Contextualization Isn’t Movie Clips

Does contextualization water down the gospel? That’s what some Christian leaders think. And Timothy Keller might agree if he thought contextualization was just references to cultural trends like movies and novels. Actually, the author of ‘Center Church’ explains, it’s deeper and necessary analysis about such things as the underlying dynamics of shame/honor and individual/collective cultures. Sin and grace need to be explained differently, within biblical bounds, because they’re understood differently depending on the culture.

New York City pastor Gabriel Salguero adds from the perspective of the Majority World that too much focus has been given to thinkers and captive to modernity. And theologian Michael Horton summarizes the conversation by saying contextualization is not a beachhead for capitulation; in fact, it’s necessary to call for repentance and confront sin.

For more, pick up Keller’s book ‘Loving the City’ (Zondervan, 2016), featuring contributions from Salguero, Daniel Strange, and Andy Crouch:

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