“Counter-Cultural Contextualization” Quote

The Church of the Annunciation כנסיית הבשורה ב...
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Short quote from a longer blog post by Simon and Henrietta Cozens

The idea of contextualization is that it is “receptor-oriented”; in other words, it lets the world set the agenda. Of course putting it in those terms is a pretty harsh charge, and it’s usually answered by Hiebert’s concept of “Critical Contextualization.” But this does not go far enough; it is still ultimately positive towards cultural trends. The “critical” dimension extends not simply to merely letting every part of culture into the Church—some things should be rejected.

But the Church is also meant to challenge culture. There is room for another concept beyond contextualization; there should also be counter-contextualization.

The full blog is at Counter-contextualization: Keeping our saltiness

<Update:  The above article does not appear to be accessible on the Web at the moment. but an article by Sunrise Houston Japanese Network is similarly relevant. You can see it HERE.>

The writer uses the term Counter-Contextualization, but it is the same thing as Counter-cultural contextualization. The article gives some interesting thoughts on this form of contextualization within Japanese society.

Jackson Wu has some nice information on this confusing issue. He describes two terms “Biblical Contextualization” and “Cultural Contextualization.” One describes the activity of viewing the Bible through a cultural lens (actually, we all see the Bible through a cultural lens… some are more cognizant of it than others). The other is viewing culture through a Biblical lens.

Effective contextualization does both simultaneously and in tension with each other. Some might fear that this may lead to syncretism or heresy. In fact, it is a possibility. However, the risk is less than failing to contextualize (or more properly speaking, to contextualize with out realizing it).

A short video (apparently the first of a series) from Jackson Wu is HERE.


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