Contextualization

By Carlos G. Martin

×

Carlos G. Martin, Ph.D. in Missions and Evangelism (Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Fort Worth, TX). Martin retired after 46 years of ministry in SAD, IAD, NAD, SPD, NPD. He served 19 years as church pastor, taught Missions and Evangelism for 6 years at AIIAS (Philippines), and served 2 years as Ministerial Secretary (NPD). His last position was professor of Missions and Evangelism at Southern Adventist University (Tennessee, U.S.A.), for 19 years. He is actively involved in evangelism.

First Published: November 28, 2021

In a global church, the communication of the gospel requires meaningful adaptation to the different cultures where it is proclaimed.

Introduction

Under four subheadings, this article will provide a brief history of the emergence of the concept of contextualization, summarize official Adventist initiatives, identify the Adventist approach to contextualization, and briefly describe selected Adventist attempts at contextualization. In 2009, the General Conference defined contextualization as “the intentional and discriminating attempt to communicate the gospel message in a culturally meaningful way.”1 Different words have been used to describe the process of contextualization, including indigenization,2 accommodation,3 translation,4 adaptation,5 transculturation,6 and inculturation.7

The Emergence of the Concept of Contextualization

By the time Adventists began to expand their mission beyond the English-speaking world there was a generalized “disregard for encountered cultures”8 due to the belief of most missionaries in the superiority of Western culture; this led to a diminished emphasis on the need of adaptation.9 The 1800-1950 period has been referred to as the era of noncontextualization.10 This period includes the first 100 years of Adventism. While in Europe, Ellen White advised Adventists about the “need to move with the greatest wisdom that we shall not in any thing create prejudice by giving the impression that Americans feel themselves superior to people of other nations.”11 Even though the concept of contextualization had not yet emerged in its present form, Ellen White was stressing the need for cultural adaptation in missionary work. The following are just a few examples: “The people of every country have their own peculiar, distinctive characteristics, and it is necessary that men should be wise in order that they may know how to adapt themselves to the peculiar ideas of the people, and so introduce the truth that they may do them good. They must be able to understand and meet their wants.”12 “The servants of Christ should accommodate themselves to the varied conditions of the people. They cannot carry out exact rules if they meet the cases of all. Labor will have to be varied to meet the people where they are.”13

Very early, Adventists established “missionary colleges” to provide the necessary education for those engaged in missions. From 1901 to 1903, the church structure was reorganized; it dissolved independent incorporated entities that had been operating departments and some institutions and consolidated their work in the various departments of the General Conference. Missionary service, however, was located within the general administrative structure (the Secretariat), instead of in a specialized department. By the middle of the twentieth century, preparation for missionary service was basically thorough Bible knowledge and knowledge of languages. In 1966, the Department of World Mission was created at the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary, mostly funded by the General Conference, with the assignment of training missionaries. In 1981 the responsibility was assigned to the Institute of World Mission. In 1990, the Office of Global Mission was established to develop a strategy and make new initiatives among unreached people groups.14 Also, the Institute of World Mission became one of the General Conference Secretariat’s mission departments and services.

The term contextualization was coined in 197215 in ecumenical circles.16 At first, evangelicals were suspicious of the term,17 but by the end of the decade evangelicals were already using it,18 though with different understandings. Adventists were late in the process of contextual theological reflections. Possibly, the need to reconsider their approaches emerged as the Adventist movement confronted “different contexts during cross-cultural encounters and as it understood the vast extent of its culturally diverse membership.”19

In 1990, the General Conference in session voted an initiative called Global Mission that aimed to do mission where there had been few successes in the past, to work for those in the major world religions, and to enter unentered areas. The General Conference established a Global Missions Issues Committee to meet each year at the time of the Church’s Spring Council, yet it did not have any constitutional authority.20 Since the opinion of the Issues Committee did not represent the position of the Adventist Church, the committee’s recommendations were sent to the Biblical Research Institute (BRI) to be further studied, edited, and considered for recommendation to the General Conference Administrative Committee (ADCOM). The papers presented from January 1998 to April 2001 in the Issues Committee were published in two volumes by the Department of Global Mission at Andrews University as Adventist Responses to Cross-Cultural Mission.21

Since 2005, academic journals, books, and symposiums increasingly dealt with the issue of contextualization. The River Plate Adventist University (Universidad Adventista del Plata), in Argentina published Misión y Contextualización, with historical, exegetical, and theological studies.22 In 2005, the Department of World Mission at Andrews published the first issue of the Journal of Adventist Missions, which focused on the theme “Bridges to Islam: Helping Christians Understand Islamic Cultures and Values”23 and the second issue addressed the theme “Contextualization: Presenting the Gospel in Culturally Relevant Terms.”24 From 2005 to 2014 it published 16 books dealing with a variety of missiological issues, including contextualization. A symposium held in Brazil in 2009, resulted in the publication of a book published by the Latin-American Adventist Theological Seminary dealing with various theological and methodological aspects of mission.25 In 2005, Sahmyook University, in South Korea, started the Asia-Pacific Journal of Mission & Ministry and from its beginning26 it has published several articles dealing with the subject of contextualization. The amount of attention in publications around the world on the issue of contextualization indicates that Seventh-day Adventists are actively dealing with issues of cross-cultural communication.

Official Adventist Initiatives and Statements

Global Mission was voted at the 1990 General Conference Session as a special initiative to reach people in the so-called 10/40 Window with the gospel.27 To meet the Adventist Church's growing need to consolidate its overseas mission activities, Adventist Mission was formed in 2005 at the General Conference World Session held in St. Louis, Missouri. This new organization brought Global Mission and the Office of Mission Awareness together so that they could better collaborate on projects and initiatives. Global Mission has also set study centers, that help Adventists understand the beliefs and cultures of other world religions, build bridges of understanding to other world religions and communities, and equip them with means, approaches, methods, and models on how best to witness to people of non-Christian affiliations. They include the Center for East Asian Religions, Center for South Asian Religions, Center for Secular and Post-modern Studies, Global Center for Adventist-Muslim Relations, Global Mission Urban Center, and the World Jewish-Adventist Friendship Center.28

With the emphasis on more contextualized ministries to be developed through these study centers, the need for reflection and discussion about these approaches became evident.29 In 2003 the General Conference voted guidelines to be used, as appropriate, by church leaders, educators, and other church members when proclaiming the gospel in non-Christian environments. These guidelines, entitled “Engaging in Global Mission,”30 deal with five main topics:

