Is Scripture Enough? (9Marks Journal)

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here Courses What is Logos Mobile Ed? Shop New Products Browse All. Shop Courses Browse All Topics. Format: Digital. Publisher: 9Marks. We can no longer assume that evangelicals—even reformed evangelicals—will agree on the answers to these questions. Study Center Events About. Learn Ministries Store Give. Recent Journal view all Winter Christian Life. Tweet Share. Related Resources Bible Study. Mark Dunn.

How should churches pursue contextualization biblically?

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Hannah: Faith that Prays 1 Samuel , , , ; As a result people do not know and cannot explain or even live according to the gospel. What is needed, therefore, is proper theological education of missionaries, pastors and teachers. This, Robinson claims, is key. However, as Mbugua warns, this must not be done to the neglect of the local church. He points out that ecclesiology remains one of the issues that has not been dealt with but has rather been assumed — that if we are teaching it to the pas- tors, then it is being practised in the church. Therefore missions must also include education at church level, so that church members are made to understand that they are also responsible for the running and teaching in the church and that they will be accountable to God.

This will encourage them to keep watch and be involved in the decision whether or not to appoint or listen to a pastor who teaches false doctrine. However, training does not start on the mission field, it starts at home. As Stiles rightly states, a church will produce missionaries after its own kind.

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So whether or not a church teaches sound or unsound theology, the missionaries it pro- duces will teach the same sound or unsound theology. The same is true for any theo- logical institution. Therefore it is necessary for any church or theological institution that is involved in missions or missionary training, to train in accordance with sound doctrine. It is not only the how of missions that is important, but also the what. Coupled with this is community and youth training programmes, as proposed by Kasera — equipping people with skills on how to handle finances that they in turn can pass on to other members of the community.

He further proposes that seminaries should include courses on how to reach out to communities and youth in this manner. One of the things that the prosperity gospel is good at doing is expressing itself in styles that the local people are familiar with. As a result many fol- lowers are leaving the churches that stick to old-fashioned or culturally irrelevant styles of worship, to attend those churches that they can relate to stylistically.

Now this does not mean we are to take things directly from the African cultural or reli- gious contexts and copy them directly into the worship of the church for not all ex- pressions are appropriate or Biblical. But it does mean is that missionaries should al- low people to worship God in a manner that both accommodates culture and accur- ately expresses Scripture.

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Preaching too should be done in the language of the people using expressions and terms they are familiar with and should not impose a colonial or other Western style. The same is true for other aspects of the service. As long as it is in line with Scripture, freedom of expression within the culture should be allowed and encouraged.

What is therefore needed in the church is consistent study of Scripture and a Berean- like vigilance to test what is being taught and preached from the pulpit, as opposed to acceptance of everything. Missionaries, pastors, church members and teachers within theological institutions need to be taught discernment. Coupled with this is the need for Bibles and quality materials to be made available.

Most of Africa is unaware of the materials that are available and so lack the know- ledge needed to learn and discern. Therefore as missionaries go into Africa, they should endeavour to make solid literature available, and as far as is possible, to have them available in the vernacular languages. If none are available, maybe they could partner with translation organisations and work towards making them available. Coupled with this should be preaching that issues the Biblical warnings against greed and that God provides all good gifts according to His plan and pleasure, be they financial, physical or spiritual.

Robinson further states that since people in Africa have less interaction with social media than they do television and radio, non-prosperity gospel preachers should also be on television and radio and in the large stadiums in African countries and focus less on social media. What is generally happening within the prosperity gospel movement is eisegesis, as things such as culture, emotions, philosophy and prejudices are imposed on Scrip- ture, leading to many doctrinal errors. What is needed therefore is missionaries and pastors to protect the sanctity of the pulpit and be custodians of the truth as pro- claimed in the inerrant and sufficient Scriptures.

In fact, the sufficiency of Scripture should be the pivotal doctrine by which all other doctrines are judged and developed, as is strongly suggested by Akper The pulpit is not the place to present personal opinion or to preach what we want the Bible to mean. What and how one teaches is important.

