At your table make two lists:• What aspects of the gospel don’t
make sense to the kids (why not?)• What images or pictures or
explanations of the cross resonate with the kids (why?)
Is this Penal substituation picture how you understand the significance of the cross? Do you see this as one metaphor of the cross, or the essential meaning of the cross? What objections do (or would) teens raise from such an explanation?
Which of these images resonates the best / least with you and which ones do you think resonate the best / least with Canadian teens. What would be the reason for the resonance or lack of resonance?
Conversions, Church Planting, People movements
The only thing that counts in missions is the one thing that
is impossible for us – to change people’s hearts
Well which is it? Do we come up with a great gospel presentation that connects? Or do we just tell the gospel the way it is and let the Holy Spirit do the work?
Pioneering Church PlantingThis is the Good News about Jesus Christ, the Son of God. It began as the prophet Isaiah had written:
“God said, ‘I will send my messenger ahead of you to open the way for you.’ Someone is
shouting in the desert, ‘Get the road ready for the Lord; make a straight path for him to
So John appeared in the desert baptizing and preaching. “Turn away from your sins and be baptized,” he told the people, “and God will forgive your sins.”
Mark 1:1-4 TEV
Our job is to make the path straight, to prepare a road
Only God can make a grape!
Which principles for presenting the gospel message in a Sindhi context also are valuable for the Canadian teen context?
Summarize the gospel as the message of the cross. Boil it down to the main essentials.
Gal 1:6-9 I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel-- 7 which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! 9 As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned! 10 Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ.
Steve Taylor’s (Proclaiming p. 104) idea that the gospel is like a diamond – many faceted. But is the gospel also “one” (Gal 1:6-9). How can the gospel be one and, at the same time, many? What is the “one gospel”?
Agree-Disagree: All truth is only known from a given perspective.
Spend 5 minutes and write down why the cross / gospel message is significant for you. Share at your table. Choose one person to share their story with everyone.
EXERCISE• Is the issue of sin a key part of what is
significant for you? If so, does God punish sin? Or does God destroy sin? Does God cleanse us and remove sin? Does God deliver from sin? Are these different? How do each relate to the sinner? What different images do they evoke of people, of God, of what is important in life? What do you base your answers on? What is your metanarrative / driving metaphor? How do you tell the story different using the different motifs? How does God's role change?
EXERCISE• What is God like? What description
resonates with what is significant for you? What does not? Why not?– lover of an unfaithful wife– father– judge– creator
EXERCISE• What are some biblical metaphors• Which of the biblical metaphors
resonates with you? Why? Which ones do not?
EXERCISE• Why do people not accept the
gospel message? Brainstorm reasons.
Contextualization: cross-cultural gospel insertion that
leads to faith
Incarnational paradox = a bridge to something new that is already part of the culture
Communication (new)Relevance (bridge)Resonance (already part)
Covey, the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, p. 26
The country is Canada. The city, Hockeytown – a city in which only one sport, hockey, has ever been played. It is the only sport that has ever been imagined by the residents. To them hockey is not just one of many sports, but is what defines sport. Bobb Yorr has just returned from a visit to another city in which he was introduced to the sport of Tennis. Grett Ski has never been out of his city and so, for him, “sports” is defined by ice rinks, hockey sticks and hockey nets.
EXERCISE• How do you verbally describe love
or beauty or music? Do you have someone in your life that you love or find beautiful or music that moves you? Describe how beautiful that person is or how much you love that person to others at your table or what that music is like.
EXERCISE• Why bother with metaphors? Why
not just tell the gospel story and leave it at that?
EXERCISE• Contrast Jon and Sarah’s research,
pointing out theological weaknesses of both. Yet one works, the other doesn’t. Why?
Worldview refers to the fundamental beliefs a particular ethnic group have
about life, the universe and everything.
What Culture is
• Visible• Invisible
Don’t stop at WHAT, ask WHY?