(1) Use of the Bible in Mission vis-a-vis “Sacred Writings;”31

(2) Transitional Organizational Structures;32

(3) Fundamental Beliefs and Preparation for Baptism;33

(4) Forms of Worship34; and

(5) Contextualization and Syncretism.35

In 2009, the General Conference Executive Committee voted a document that built on the “Engaging in Global Mission” guidelines voted in 2003, to prevent syncretism and to secure the unity of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.36 The new document, entitled “Roadmap for Mission,” defines specific theological and biblical understandings on how the Church must conduct its mission. Among other matters, the document states that “the writings of other religions can be useful in building bridges by pointing to elements of truth that find their fullest and richest significance in the Bible. . . . However, the nurture and spiritual growth of new believers must be accomplished on the basis of the Bible and its exclusive authority.” It requires that “candidates for baptism . . . accept the message and mission of the Seventh-day Adventist Church as summarized in the Fundamental Beliefs.” The end result of contextualization “is to lead men and women into membership with those who confess Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, who embrace the Fundamental Beliefs of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. . . . They shall identify themselves with the worldwide Seventh-day Adventist Church in doctrine, life values, hope, and mission.”37 A form of contextualized ministry that is not visibly identified with the worldwide church is questionable, and thus would not normally be acceptable.

A recent development in contextualization is interfaith dialogue. On 22 January 2007, church leaders voted to rename the Council on Inter-church/Inter-faith Relations to the Council on Inter-church/Inter-religion Affairs. This represented a desire for increased dialogue with other religions so “we can better understand them and they can better understand who we are and what we believe.”38 Dialogue and interfaith relations “do not mean ecumenism in the sense of union with other churches, doctrinal alliances, obliteration of differences, or the loss of distinctive emphasis on biblical truths.”39

Several supporting ministries exist which are attempting to develop a contextual Adventist witness. These ministries display a deep commitment to understanding non-superficial elements of local culture and developing the means of impacting people groups with the gospel not only at superficial knowledge but at a worldview level. In 1985, Clyde Morgan established Adventist Frontier Missions (AFM) with the purpose to create church-planting movements among people groups with no Adventist presence.40 A project requires several years of work, and they are declared completed when they have a mother church with at least one daughter church and one granddaughter church. AFM requires each missionary family to undergo a long-term cultural training to begin understanding levels of culture that would otherwise remain hidden and impede the witness of the missionaries. The training includes how to build effective and cohesive teams, how to learn the local language, how to take care of themselves spiritually, mentally and physically, how to know a worldview and how to participate in changing a worldview, and how to engage in spiritual warfare.41 Other supporting ministries such as Gospel Outreach42 and ShareHim43 provide unexperienced people an opportunity to participate in short-term missions. ShareHim uses computer graphics, illustrations, and guidelines that have been adapted for major ethnic groups such as Europeans, Asians, Latin-Americans, Indians, and Africans. Their approaches have proved to be effective for harvest evangelism when locals have done their contextualized groundwork.

The Adventist Approach to Contextualization

The model adopted by Adventists from the very beginning was translation, or adaptation. Already in the 19th century, Seventh-day Adventists used the concept of adaptation to describe the attempt to reach the people in different cultures with the biblical message: “The worker in foreign fields will come in contact with all classes of people and all varieties of minds, and he will find that different methods of labor are required to meet the needs of the people.”44 “We also must learn to adapt our labors to the condition of the people--to meet men where they are.”45 This adaptation to the peculiar ideas of the people stressed to Adventists the need to be sensitive as they worked in different contexts. Barry Oliver explains that in this model, “contextualization of the message is more concerned with manner and emphasis than with content. As Seventh-day Adventists we accept . . . fundamental beliefs as a consensus of the tenets of our faith. We cannot be authentic Seventh-day Adventists and deny any of these fundamentals.”46 The adaptation approach was used first in Europe and other Western societies and then in Africa and other countries outside North America.

Mark A. Finley was the host and director of It Is Written from 1991 to 2004, for which he traveled around the world as a televangelist. He was the first Seventh-day Adventist preacher to do a satellite evangelistic series (1995) and 17 others throughout the world. As a world-wide evangelist, Mark Finley tried to tailor the message to the culture. In preparation for an evangelistic series, he spent much time trying to understand the cultural and historical backgrounds of the audience. Finley asked his host to send stories and illustrations to him in advance and with them he secured graphics also that would help the audience to see themselves. Illustrations also had to be culturally sensitive. In Africa, he used village stories and parables that were relevant to them while in Asia he recognized the influence of the family and extended family. The biblical truth was the same, but the way he adapted that truth was different.47

Selected Attempts at Contextualization

Since 1990, many dissertations and theses have been written on contextualization in Adventist institutions. The selected adaptations included here are documented experiences on the mission field rather than theoretical “models of contextualization” waiting to be effectively implemented. Some adaptations were done in early stages of the Adventist work and were foundational for the future while others were experiments that exhibited creativity. The examples that follow are far from being in-depth studies of their approaches. The list could be much more extensive but a few samples from major areas of the world illustrate how Adventists have adapted their message to different contexts.

Europe

Ludwig R. Conradi (1856–1939), a German-born Adventist minister sent to Europe in 1886, adapted Adventism into the European context. His approach was to demonstrate the compatibility of Adventist faith with various Protestant traditions in Europe. Baumgartner states: “Conradi adapted the Pietist model of meetings and developed a contextualized message. . . . For him, the Adventist message was rooted in a historic Adventism in Europe that preceded American Adventism.”48 Conradi’s approach resulted in such great success that, within a few decades (ca. 1890–1910) of its implementation, the growth rate of the Adventist Church in Europe exceeded that of the church in the United States.49 In some places, Conradi’s influence nevertheless led to problems with some traditional Adventist beliefs and a greater affinity to Lutheran theology.

Aimé-Jacques Girou (1885–1977), a French preacher who served as mission president in Spain from 1935 to 1939, believed that Catholics needed to be reached in their own religious, cultural, and social context. For example, Girou used the Catholic expression of “Our Lord Jesus Christ” or “Our Savior Jesus Christ” whenever he spoke of Christ. On the person of Mary, he concluded: “Catholics will not speak of Mary, the mother of the Lord, without saying: ‘The holy virgin Mary’ or at least ‘The virgin Mary.’ The word ‘virgin’ sounds very sweet to their ears; and if it is not used by the speaker, he is soon known as an apostate.” Girou even argued that singing and praying, as well as the use of the words “brethren and sisters,” were not appropriate in a lecture delivered to Catholics.50 His approaches were very close to those Schubert used later very effectively in South America a decade later.

