Source Link: http://www.whatsbestnext.com/2011/06/how-lack-of-theological-training-in-the-developing-world-weakens-world-missions/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed:+WhatsBestNext+%28What%27s+Best+Next%29
In a recent blog entry that titled ‘How Lack of Theological Training in the Developing World Weakens World Missions‘, passages from JP Moreland’s highly-esteemed book, Love Your (1997), were quoted with an affirmative overtone, as in the following: with All Your Mind: The Role of Reason in the Life of the Soul
I once attended a meeting of missionaries from around the world, at which a national Christian leader from Central America stood up and passionately exhorted North American mission agencies to stop sending evangelists to his country because their efforts were producing Marxists bent on overthrowing the government.
You could have heard a pin drop in that meeting, and confusion was written on everyone’s face. This leader went on to explain that the leading “Christian” thinkers in his country held to liberation theology, a form of Marxism draped in religious garb. Evangelical missionaries would lead people to Christ, but the liberals were attracting the thinking leaders among the converts and training them in Marxist ideology, which these liberals identified as the true center of biblical theology.
The leader pleaded with North Americans to send more theologians and Bible teachers and to help set up more seminaries and training centers in his country because the need for intellectual leadership was so great.
Here’s the second example:
Unfortunately, there was no money for this sort of “intellectual” development in the evangelical missions strategy there, but theological liberals gave him a scholarship to study at a liberal seminary in Texas.
By the time I met him, he had given up his faith and was going back to Fiji with an extremely secular view of Christianity. His mission: to pastor a church!
If evangelicals placed more value on the mind, we would give more to developing intellectual leadership around the world. Happily, some good things are now being done in this area, but we need to intensify our efforts in this regard, and this will happen only if we evangelicals come to value more fully Christ’s admonitions to be good stewards of the intellectual life.
Now what do you think?
I have but several reflections:
- « Christ’s admonitions to be good stewards of the intellectual life »- I am not rejecting this idea, but I wonder which biblical passage has this ‘admonition’ from Christ?
- It reminds me of a recent article I have read (sorry cannnot find it anymore). It mourns the erosion of the noble intellectual spirit that used to manifest itself in
the top American universities: Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Cornell…and so on. The ivy-leaguers used to be well-versed in classics and high culture, which in turn enrich those future leaders in all sectors of the nation. But today, hermeneutics of Shakespeare has given away to Britney Spears(or should I use lady gaga?), and the appreication of Beethoven is replaced by the lousy music of Eminem. The society has become so money-driven that the grandeur of the nation’s founding fathers is no longer a symbol to pursuit as are wealth, personal gain, and quick fame. sThe clear overtone of the article is to call for a repristination of noble high culture among those leading humanity and educational sectors in America. Now I do not need to say how hard the argument is bashed by its commentators. Highculture in itself has its virtues and is NOT wrong. But can you see why low culture should not be the patent for the not-so-good universities? (Indeed, I think the author meant that the low culture should never exist in the public.) Can you see the liberation spirit in the black rap music, and the solidarity of identity that consumer goods, say, Iphone, tatoos, TV shows, facebook, and sports are able to provide for the nation’s young people?
- I am not sure if my analogy is apt to communicate what I bear in mind. But I am saying: Mere intellecutal training is not enough. The repristination of high culture and classics in the ivy-league campuses or the total rejection of liberation/Marxist theology in the developing nations alike, is out of a dangerous mindset that objectifies living souls and people groups. The ideological clashes in today’s mission world are so severe that we need to know what kind of theological reflection should take place in the ongoing dialogue between the socio-cultural blocks around the globe, if we are really to be used to God to transform cultures
and souls. Intellectual training alone won’t help much if it means the superimposing packages of the first world WASP (White Anglo-Saxon Protestant) theology on the third world churches. From what I see, contextualization is the key, and ‘holisitc mission‘ and missio Dei are the two crucial theological components many have already foreseen. Reason/feeling, mind/body, justification/liberation, evangelical/liberal, and high/low cultures, should no longer be regarded by us as sets of strict dichotomies (二裂).
- Are you an evangelical reject? Apparently I am too. (westernthm.wordpress.com)
- Why I Walked Away from Evangelicalism (part 2 of 2) (intellectualcurrency.wordpress.com)
- The Impact of Theology on the Intellectual Life of the Nation
- THE RETREAT OF LIBERATION THEOLOGY