It is the significance of the act that counts
Sort the following words into categoriesGod lawn cow skydeath sculpture man angelgoodness tree earth sea
girl miracle love economydemon bread spirit watergarden wheat blood houseunicorn soccer judgment music
Worldview ConstructsFour Aspects(Blah, Blah,
Blah)1. Role of God
2. Identity of Humanity
3. Relationship between spiritual and material
4. Eschatology (telos)
Eschatology: Death is end
Worldview ConstructsAnimist /
PaganHauntedAbsolute GOD: absent / uncaring
Eschatology: spirits may return to impact the living. Peace in netherworld
Worldview ConstructsPantheism / Monism
Omnipresent Supergalactic Oneness
Absolute = creation = personal
Eschatology: loss of identity into God
Worldview ConstructsCosmic Dualism
Dualing YodasCreation = material expressions
Eschatology: Eternal tension, we choose our allegiance
EXERCISE• Draw your worldview
Absolute = Personal
Eschatology: harmony, judgment
OptionsHow do you deal with people whose God is too small to appreciate the gospel?a. Challenge their worldview intellectuallyb. Assume and teach according to your
own worldview and let them work out the cognitive dissonance
c. Give resonating metaphors that demonstrate what God is like.
EXERCISE• Does this redemption / ransom
metaphor appear in our culture? Is there anything in our culture that speaks of the possibility of / or need for / or of a value for redemption?
[There] was no companion suitable for him. 21 So the LORD God caused Adam to fall into a deep sleep. He took one of Adam's ribs and closed up the place from which he had taken it. 22 Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib and brought her to Adam. 23 "At last!" Adam exclaimed. "She is part of my own flesh and bone! She will be called 'woman,' because she was taken out of a man." 24 This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.
Then the LORD told him, "Bring me a three-year-old heifer, a three-year-old female goat, a three-year-old ram, a turtledove, and a young pigeon." 10 Abram took all these and killed them. He cut each one down the middle and laid the halves side by side. He did not, however, divide the birds in half. 11 Some vultures came down to eat the carcasses, but Abram chased them away. 12 That evening, as the sun was going down, Abram fell into a deep sleep. He saw a terrifying vision of darkness and horror.
13 Then the LORD told Abram, "You can be sure that your descendants will be strangers in a foreign land, and they will be oppressed as slaves for four hundred years. 14 But I will punish the nation that enslaves them, and in the end they will come away with great wealth. 15 (But you will die in peace, at a ripe old age.) 16 After four generations your descendants will return here to this land, when the sin of the Amorites has run its course."
Exo 24When Moses had announced to the people all the teachings and regulations the LORD had given him, they answered in unison, "We will do everything the LORD has told us to do." 4 Then Moses carefully wrote down all the LORD's instructions. Early the next morning he built an altar at the foot of the mountain. He also set up twelve pillars around the altar, one for each of the twelve tribes of Israel. 5 Then he sent some of the young men to sacrifice young bulls as burnt offerings and peace offerings to the LORD.
6 Moses took half the blood from these animals and drew it off into basins. The other half he splashed against the altar. 7 Then he took the Book of the Covenant and read it to the people. They all responded again, "We will do everything the LORD has commanded. We will obey." 8 Then Moses sprinkled the blood from the basins over the people and said, "This blood confirms the covenant the LORD has made with you in giving you these laws."
In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.
And what we have said is even more clear if another priest like Melchizedek appears, 16 one who has become a priest not on the basis of a regulation as to his ancestry but on the basis of the power of an indestructible life. 17 For it is declared: "You are a priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek." 18 The former regulation is set aside because it was weak and useless 19 (for the law made nothing perfect), and a better hope is introduced, by which we draw near to God.
20 And it was not without an oath! Others became priests without any oath, 21 but he became a priest with an oath when God said to him: "The Lord has sworn and will not change his mind: 'You are a priest forever.' " 22 Because of this oath, Jesus has become the guarantee of a better covenant.
Why is Jesus’ death necessary?
• Covenants are sealed by the bond between life and death. – in the OT covenants, always a blood sacrifice
• we are dead = separate from God (spiritual death) • For separation to be healed it takes a substitutionary
death • Jesus enters into / identifies with our death, • One with humanity in the consequence of death, he then
raises to life those who are “in Christ” • In Jesus, this covenant is unbreakable and deals with the
essential problem: separation from God. • Fits Jesus’ own description that he “mediates” the
covenant. – stands in between the two parties and makes it effectual
EXERCISE• Does this covenant understanding
of the cross have any resonance in our context today? With teens? Why or why not?
