Don da don don…so far.

29 Oct

You may remember that after a poll of my peers it was decided that the next book I read be Don Carsons, “The Cross and Christian Ministry.” The style isn’t great, but to be fair it’s just a translation (into book format) of some sermons. But I’m getting through it (I love style as much as content. It may not sound holy but one with out the other is a struggle for my little brain/heart). So far I’ve been struck by two points.

Firstly, He explains a little bit about Paul’s statement “I did not come with eloquent speech…” I’d understood it previously just to say that Paul wasn’t trying to trick anybody, wasn’t trying to ‘convince’ people into the kingdom. Which is kind of right (and also kind of wrong). But what Don drew out…and struck me…was about contextualization.

See I’d always thought of Paul as the role model of contextualization, just look at his preaching in Acts (i.e. how it differs) and his claim to becoming all things to all men. And rightly so Carson acknowledges this. But what struck me was that in the context of Corinth, which cherished rhetoric above all else, where the culturaly relevant thing to do would have been to speak in a way as to astound people…Paul didn’t. He resolved not to! Why?

Says Carson, it’s paul’s understanding that contextualizing in that way would have detracted from his message. Him, rather than christ, would have been celebrated.

The challange. To know when contextualization is actually compramise…and resolve not to.

Secondly, I don’t remember. I suppose I’ll have to go re-read!

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2 Responses to “Don da don don…so far.”

  1. Larry 29/10/2008 at 4:05 pm #

    the implications of this are huge… I know that im not very good at “all things to all peoples”

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