Word-Centered Church: How Scripture Brings Life and Growth to God's People

Verster agrees that a new approach is needed and further claims that to date, no satisfactory solution has been found. What Verster goes on to suggest that in order to address both the felt needs and spiritual needs of the continent, a holistic- ally Christological approach is needed — that we consider Christ both as God and man and that all men, rich and poor, are directly accountable to God p. One positive thing that can be said for the prosperity gospel, as Banda points out, is that it has highlighted the seriousness of poverty across the continent and the need to address the issue.

Verster agrees by pointing out that prosperity preachers take the needs of the people seriously. Unfortunately, as Banda further explains, the liturgy of the prosperity gospel does not Biblically or sufficiently address the issue. Instead of focussing on deliverance from eternal pun- ishment in hell as a result of sin, services are turned into political or socio-economic events of declaring deliverance from poverty and strife.

What is needed therefore is a change in approach, one which includes the poor and suffering in the church community as leaders protect and empower them to correctly respond to their situation. Further to this Robinson points out that what is also needed is for missionar- ies to stay longer than they tend to do. This he says is because in the African mind- set, one will be accepted for one of two reasons, fame — as is seen with the prosper- ity preachers — or time — the longer one stays, the more chance of being accepted.

Short term missionary work often has little to no lasting effect within the African con- text. The expectation that all the tasks are to be performed by the pastor also needs to be addressed. Millions of people are victims of the false prophets that have proliferated the false gospel from as far away as the USA, that has caused many others to have risen up from amongst the people of Africa. The streets of many cities across Africa are lined with billboards and churches offering health, wealth and happiness based on bad hermeneutics, yet the continent remains one of the poorest regions in the world.

The effects are devastating, with the poor be- coming poorer and millions becoming disillusioned with what the church has to offer. It may even have caused a large number to become angry towards God and to turn their backs on Him and His church. As a result of the missionary endeavours of the prosperity teachers from the USA, many churches in Africa are holding to and teaching nothing more than a perverted gospel that is making false converts, providing false hope and building false churches.

Though appealing to many, this is one missionary practice that needs to be addressed by the evangelical church.

The Gospel

It's tough believing that Scripture is enough for building and leading churches. The “old man” in us is continually tempted to build our churches on other things. 9Marks Journal [Jonathan Leeman] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. It's tough believing that Scripture is enough for building and leading.

Sound Biblical teaching, preaching and her- meneutics need to replace man-centred eisegesis, and new approaches and styles need to be investigated and employed. Asamoah-Gyadu JK November. Did Jesus wear designer robes? The gospel preached in Africa's new pentecostal churches ends up leaving the poor more impoverished than ever.

Christianity today, Baer J The soil of the prosperity gospel.

Where I Pastor

Banda C Empowering hope? DeMars S Do you know what your missionaries actually teach?. Golo BK Africa's poverty and its neo-pentecostal "liberators": an ecotheological assessment of Africa's prosperity gospellers. Pneuma, 35 , Grady JL Online article. Ac- cessed from www.

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But the Bible answers some questions that cultures may not naturally ask. Is 9Marks model really biblical? How do we go about making faithful application that sprouts organically from the text? Example fallback content : This browser does not support PDFs. Paul seems to have in mind here a set pattern or form to which each local church should conform.

Grudem W Systematic theology. Nottingham: Inter-Varsity Press. Syncretism of Basotho traditional religion and Christianity: gateway to the syncretistic teaching of Basotho religion and Christianity in Leso- tho schools. African journal of history and culture, 7 7 , Jones DW Errors of the prosperity gospel. Kakwata F Kasera BM The biblical and theological examination of prosperity theology and its impact among the poor in Namibia. Koch BA The prosperity gospel and economic prosperity: race, class, giving, and voting.

Doctoral dissertation, Indiana University. Indiana, Indiana- polis, USA. Lioy D The heart of the prosperity gospel. Conspectus, 4, MacArthur J Accessed from www. Madisa K On- line article. Manganyi JS and Buitendag J A critical analysis on African traditional religion and the trinity. HTS theological studies, 69 1 , Art. Africa, the prosperity gospel, and the problem of unguarded churches. McConnell DR A different gospel. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers. Why is the prosperity gospel attractive.

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Preaching the gospel of bling. Nemakonde V Pastor Mnguni makes congregation eat snakes. Why has the prosperity gospel prospered? Phiri I and Maxwell J July. Phiri JK African pentecostal spirituality: a study of the emerging African pente- costal churches in Zambia.