Latin America

In South America, up to the 1940s, evangelism followed two approaches that did not fit well in the Latin American cultural milieu. One was the assumption that, parallel to what happened among Protestants, a prophetic exposition would attract the attention of the listener.51 Another was the Protestant apologetic approach, which was not well received by the predominantly Roman Catholic population.52 These concerns led Walter Schubert to seek a South American approach to public evangelism among Catholics.53 He worked for 32 years as a teacher, pastor, evangelist, and administrator in South America. Specifically, he was interested in meeting audiences’ felt needs and building bridges before getting into the distinctive doctrines of Adventists. He replaced the traditional approach with a new method more sensitive to “the basic psychology of Catholic society.”54 His methodology to evangelize Roman Catholics55 was fourfold:

(1) To avoid the Protestant approach of American evangelists in Latin America, who used Daniel's prophecies as initial topics.

(2) In initial stages, Schubert’s presentations looked like cultural lectures. His series began with a classic and religious music concert, followed by a lecture series on world problems; then another on the solution to the difficulties people face, and another on human relations. Gradually, he moved to a full presentation of biblical doctrines.56

(3) He avoided Protestant and denominational jargon and did not use hymns, opening prayers, and offerings. In his presentations, he used Catholic expressions such as “Blessed Virgin Mary,” “the holy apostles,” “Saint Peter” without compromising any biblical doctrine.57

(4) He sought to establish confidence in “the Holy Scriptures,” by showing how “the Holy Book” addresses current human needs and personal concerns. Schubert marked the beginning of a new era in evangelization among Catholics in South America, Inter America, and beyond.58 In 1954, he became an associate Ministerial Secretary of the General Conference.

Another major adaptation in South America was related to the fact that about 84% of the adult population report that they were raised Catholic.59 As a district pastor, Daniel Belvedere noticed that during Easter, Catholics were inclined to hear more about the passion of Christ60 and concluded that we should take advantage of that moment to somehow present the message of salvation in its fullness. Belvedere reasoned that Easter could be the most effective evangelistic season of the year.61 In 1970, as Ministerial Secretary of the Buenos Aires Conference, he proposed a major evangelistic thrust during Easter, when the Catholic population is psychologically predisposed to listen to the biblical message.62 The Conference leaders supported the adaptation and the preparation of an instructional manual with topics for the laymen to preach in hundreds of places.63 Belvedere faced some challenges, because many members thought that, in this way, they would celebrate Holy Week as the Catholic Church does.64 Eventually, they understood that the truth was not compromised and realized that it was worth participating in this missionary project.65 After 50 years, there were more than 75,000 preaching points throughout the South American Division.66

Africa

In 1965, John M. Staples, a professor at the Department of Religion of Solusi College, in present-day Zimbabwe, conducted an evangelistic series in Malawi. Instead of following the prophetic emphasis of American evangelism, he made use of biblical and secular history. The method capital­ized on the strong feeling of nationalism that was prevalent in Africa—38 countries had reached their independence in the previous 15 years. The campaign title being used for the effort in Malawi was “Africa and the Bible.” Meetings were offered on Sundays, followed by intense visitation during the week. What follows is the title of some of the subjects preached, with a summary of its content:67

(1) “Africa in the Bible,” opening subject of the series. Stories of both the New Testament and the Old Testament refer to Egypt, Libya, and Ethiopia. Christianity, the religion of Jesus, is not foreign to Africa. God is interested in Africa. Africans should turn to God.

(2) “Does Africa Need a New Religion? Has Christianity failed?” Some intellectuals consider that they should look for a new religion. However, no other religion can remove the barrier of sin and bring man into fellowship with God. Christianity has been proved effective for Africa.

(3) “When Christ Returns to Africa” (Second Coming). He has been here before as a babe. When He returns, He will come as King of kings and Lord of lords.

(4) “Why Is Africa Changing So Quickly?” (Signs of the Times). Through these rapid changes God is calling men to understand we are living in the “last days.” Other signs of the times confirm the fact that we are living in the last days.

(5) “God's Plan for a Better Africa” (Plan of salvation). We greatly admire and respect all who are working for better conditions for their people—those working for a better Africa. God has such a plan too. The greatest discovery of life is to find that for 6,000 years God has had such a plan.

(6) “Why Has Africa Largely Forgotten God?” (Sabbath). Christianity became firmly established in Africa, but something happened. God gave man a gift at the beginning by which to remember Him. His gift was the Sabbath. The loss of the Sabbath resulted in loss of the knowledge of God.

(7) “Africa's Greatest Son” (Decision). The story of Moses and his choice to serve God rather than become a king of the mightiest African empire in the world.68

Asia.

(a) China. In the political environment of China at the time Adventists entered in the early 1900s, the early-Republican Chinese society was “trapped in a perpetual cycle of regime change, warlord conflicts, and natural disasters.”69 The Adventist message transmitted through the periodical Fuxin Xuanbao (Gospel Herald), later called Shizhao Yuebao (Signs of the Times), addressed many needs of the population and provided a message of hope in the middle of many unpredictable crises. Adventists in China tried to give their publications a Chinese design. The unique style of the Gospel Herald cover as well as the conventions of typography “were all invested with theological meaning”70 and through textual and visual messages they conveyed the essence of the gospel. According to a popular theme, the Chinese editors incorporated the Chinese word fu (fortune) beautifully printed in the four corners of the cover. Similarly to the ying-yang symbol, the two sides of a scale in the center of the cover have complimentary biblical messages related to the law and grace.71 Concerning content, many earlier issues of the Gospel Herald carried photos of the young Chinese emperor Puyi (1906-1967) and other members of the imperial family.72 Another Chinese adaptation, was that the editors explained the prophecies of Daniel in early numbers of the Gospel Herald, they conveyed the message in a unique way—through a dialogue between the prophet and God they showed Daniel’s vulnerability and his eventual submission to the will of God.73 The images constituted the core of the prophecies themselves; the less educated reread the text to better understand the images, and the educated might be prompted to modify their views based on the clarity of the images.74 The editors supplemented the articles with colloquial poems to make an impression on readers. Like Paul in Athens, these poems used well-known metaphors taken from Confucian literature.75 By 1927, the Signs of the Times had become the bestselling religious magazine in China with an average circulation of 70,000-80,000 copies per month and reached its peak at 500,000 copies for a special issue.76 Without Unions or Conferences, after the communist takeover, they continued to adapt to the changing conditions.77

