“Be transformed by the renewal of your mind”: Thinking Christianly in a Pluralistic World

Christianity was born in the multi-cultural, multi-religious world of first-century Rome. The apostles, from the very beginning, had to learn how to think rightly of their faith in Jesus as the Messiah in a world saturated with religion. Not only did they need to explain their faith to Jews, they were early on confronted with worshippers of the Greco-Roman pantheon, adherents to the mystery cults, and people for whom Roman Emperor worship reigned supreme. Early Christians shared the good news about Jesus in a melting pot of ideas and practices.

Despite the fact that our age has become, in many ways, more secular, Christians still face religious pluralism that forces them to consider how to present the claims of Jesus as the Christ to a world where the message, at the very least, seems strange, where some will find it repugnant, and where no small number will reject it violently. Engaging people with different worldviews and religious persuasions requires that we sharpen our minds to present the good news in a way that our hearers will understand how it is good news for them. The articles in this volume are written to help us do just that.

Read articles in “Thinking Christianly in a Pluralistic World”

Proclaiming Reconciliation in our Being, Doing, and Telling

This paper sets out in basic form the biblical foundations for reconciliation and peacemaking, connects those foundations with missiological issues in the East Asian context, and provides material that will assist us to reflect on the shape of our future missional engagement. Peter Rowan is from Northern Ireland and has served with OMF International for [...]

Bivocationalism in Southeast Asia: Stories from the Past and Thoughts about the Future

In this paper, Les Taylor explains how being an academic anthropologist has opened doors to get to know people from a different cultural and religious setting and shows the benefits gained by being a student and teaching at a university within the society. This paper gives ample reasons why everyone who wants to share the [...]

Recognizing God in the Other: Christian Missions with a Multi-religious World

Considering what many missionaries have recognized—that long before they ever set foot in a country God had already been working there—Pascal Bazzell highlights that if we want to know what God is doing in mission and join him in it, we should recognize his work in the lives of the others with whom we have [...]

The Gospel in the Filipino Context: José M. de Mesa and Melba P. Maggay

This paper describes and evaluates two Filipino contextual theologians—José de Mesa and Melba Maggay—and examines how have engaged their national culture from a Christian point of view. It uses Bevans’ models of contextual theology and demonstrates how societal, educational, and denominational background greatly impacts one’s understanding of the context and how one responds Christianly. Andrea [...]

Christian Witness in a Pluralistic World

David Harley examines Romans 9 to 11 to show how the Apostle Paul addresses the topic of Christian witness in a multifaith society—while Paul respected the religious traditions of others, he was convinced that the gospel is relevant to all, that it should be shared with passion, and that it will transform the lives of [...]

Book review – Insider Jesus: Theological Reflections on New Christian Movements by William Dyrness

Reviewed by Walter McConnell Head of OMF Mission Research During the past century the church has grown around the world in directions and in ways that were frequently unexpected and unprecedented. In recent years, one of the most debated means of growth has been insider movements— movements of people to faith in Christ who remain [...]

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