A Modern Puritan

Lost in wonder, love and praise. Follow along as we seek to uneclipse Christ in our lives.


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Contextualizing on the Mission Field

“My wife and I were missionaries in Papua New Guinea where we spent two years learning the Myu language and culture before teaching the scriptures and presenting the gospel. Our culture studies were so we could properly understand how they would hear what we taught.

Rather than changing the scriptures we took time to teach about sheep and shepherding and other Old and New Testament practices. One of the ways we did this was during our literacy program. The Myu language had never been learned by an outsider or written down prior to our arrival. Along with teaching and translating the scriptures was a priority to teach the adults and children how to read and write their own language.

In one of our primers we focused on the main biblical cultural topics that would come up in our gospel teaching. We showed them pictures of sheep and pictures of ourselves in the snow back home in Upper Michigan. They did not have words in their language for sheep or snow so we used the common trade language (Melanesian English) words for them. The isolated Myu people are very intelligent and had no trouble understanding foreign biblical culture when it was properly explained.

It would be dangerous to try to find a Myu cultural equivalent to replace the biblical account because none of them are exact representations of scripture. And the Myu Bible teachers are now able to articulate biblical culture in teaching the culture rather than coming up with some local example that falls short. Once you localize the scriptures you would be stuck trying to find “equivalents” that would constantly fall short. This is very dangerous.

There is absolutely no need to change the inspired word of God. It is no different than how we are to teach here at home. Explain the biblical culture so we can truly understand God’s intended meaning. For “All scripture (graphe, written biblical text) is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness…” (2 Tim. 3:16).”

-Tim Spanton, former missionary in Papua New Guinea, as quoted by Travis Allen at: http://www.gty.org/blog/B111007


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Not A Charismatic

Nate Busenitz, pastor at Grace Community Church and professor at The Master’s Seminary explains in 100 words why Charismatic teaching is un-Biblical.

http://thecripplegate.com/why-im-not-a-charismatic/

“If someone were to ask me, “Are you a Charismatic/Continuationist?” I would answer, “No.” If I was then asked to explain why, in 100 words or less, my response would look something like the following:

I am convinced that the biblical gift of tongues was the supernatural ability to speak in authentic foreign languages that the speaker had not previously learned; AND that the gift of prophecy was the accurate proclamation of authoritative, inerrant revelation that the prophet received directly from the Holy Spirit; AND that the gift (or gifts) of healing resulted in the immediate, undeniable, and complete recovery of a sick or injured person at the hands of the healer.

I am equally convinced that those things are not currently happening in church history today.

Therefore, I am not a Charismatic.

 

If I were then given an additional 100 words to clarify, I would probably add these subsequent thoughts:

When Charismatics/Continuationists redefine tongues as a “spiritual language” which, in fact, is not an authentic foreign language; OR when they admit that their definition of prophecy allows for numerous errors and inaccuracies; OR when they excuse their inability to heal as a lack of faith on the part of the sick person; OR when they redefine the gift(s) of healing as an extension of James 5:13–18 . . .

I am convinced that, though they are using biblical terminology to describe their experiences, there is no true equivalence between their present practice and the authentic New Testament sign gifts.

My guess is that this would spark a much larger conversation. But I am purposefully aiming at brevity in today’s post.

And, besides, that’s why we have a comments section.”

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