsibility, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1982.

[369] The reader will note the unusual length of the citations from the documents of the Lausanne Congress. This has been deemed necessary for the purposes of introducing a new generation to the voice and concerns of the speakers.

[370] Andrew F. Walls, The Cross-Cultural Process in Christian History (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, and Edinburgh, UK: T. & T. Clark, 2002), 64. Italics in the original.

[371]‘Introduction to the Covenant’ in Making Christ Known, 7. I have kept ‘Third World’ for that part of the world that is now commonly referred to as ‘Majority World’ or ‘Two Thirds World’.

[372]‘The Lausanne Covenant’, Making Christ Known, 40.

[373] Donald A. McGavran, ‘The Dimensions of World Evangelization’ in Let the Earth Hear His Voice: International Congress on World Evangelization, Lausanne, Switzerland, J. D. Douglas (ed) (Minneapolis, MN: World Wide Publications, 1975) 96, 97. Italics in the original. ‘Eurican’ is the adjective deriving from ‘Eurica’ meaning Europe and America, one of McGavran’s neologisms.

[374] René Padilla, ‘Evangelism and the World’ in Let the Earth Hear his Voice, 123.

[375] René Padilla, ‘Evangelism and the World’ in Let the Earth Hear His Voice, 125.

[376] René Padilla, ‘Evangelism and the World’ in Let the Earth Hear His Voice, 125.

[377] In an essay of this size and nature, it is impossible to take into account the vast and varied literature on colonialism and evangelization and mission. A few titles will suffice: T. O. Beidelman, Colonial Evangelism: A Socio-Historical Study of an East Africa Mission at the Grassroots (Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 1982); Orishatukeh Faduma, ‘Success and Drawbacks to Missionary Work in Africa’ in Africa and the American Negro: Addresses and Proceedings of the Congress on Africa, Atlanta, 1895, J. W. E. Bowen (ed) (Atlanta, GA: Gammon Theological Seminary, 1896), 125-136; Ajith Fernando, ‘Evangelism – An Extension of Colonialism?’ in World Evangelization, No. 35 (June 1984), 1-3; Richard V. Pierard, ‘The World Missionary Conference, Edinburgh, 1910: Its Shortcomings and Historical Significance’ in Missiongeschichte als Geschichte der Globalisierung von Wissen, Ulrich van der Heyden and Andreas Feldtkeller (eds), (Stuttgart, Germany: Franz Steiner Verlag, 2012), 299-306; Bernard Salvaing, Les missionnaires à la rencontre de l’Afrique au XIXe siècle (Paris, France: Editions l’Harmattan, 1994).

[378] Robert J. Schreiter, ‘Faith and Cultures: Challenges to a World Church’ Theological Studies, 50 (1989), 745.

[379] David Kpobi, ‘The PCG, a Church in Mission in the 21st Century: Renewal and Reformation’ in Akrofi-Christaller Centre News, No. 25 (July-Dec 1999), 11.

[380] W. H. T. Gairdner, ‘Edinburgh 1910’: An Account and Interpretation of the World Missionary Conference (Edinburgh and London: Oliphant, Anderson and Ferrier, 1910), 45.

[381] Donald A. McGavran, ‘The Dimensions of World Evangelization’, 101. Italics in the original.

[382] Byang H. Kato, ‘The Gospel, Cultural Context and Religious Syncretism’ in Let the Earth Hear his Voice, 1217.

[383] Byang H. Kato, ibid.

[384] John Stott ‘The Lausanne Covenant’ in Making Christ Known, 40.

[385] Paragraph 10 can be found on 39 of Making Christ Known.

[386]‘Theology Implications of Radical Discipleship’ in Let the Earth Hear His Voice, 1295. It is noteworthy that the report of the Ad Hoc Group was included in the official volume of the Congress proceedings. This illustrates one of the remarkable characteristics of the Lausanne Movement from the very beginning: a genuine desire to foster mutual understanding and co-operation among Evangelicals.

[387]The Whole Gospel for the Whole Church: Story of Lausanne II Congress on World Evangelization, Manila 1989, Alan Nichols (ed) (Charlotte, NC: LCWE, and Ventura, CA: Regal Books, 1989), 16.