(b) Mongolia. The first Adventist baptism in Mongolia took place in 1993 because of the work of the Adventist Frontier Missionaries using friendship evangelism and health outreach. The Mongolian work was handed over in 1998 to the Adventist church; after there were four attempts at public evangelism, the sentiment was that it did not work for Mongolia. By 2000, all 69 Adventists lived in the capital city, Ulanbaatar. Bold Batsukh volunteered to go to Darhan, the second largest city of Mongolia to do preparatory work for evangelism by teaching English in a local college, developing friendships, and starting Bible studies.78 For the Buddhist context of Mongolia, Carlos Martin and Bold Batsukh prepared an evangelistic series using media that avoided Western thought patterns, illustrations, and pictures. When harvest evangelism began in 2000, there were many believers ready for baptism. A two-week harvest series never attacked Buddhism but made a sympathetic comparison of beliefs with prayers that the Holy Spirit would produce a desire to accept a new worldview, one that would answer the ultimate questions of life in a better way than their traditions did. There was an intentional, gradual progression from Buddhist to Christian vocabulary and concepts. The five first presentations were: 1) “Does God Exist?” was a review of the “five irrefutable proofs of God’s existence” and an introduction of His character. 2) “Buddha and Jesus” was a sympathetic comparison of both great teachers. Jesus was sent by God. The presentation included a review of the sacred writings of their religions and made an introduction to Jesus and to the Bible. 3) The topic “Nirvana” focused its attention on the differences between Buddhist belief of Nirvana and the “Nirvana of Jesus.” It offered a description of a place without suffering and eternal happiness--Heaven. 4) In “The Law of Karma,” after a review of the Buddhist teaching on Karma (guilt is non-transferable), a presentation was made of the alternative offered by Jesus: He had the qualifications to carry the guilt of others’ transgressions. 5) “Buddha’s Ten Precepts”--five for all Buddhists, and five just for monks--was an introduction to the Ten Commandments of God. After fifteen nights, the audience had been exposed to the full plan of salvation, as expressed in the Fundamental Beliefs. The series facilitated the creation of the first Adventist church in the city, that was built in the shape of the typical, round, portable Mongolian house, galled ger.79 In August 2001, Bold Batsukh was the first Mongolian ordained as an Adventist pastor.80

(c) Cambodia. Many Cambodians returned to their country in 1992/1993, including several hundreds who had become Seventh-day Adventists in refugee camps. Cambodian pastors were concerned because many times when members died, they had been buried according to traditional funerals that followed Buddhist practices. In 1997, the 17 pastors of the Cambodia Adventist Mission gathered in a workers’ meeting under the direction of Bruce Bauer. They followed the four steps of the process that Paul Hiebert called “critical contextualization.”81 At end of the process, with prayer they agreed to maintain some practices, replace the chanting of Buddhist monks with a sermon from the Bible about death and hope in Jesus, and replace the typical Cambodian funeral music with Christian hymns that spoke of hope in the resurrection. The pastors were happy that they had come up with an Adventist funeral ceremony that still had Cambodian flair.82

(d) South Korea. Non-Christian Koreans practice chosang chesa, or ancestor worship, which has a Confucian background. According to Confucianism, filial piety is to be practiced in life, death, and after death. Adventists considered that the traditional gathering of the family on the anniversary of deceased parents is a positive element that could be maintained. They adopted the concept of a memorial service that may be held at a house, at the church, or at the grave site. Since the eldest son plays an important role in the traditional practice, he leads the service. After words of remembrance of the deceased and a sermon, a prayer of thanksgiving is offered for the blessings which the family of the deceased enjoyed and in appreciation for the help of relatives and friends. Then, following a traditional practice, all partake in a shared meal prepared for the family.83 Non-Christians may appreciate this “functional substitute”84 as they see that Adventists remember their ancestors.

Conclusion

In early stages of their history, Adventists were reluctant to engage in contextualization because the scope of Adventist mission did not consider the whole world and because of their lack of cross-cultural experience. However, they realized the need of adaptation of their approaches as they went cross-culturally to “the ends of the world.” The General Conference voted official guidelines for contextualization to prevent syncretism and to secure the unity of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. As the church continues its efforts to proclaim the eternal gospel “to every nation, tribe, tongue, and people,” more adaptations will be created.

Sources

“About.” Adventist Frontier Mission, 2021. https://afmonline.org/about-us/our-history/.

Achebe, Nwando et al. History Textbook: West African Senior School Certificate Examination. Online book, 2018. https://wasscehistorytextbook.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/334/2018/06/WASSCE_History_Textbook.pdf.

“Adventist Church Votes Guidelines for Mission Unity, Contextualization/.” Adventist News Network, October 14, 2009. https://adventist.news/news/adventist-church-votes-guidelines-for-mission-unity-contextualization.

Bahati, Prince. “Media Evangelism, a Newfound Success Across East-Central Africa: Series in Five English-speaking Countries Results in Thousands of Baptisms.” ARH Online, November 19, 2020. https://www.adventistreview.org/church-news/story15711-media-evangelism-a-newfound-success-across-east-central-africa.

Bauer, Bruce L., ed. Adventist Responses to Cross-Cultural Mission, Global Mission Issues Committee Papers, 2 Vols. Berrien Springs, MI: Department of World Mission, Andrews University, 2007.

Bauer, Bruce L., ed. “Bridges to Islam: Helping Christians Understand Islamic Culture and Values.” Journal of Adventist Mission Studies 1, no. 1 (2005), cover.

Bauer, Bruce L., ed. “Contextualization: Presenting the Gospel in Culturally Relevant Terms.” Journal of Adventist Mission Studies 1, no. 2 (2005), cover.

Baumgartner, Erich W. “Charisma and Contextualization: Leadership Lessons from the Emerging Adventist Church in Central Europe, 1864–1914.” In Parochialism, Pluralism, and Contextualization: Challenges to Adventist Mission in Europe (19th–21st Centuries), eds. David J. B. Trimm and Daniel Heinz, 63–82. Frankfurt: Peter Lang, 2010.

Belvedere, Daniel. “[Obituary] Walter Schubert.” Revista Adventista, May 1981, 19.

