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10 Questions on Contextualization


Earlier this week we posted a ChinaSource Conversations podcast in which I talked with Jackson Wu, author of Saving God’s Face and Sam Chan, author of Preaching as the Word of God about the issue of contextualization in gospel presentations.

These are the ten questions that I posed:

  1.  How should we define contextualization?
  2. Why is contextualization important in presenting the gospel?
  3. Why is the concept of contextualization sometimes considered to be controversial?
  4. There is a lot of talk today about the need for a “Chinese theology.” Is there a problem in talking this way?
  5. What does contextualization look like in gospel presentations in China or among Chinese?
  6. Are there other Chinese cultural elements or Chinese worldview distinctives that we need to be aware of when presenting gospel to Chinese people?
  7. What are some examples of “over-adapting” and “under-adapting” in presenting the gospel?
  8. (Specifically to Jackson) How have gospel presentations using an honor/shame approach been received by the Chinese people you work with?
  9. Are there differences in receptivity to this approach between educated and uneducated people?  
  10. (Specifically to Sam) What does contextualization look like in Australia?

Jackson and Sam give us plenty to think about, and I guarantee you’ll never think about Facebook the same again. I guess you’re just going to have to listen to find out why!

Image credit: Water Calligraphy, by Colin J., via Flickr
Joann Pittman

Joann Pittman

Joann Pittman is senior vice president of ChinaSource and editor of ZGBriefs. Prior to joining ChinaSource, Joann spent 28 years working in China, as an English teacher, language student, program director, and cross-cultural trainer for organizations and businesses engaged in China. She has also taught Chinese at the University... View Full Bio