EXERCISE• What would be the reaction of the
average teen to this image? What is your reaction to it? These are narratives, images of salvation given by God. Why do you think God gave these images? How do you understand them?
Rom 9:18-22So then He has mercy on whom He desires, and He hardens whom He desires. You will say to me then, “Why does He still find fault? For who resists His will?” On the contrary, who are you, O man, who answers back to God? The thing molded will not say to the molder, “Why did you make me like this,” will it? Or does not the potter have a right over the clay, to make from the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for common use? What if God, although willing to demonstrate His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction?
Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called "uncircumcised" by those who call themselves "the circumcision" (that done in the body by the hands of men)-- 12 remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ.
Eph 2:11-18 14 For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, 15 by abolishing in his flesh the law with its commandments and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace, 16 and in this one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. 17 He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. 18 For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.
Col 1:19-23 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross. 21 Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. 22 But now he has reconciled you by Christ's physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation--
EXERCISE• How does Jesus’ cross, his physical body
“make peace”? What is the grand story that makes the cross make sense? In fact, Muslims say, God doesn’t need the cross to forgive – look at the story of the prodigal son. Why can’t God just say “I forgive you” and welcome us back. Why bring in the cross?
Rom 9:30-32What then shall we say? That the Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have obtained it, a righteousness that is by faith; 31 but Israel, who pursued a law of righteousness, has not attained it. 32 Why not? Because they pursued it not by faith but as if it were by works. They stumbled over the "stumbling stone."
Phil 3:6-10 [I myself have reasons for such confidence:] … 6 as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for legalistic righteousness, faultless. 7 But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. 8 What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ
Phil 3:6-10 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ--the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith. 10 I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.
Rom 3:21-26 But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. 22 This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.
Rom 3:21-26 25 God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood. He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished-- 26 he did it to demonstrate his justice at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.
EXERCISE• Can this forensic view, this idea of being
declared right, work with teens? Can it be reworked into a metaphor that makes sense today, so that it resonates? Or does there need to be a shift in the metanarrative of the listener?
Sin Talks• What biblical metaphors are being
referenced?• Does it make sense to you?• Does it make sense to teens?• Should it be reshaped?
Theology of Communication
In the beginning the Word already existed. He was with God, and he was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 He created everything there is. Nothing exists that he didn't make. 4 Life itself was in him, and this life gives light to everyone.
By the word of the LORD the heavens were made, their starry host by the breath of his mouth. 7 He gathers the waters of the sea into jars; he puts the deep into storehouses. 8 Let all the earth fear the LORD; let all the people of the world revere him. 9 For he spoke, and it came to be; he commanded, and it stood firm.
Hear this word, people of Israel, the word the LORD has spoken against you—against the whole family I brought up out of Egypt…The lion has roared— who will not fear? The Sovereign LORD has spoken— who can but prophesy?
Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress. 20 He sent out his word and healed them; he rescued them from the grave.
Ps 29:3-9The voice of the LORD is over the waters; the God of glory thunders, the LORD thunders over the mighty waters. 4 The voice of the LORD is powerful; the voice of the LORD is majestic. 5 The voice of the LORD breaks the cedars; the LORD breaks in pieces the cedars of Lebanon. 6 He makes Lebanon leap like a calf, Sirion like a young wild ox. 7 The voice of the LORD strikes with flashes of lightning. 8 The voice of the LORD shakes the desert; the LORD shakes the Desert of Kadesh. 9 The voice of the LORD twists the oaks[c] and strips the forests bare. And in his temple all cry, “Glory!”
Theology of Communication• God wants a relationship with the human
beings he created. • God reaches out to his creation• God elicits a response. • God wants to be understood.
God’s strategy• Based on love, because God is love
(relational): • Shows Respect and empathy towards us. • Uses our frames of reference. • Relates personally• Engages in two-way communication -
dialogues• Receptor oriented looking for impact. He
– develops high credibility with his receptors– demonstrates, not just speaks, his messages– deals with specific people and issues– leads his receptors to discovery, and – trusts those who respond to do the right thing with
EXERCISE• What are the implications for our
communication. If God communicates in this manner, how should we then communicate?
EXERCISEHow do the following biblical metaphors reflect Muller’s dichotomies:• Redemption • Covenant• Sacrifice• Propitiation • Reconciliation• Justification