Bull, Malcolm and Keith Lockhart. Seeking a Sanctuary: Seventh-day Adventism and the American Dream. Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 2007.

Conn, Harvie M. Eternal Word and Changing Worlds: Theology, Anthropology, and Mission in Trialogue. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1984.

Considine, John. Fundamental Catholic Teaching on the Human Race. Maryknoll, NY: Maryknoll, 1961.

De Souza, Elías Brasil, ed. Teologia e Metodologia da Missão. VIII Simpósio Bíblico-Teológico Sul-Americano. San Paulo: Editora Ceplib, 2011.

Diop, Ganoune. “The Truth About Inter-Church/Interfaith Relations.” ARH, December 19, 2019. https://www.adventistreview.org/the-truth-about-inter-church/interfaith-relations.

Donato, Everon. “Evangelismo de Semana Santa: Una idea que Dio Resultado y Conquistó la Simpatía de Obreros y Miembros en toda Sudamérica.” Revista del Anciano, April-June 2015, 14-16.

Doyle, Dennis M. “Concept of Inculturation in Roman Catholicism: A Theological Consideration.” US Catholic Historian 30, no. 1 (2012): 1-13.

General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. “Global Mission Centers.” Adventist Mission, 2021. https://gm.adventistmission.org/global-mission-initiative and https://www.globalmissioncenters.org/general-resource.

General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. “A Seventh-day Adventist Philosophy of Music.” Seventh-day Adventist Church. Voted by the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists Annual Council on October 13, 2004. https://www.adventist.org/guidelines/a-seventh-day-adventist-philosophy-of-music/#identifier_4_1518.

General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. “Engaging in Global Mission.” Seventh-day Adventist Church. Voted by the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists Executive Committee at the Annual Council Session on June 1, 2003. https://www.adventist.org/guidelines/engaging-in-global-mission/.

General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. “Roadmap for Mission.” Seventh-day Adventist Church. Voted by the Executive Committee at the Annual Council Session on October 13, 2009. https://adventist.news/news/roadmap-for-mission.

Girou, Aimé-Jacques. “Effective Approach to the Catholics.” Ministry, September 1937, 3-4.

“Global Mission Pioneers.” Adventist Mission, 2021. https://am.adventistmission.org/global-mission-pioneers.

Greenleaf, Floyd. A Land of Hope: The Growth of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in South America. Tatui, San Paulo, Brazil: Casa Publicadora Brasileira, 2011.

Gu, Chan Sheng. Missionaries and Modern China. Shanghai: Shanghai People’s Publishing House, 2004.

Gustin, Pat. “The Institute of World Mission: Forty-five Years and Counting.” Journal of Adventist Mission Studies 7, no. 1 (2011): 2-17.

Hesselgrave, David J. and Edward Rommen. Contextualization: Meanings, Methods, and Models. Pasadena, CA: William Carey Library, 2000.

Hiebert, Paul G. “Critical Contextualization.” International Bulletin of Missionary Research 11, no. 3 (1987): 104-112.

Hiebert, Paul G. “Critical Contextualization.” Missiology: An International Review 12, no. 3 (1984): 287-296.

Hiebert, Paul G. “Indigenization.” Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online, 1989. https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Indigenization&oldid=92097.

“Introducing People to Jesus in the 10/40 Window.” Gospel Outreach, 2021. https://goaim.org.

Iuorno, Edgardo D. Alumbrar un Continente: Daniel Belvedere, Líder de la Evangelización Pública Sudamericana. Paraná, Entre Ríos: Descubra Ediciones, 2018.

Iuorno, Edgardo D. Así Se Ganaron Miles: Las Enseñanzas de Walter Schubert Sobre Evangelización Pública Adventista. Paraná, Argentina: Descubra Ediciones, 2019.

Jang, Byungho, ed. Asia-Africa Journal of Mission & Ministry 1, no. 1 (2009).

Kinsler, F. Ross. “Mission and Context: The Current Debate about Contextualization.” Mission Nexus, January 1, 1978. https://missionexus.org/mission-and-context-the-current-debate-about-contextualization/.

Klingbeil, Gerald A., ed. Misión y Contextualización: Llevar el Mensaje Bíblico a un Mundo Multicultural. Entre Ríos, Argentina: Editorial Universidad Adventista del Plata, 2005.

Kraft, Charles H. Christianity in Culture: A Study in Dynamic Biblical Theologizing in Cross-Cultural Perspective. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 1988.

Krause, Bettina and Dale Tunnell. “First Mongolian Adventist Pastor Ordained.” Adventist News Network, August 20, 2001. https://adventist.news/news/first-mongolian-adventist-pastor-ordained.

Kuhn, Wagner. “Adventist Theological-Missiology: Contextualization in Mission and Ministry.” Journal of the Adventist Theological Society 27, nos. 1-2 (2016): 175-208.

Lee, Joseph Tse-Hei and Christie Chui-Shan Chow. “Publishing Prophecy: A Century of Adventist Print Culture in China.” In Religious Publishing and Print Culture in Modern China: 1800-2012. Religion and Society Series 58, eds. Philip Clart and Gregory Scott, 50–90. Berlin: De Gruyter, 2015.

Luzbetack Louis J. The Church and Cultures. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 1989.

Malinki, James. “.” Ministry, December 1939, 15.

Martin, Carlos G. “Missions in Our Backyard: Evangelism Among Newly Arrived Hispanics to the United States.” Journal of Adventist Mission Studies 13, no. 1 (2017): 126-136.

McClure, Charlotte. “Mongolia Awakens to Christian Gospel After Seven Decades of Communism.” Adventist News Network, January 23, 2001. https://adventist.news/es/news/mongolia-awakens-to-christian-gospel-after-seven-decades-of-communism.

McGavran, Donald A. “The Biblical Base from Which Adjustments Are Made.” In Christopaganism or Indigenous Christianity?, eds. Tetsunao Yamamori and Charles Taber, 42–52. South Pasadena, CA: William Carey Library, 1975.

McIntyre, Owen. “Seventh-day Adventist Approaches to Contextualization of Theology.” Mission Studies 16, no. 2 (1999): 125-134.

Nehrbass, Kenneth. “The Half-life of Missiological Facts.” Missiology: An International Review 42, no. 3 (2014): 284-294.

Nida, Eugene A. and Charles R. Taber. The Theory and Practice of Translation, With Special Reference to Bible Translating. Leiden: Brill, 1969.