[388] John Stott, ‘An Historical Introduction’ in Making Christ Known, xv.

[389] Although the Willowbank Consultation was convened by the Lausanne Theology and Education Group (LTEG), it was co-sponsored by the Strategy Working Group (SWG).

[390] John Stott ‘An Historical Introduction’ in Making Christ Known, xvi.

[391]‘The Willowbank Report on Gospel and Culture’ in Making Christ Known, 77.

[392] Paul G. Hiebert Anthropological Insights for Missionaries (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1985), 30.

[393]‘The Willowbank Report on Gospel and Culture’ in Making Christ Known, 78, 79.

[394]‘The Willowbank Report’ in Making Christ Known, 86.

[395] C. René Padilla Mission between the Times (Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing House, 1985), 62-82; David J. Hesselgrave in Paradigms in Conflict (Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications, 2005), 245.

[396] John Stott ‘An Historical Introduction’ in Making Christ Known, xvii.

[397] Aylward Shorter Inculturation in Africa: The Way Forward (Chicago, IL: CCGM Publications, 2005), 7.

[398]‘Gospel contextualization revisited’ in MARC Newsletter, Number 97-3 (Sept 1997), 6.

[399] Stephen C. Knapp, ‘Introducing “Gospel in Context”’ in Gospel in Context, Vol. I, No.1 (Jan 1978). No page indicated.

[400] A. W. Tozer, Let My People Go: The Life of Robert A. Jaffray (Harrisburg, PA: Christian Publications, 1947), 39.

[401] Edward N. Gross, Is Charles Kraft an Evangelical? A Critique of Christianity in Culture (published by the author, 1985), 101.

[402] Carl F. H. Henry, ‘The Cultural Relativizing of Revelation’ in Trinity Journal, NS (1980): 157, 164.

[403] William J. Larkin, Culture and Biblical Hermeneutics (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1988), 191-192.

[404] William J. Larkin, Culture and Biblical Hermeneutics, 228.

[405] Miroslav Volf, ‘When Gospel and Culture Intersect: Notes on the Nature of Christian Difference’ in Pentecostalism in Context: Essays in Honor of William W. Menzies, Wonsuk Ma and Robert Menzies (eds) (Sheffield, UK: Sheffield Academic Press, 1997), 233.

[406] David J. Hesselgrave, ‘Redefinng Holism’ in Evangelical Missions Quarterly, Vol. 35, No. 3 (July 1999), 281.

[407] Christine Lienemann-Perrin, Training for a Relevant Ministry: Study of the Work of the Theological Education Fund (Madras, India: The Christian Literature Society, 1981), x.

[408] Bruce C. E. Fleming Contextualization of Theology: An Evangelical Assessment (Pasadena, CA: William Carey Library, 1980), 78.

[409] Bryant Myers ‘Research? What for?’ in MARC Newsletter, Number 97-3 (Sept 1997), 3.

[410] In Jan 1978 the Evangelical Missions Quarterly devoted an entire issue to contextualization, with several articles focusing on method and strategy. A more recent evangelical focus on method and strategy as it pertains to contextualization is A. Scott Moreau’s Contextualization in World Missions: Mapping and Assessing Evangelical Models (Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Academic and Professional, 2011). Interestingly, according to the publisher, the book will ‘help readers spread the Gospel more effectively’.

[411]‘Gospel contextualization revisited’, MARC Newsletter, Number 97-3 (Sept 1997), 6. About the same time, in 1998, Ralph Winter expressed his frustration with contextualization in this pithy statement: “OK, forget the turgid theologies of contextualization.” See his ‘De-Westernization Tomorrow’ in Mission Frontiers, Vol. 20, Nos. 9-12 (Sept-Dec 1998), 24.

[412] Tite Tiénou ‘Forming Indigenous Theologies’ in Toward the 21st Century in Christian Mission, by James M. Phillips and Robert T. Coote (eds) (Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1993), 248-249.

[413]The Cape Town Commitment: A Confession of Faith and a Call to Action, Part I ‘Confession of Faith’, Paragraph 7.

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