Oliver, Barry D. “Can or Should Seventh-day Adventist Belief Be Adapted to Culture?” In Adventist Mission Facing the Twenty-First Century: The Joys and Challenges of Presenting Jesus to a Diverse World, ed. Jon L. Dybdahl, 72–87. Hagerstown, MD: Review & Herald, 1999.

O’Reggio, Trevor and Jomo R. Smith. “Christianity with Chinese Characteristics: The Origins and Evolution of Adventist Mission in a Chinese Province.” Journal of Adventist Mission Studies 8, no. 1 (2012): 107-138.

Raso, Bruno. “Evangelismo de Semana Santa.” La Revista del Anciano, April-June 2020, 4-6.

“Religion in Latin America.” Pew Research Center, November 13, 2014. https://www.pewforum.org/2014/11/13/religion-in-latin-america/.

Ryan, Michael. “Introduction.” In Adventist Responses to Cross-Cultural Mission. Global Mission Issues Committee Papers 1, ed. Bruce L. Bauer, ix–xiii. Berrien Springs, MI: Department of World Mission, Andrews University, 2006.

Satelmajer, Nikolaus and Willie E. Hucks II. “.” Ministry, June 2008, 10-14.

Schineller, Peter. A Handbook in Inculturation. New York: Mahawah, 1990.

Schubert, Walter. “A Public Effort Among Catholics: How to Present Subjects in Efforts Aimed at Catholics.” Ministry, November 1949, 3-5.

Schubert, Walter. “Evangelization of Roman Catholics.” Addresses given at the Seventh-day Adventist Bible Conference, Takoma Park, MD, September 11-12, 1952.

“Semana Santa, Esa Fecha Tan Especial.” La Revista Adventista, June 2018, 22.

Serns, Dan. “Appeals to Come Help in India.” NPUC Adventist Leaders, June 30, 2007. https://leaders.npuc.org/2007/06/30/appeals-to-come-help-in-india/.

“ShareHim Initiatives.” ShareHim, 2017. https://sharehim.org/about-us/.

Staples, John M. “: Evangelism in Changing Africa.” Ministry, December 1965, 28-32, 46.

Timm, Alberto R. “Building a Growing Church: The South American Experience.” Ministry, October 2008, 20-23.

“Training Options.” Adventist Frontier Mission, 2021. https://afmonline.org/afm-training/training-options/.

White, Ellen G. Evangelism. Washington, D.C.: Review & Herald, 1946.

White, Ellen G. Gospel Workers. Washington, D.C.: Review & Herald, 1915.

White, Ellen G. Manuscript Releases. 21 vols. Silver Spring, MD: Ellen G. White Estate, 1990.

White, Ellen G. Testimonies for the Church. 9 vols. Mountain View, CA: Pacific Press, 1948.

White, Ellen G. Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers. Mountain View, CA: Pacific Press, 1962.

“Who We Serve: Mongolians.” Adventist Frontier Mission, 2021. https://afmonline.org/serve/detail/mongolians.

Widmer, Myron K. “Global Mission: To Every People Group.” ARH, February 20, 1992, 12-14.

Wieland, Robert J. For a Better Africa. Kendu Bay, Kenya: East African Publishing House, 1967.

Wogu, Chigemezi-Nnadozie. “Constructs in Contexts: Models of Contextualizing Adventist Theology.” International Bulletin of Mission Research 43, no. 2 (2019): 146-158.

“World Church: Leaders to Cultivate ‘Relationship of Relating’ Between Adventists and Major Faith Groups.” Adventist News Network, January 22, 2007. https://adventist.news/news/world-church-leaders-to-cultivate-relationship-of-relating-between-adventists-and-major-faith-groups.

Young, Ko. “Korean Ancestor Worship in the Light of Biblical Teachings.” M.A. thesis, Adventist International Institute of Advanced Studies, 1980.

Zackrison, James W. “Church Growth in InterAmerica.” Ministry, September 1977, 13-14.

Notes

  1. General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, “Roadmap for Mission,” Seventh-day Adventist Church, voted by the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists Executive Committee at the Annual Council Session on 13 October 13, 2009; https://adventist.news/news/roadmap-for-mission.

  2. The word “Indigenization” comes from the term “indigenous,” which means “native to a given area.” That term was widely used in Christian missions where it referred “to making the Gospel understood in the language and thought forms of the local people and to efforts to make the church autonomous in its organization.” Adaptations were usually done under the paternalistic supervision of missionaries. Paul G. Hiebert, “Indigenization,” Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online, 1989; https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Indigenization&oldid=92097.

  3. Accommodation has consistently been preached as the official policy of the Roman Catholic Church. John Considine, Fundamental Catholic Teaching on the Human Race (Maryknoll, NY: Maryknoll, 1961), 59-71; Louis J. Luzbetack, The Church and Cultures (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 1989), 68. However, many examples of faulty adjustments demonstrate that accommodation has been more a compromise of the faith than an adaptation to the culture. Donald A. McGavran, “The Biblical Base from Which Adjustments Are Made,” in Christopaganism or Indigenous Christianity?, eds. Tetsunao Yamamori and Charles Taber (South Pasadena, CA: William Carey Library, 1975), 42-52.

  4. The translation approach is related to the dynamic-equivalence Bible-translation theory, developed by Eugene A. Nida, a linguist who coined the term “dynamic equivalence translation.” Dynamic equivalence is the “quality of a translation in which the message of the original text has been so transported into the receptor language that the response of the receptor is essentially like that of the original receptors.” Eugene A. Nida and Charles R. Taber, The Theory and Practice of Translation, With Special Reference to Bible Translating (Leiden: Brill, 1969), 200. Dynamic equivalence “is directed primarily toward equivalence of response rather than equivalence in form.” Ibid., 166. In support for this approach, Kraft states, “Dynamic-equivalence theologizing is the reproducing in contemporary cultural contexts of the theologizing process that Paul and the other scriptural authors exemplify.” Charles H. Kraft, Christianity in Culture: A Study in Dynamic Biblical Theologizing in Cross-Cultural Perspective (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 1988), 291.

  5. Barry D. Oliver, “Can or Should Seventh-day Adventist Belief Be Adapted to Culture?” in Adventist Mission Facing the Twenty-First Century: The Joys and Challenges of Presenting Jesus to a Diverse World, ed. Jon L. Dybdahl (Hagerstown, MD: Review & Herald, 1999), 75.

  6. According to Kraft, transculturation aims “to represent the ‘meanings’ [the eternal truth of the Word of God] or past events as if they were clothed in contemporary events.” Kraft, Christianity in Culture, 280. In accomplishing this task, “theological truth must be re-created like a dynamic-equivalence translation or transculturation.” Ibid., 297.

  7. Dennis M. Doyle, “Concept of Inculturation in Roman Catholicism: A Theological Consideration,” US Catholic Historian 30, no. 1 (2012): 1-13. The word “inculturation” suggests the transfer of the faith from one culture to another but in a higher sense than mere acculturation since it presupposes a measure of reinterpretation. Peter Schineller, A Handbook in Inculturation (New York: Mahawah, 1990), 22. This approach sees “a dialectical interaction between the cultural situation, the Catholic faith, and the minister’s experience.” Ibid., 75.

  8. Owen McIntyre, “Seventh-day Adventist Approaches to Contextualization of Theology,” Mission Studies 16, no. 2 (1999): 128.

  9. Africa suffered much for this lack of adaptation. “The problems created by the White missionaries themselves arose largely from a misconception of what Africa represented. Europe in those days looked upon Africa as ‘the Dark Continent’ with very primitive civilizations, and most Europeans refused to adapt their religion to suit the local situation.” Nwando Achebe et al., History Textbook: West African Senior School Certificate Examination (Online book, 2018), 107 (96-111); https://wasscehistorytextbook.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/334/2018/06/WASSCE_History_Textbook.pdf.

  10. Paul G. Hiebert, “Critical Contextualization,” International Bulletin of Missionary Research 11, no. 3 (1987): 104.

  11. Ellen G. White, Manuscript Releases, 21 vols., vol. 8 (Silver Spring, MD: Ellen G. White Estate, 1990), 98; https://m.egwwritings.org/en/book/52.531#531.

  12. Ellen G. White, Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers (Mountain View, CA: Pacific Press, 1962), 213.

  13. Ellen G. White, Testimonies for the Church, 9 vols. (Mountain View, CA: Pacific Press, 1948), 2:673.

  14. Pat Gustin, “The Institute of World Mission: Forty-five Years and Counting,” Journal of Adventist Mission Studies 7, no. 1 (2011): 3; https://digitalcommons.andrews.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1019&context=jams.

  15. Shoki Coe, a Presbyterian minister in Taiwan, coined the term as a result of his reflection on “text and context,” which eventually led to a discussion on contextualization. F. Ross Kinsler, “Mission and Context: The Current Debate about Contextualization,” Mission Nexus, January 1, 1978; https://missionexus.org/mission-and-context-the-current-debate-about-contextualization/.

  16. The first use of the term “contextualization” in a publication was in Ministry in Context, published in 1972 with funds provided by the International Missionary Council of the World Council of Churches. David J. Hesselgrave and Edward Rommen, Contextualization: Meanings, Methods, and Models (Pasadena, CA: William Carey Library, 2000), 28.

  17. See a list of perceived dangers of contextualization in Harvie M. Conn, Eternal Word and Changing Worlds: Theology, Anthropology, and Mission in Trialogue (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1984), 176, 177.

  18. The first two articles on contextualization appeared in evangelical journals in the 1960s, 11 in the 1970s, about the same in 1980s, 47 in the 1990s, and 58 articles in the first decade of the new century Kenneth Nehrbass, “The Half-life of Missiological Facts,” Missiology: An International Review 42, no. 3 (2014): 286.

  19. Chigemezi Nnadozie Wogu, “Constructs in Contexts: Models of Contextualizing Adventist Theology,” International Bulletin of Mission Research 43, no. 2 (2019): 149; https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/2396939318754759.

  20. Michael Ryan, “Introduction,” in Adventist Responses to Cross-Cultural Mission, Global Mission Issues Committee Papers, vol. 1, ed. Bruce L. Bauer (Berrien Springs, MI: Department of World Mission, Andrews University, 2006), xi.

  21. Bruce L. Bauer, ed., Adventist Responses to Cross-Cultural Mission, Global Mission Issues Committee Papers, vol. 1 (Berrien Springs, MI: Department of World Mission, Andrews University, 2006); Bruce L. Bauer, ed., Adventist Responses to Cross-Cultural Mission, Global Mission Issues Committee Papers, vol. 2 (Berrien Springs, MI: Department of World Mission, Andrews University, 2007).

  22. Gerald A. Klingbeil, ed., Misión y Contextualización: Llevar el Mensaje Bíblico a un Mundo Multicultural (Entre Ríos, Argentina: Editorial Universidad Adventista del Plata, 2005).

  23. Bruce L. Bauer, ed., “Bridges to Islam: Helping Christians Understand Islamic Culture and Values,” Journal of Adventist Mission Studies 1, no. 1 (2005), cover.

  24. Bruce L. Bauer, ed., “Contextualization: Presenting the Gospel in Culturally Relevant Terms,” Journal of Adventist Mission Studies 1, no. 2 (2005), cover.

  25. Elías Brasil de Souza, ed., Teologia e Metodologia da Missão, VIII Simpósio Bíblico-Teológico Sul-Americano (San Paulo: Editora Ceplib, 2011).

  26. Byungho Jang, ed., Asia-Africa Journal of Mission & Ministry 1, no. 1 (2009).

  27. Myron K. Widmer, “Global Mission: To Every People Group,” ARH, February 20, 1992, 12-14.

  28. General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, “Global Mission Centers,” Adventist Mission; https://gm.adventistmission.org/global-mission-initiative and https://www.globalmissioncenters.org/general-resource.

  29. Wagner Kuhn, “Adventist Theological-Missiology: Contextualization in Mission and Ministry,” Journal of the Adventist Theological Society 27, nos. 1-2 (2016): 186.

  30. General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, “Engaging in Global Mission,” Seventh-day Adventist Church, voted by the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists Executive Committee at the Annual Council Session on June 1, 2003; https://www.adventist.org/guidelines/engaging-in-global-mission/. The following notes refer to essential ideas of the document.

  31. “The Church should not use language that may give the impression that it recognizes or accepts the nature and authority assigned to the ‘sacred writings’ by the followers of specific non-Christian religions.” Ibid.

  32. Church leaders at the division, union, and local field should determine the nature of a transitional organization, if considered necessary. Ibid.

  33. “The Baptismal Vow, as set forth in the Church Manual, must be taken as summarizing the minimum required beliefs and experiences for baptism.” Ibid.

  34. “If the need to contextualize the form of worship in a particular culture arises, the guidelines provided in the document entitled ‘Contextualization and Syncretism’ should be followed.” Ibid.

  35. The main issue under the subheading “Contextualization and Syncretism” is that the way to avoid syncretism is the process of critical contextualization. “Contextualization is a process that should involve world Church leaders, theologians, missiologists, local people, and ministers. These individuals should have a clear understanding of the core elements of the biblical worldview in order to be able to distinguish between truth and error.” Ibid.

  36. “Adventist Church Votes Guidelines for Mission Unity, Contextualization,” Adventist News Network, October 14, 2009; https://adventist.news/news/adventist-church-votes-guidelines-for-mission-unity-contextualization.

  37. General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, “Roadmap for Mission.”

  38. “World Church: Leaders to Cultivate ‘Relationship of Relating’ Between Adventists and Major Faith Groups,” Adventist News Network, January 22, 2007; https://adventist.news/news/world-church-leaders-to-cultivate-relationship-of-relating-between-adventists-and-major-faith-groups.

  39. Ganoune Diop, “The Truth About Inter-Church/Interfaith Relations,” ARH Online, December 19, 2019; https://www.adventistreview.org/the-truth-about-inter-church/interfaith-relations.

  40. Adventist Frontier Missions, “About,” 2021; https://afmonline.org/about-us/our-history/.

  41. Adventist Frontier Missions, “Training Options,” 2021; https://afmonline.org/afm-training/training-options/.

  42. Gospel Outreach, “Introducing People to Jesus in the 10/40 Window,” 2021; https://goaim.org.

  43. ShareHim, “ShareHim Initiatives,” 2017; https://sharehim.org/about-us/.

  44. Ellen G. White, Gospel Workers (Washington, DC: Review & Herald, 1915), 468.

  45. Ellen G. White, Evangelism (Washington, DC: Review & Herald, 1946), 57.

  46. Oliver, “Can or Should Seventh-day Adventist Belief Be Adapted to Culture?” 76.

  47. Nikolaus Satelmajer and Willie E. Hucks II, “,” Ministry, June 2008, 10-11.

  48. Erich W. Baumgartner, “Charisma and Contextualization: Leadership Lessons from the Emerging Adventist Church in Central Europe, 1864–1914,” in Parochialism, Pluralism, and Contextualization: Challenges to Adventist Mission in Europe (19th–21st Centuries), eds. David J. B. Trim and Daniel Heinz (Frankfurt: Lang, 2010), 78.

  49. Wogu, “Constructs in Contexts,” 150.

  50. Aimé-Jacques Girou, “Effective Approach to the Catholics,” Ministry, September 1937, 4.

  51. “While that approach had functioned well for many years in a North American setting where evangelistic meetings resembled weekly Sunday worship services, it did not fit as well in a different cultural milieu such as Latin America.” Floyd Greenleaf, A Land of Hope: The Growth of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in South America (San Paulo, Brazil: Casa Publicadora Brasileira, 2011), 483.

  52. Alberto R. Timm, “Building a Growing Church: The South American Experience,” Ministry, October 2008, 20.

  53. Malcolm Bull and Keith Lockhart, Seeking a Sanctuary: Seventh-day Adventism and the American Dream (Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 2007), 144.

  54. James W. Zackrison, “Church Growth in InterAmerica,” Ministry, September 1977, 14.

  55. Walter Schubert, “A Public Effort Among Catholics: How to Present Subjects in Efforts Aimed at Catholics,” Ministry, November 1949, 3-5.

  56. Daniel Belvedere, “[Obituary] Walter Schubert,” Revista Adventista, May 1981, 19.

  57. “These seem to be small and insignificant details; however, they play a very important role among the Catholic public.” Walter Schubert, “Evangelization of Roman Catholics,” Addresses given at the Seventh-day Adventist Bible Conference, Takoma Park, MD, September 11-12, 1952, 4.

  58. Edgardo Iuorno, Así Se Ganaron Miles: Las Enseñanzas de Walter Schubert Sobre Evangelización Pública Adventista (Paraná, Argentina: Descubra Ediciones, 2019).

  59. Pew Research Center, “Religion in Latin America,” November 13, 2014; https://www.pewforum.org/2014/11/13/religion-in-latin-america/.

  60. Due to traditions that can be traced back several centuries, Roman Catholics are inclined to do something religious and, in many cases, sacrificial during “Semana Santa” [“Holy Week”], or Easter. During this week it is common to see people walking on their knees for long distances to a special shrine, avoiding consumption of meat, and participating in processions. Roman Catholics may even be willing to attend a “Protestant” event if it is done in a proper manner. Carlos G. Martin, “Missions in Our Backyard: Evangelism Among Newly Arrived Hispanics to the United States,” Journal of Adventist Mission Studies 13, no. 1 (2017): 131-132.

  61. Bruno Raso, “Evangelismo de Semana Santa,” La Revista del Anciano, April-June 2020, 4.

  62. Everon Donato, “Evangelismo de Semana Santa: Una idea que Dio Resultado y Conquistó la Simpatía de Obreros y Miembros en toda Sudamérica,” Revista del Anciano, April-June 2015, 15.

  63. Pr. Belvedere prepared an instruction manual and sermons for the first four nights (Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Easter Sunday) and the material for the following seven weeks. A handbook with nine decision themes was also provided, which were presented on nine consecutive nights at the end of the seven weeks of indoctrination. Volunteer preachers were also provided with audiovisual support and a home Bible course to give Bible studies to those interested. Edgardo D. Iuorno, Alumbrar un Continente: Daniel Belvedere, Líder de la Evangelización Pública Sudamericana (Paraná, Entre Ríos: Descubra Ediciones, 2018), 31.

  64. At first, this was not very well received. Many wondered: “Is it correct to do evangelism during Easter, if we are not Catholics?” “Semana Santa, Esa Fecha Tan Especial,” La Revista Adventista, June 2018, 22.

  65. Raso, “Evangelismo de Semana Santa.”

  66. Donato, “Evangelismo de Semana Santa,” 15.

  67. John M. Staples, “: Evangelism in Changing Africa,” Ministry, December 1965, 28-32, 46.

  68. See full information in Robert J. Wieland, For a Better Africa (Kendu Bay, Kenya: East African Publishing House, 1967).

  69. Joseph Tse-Hei Lee and Christie Chui-Shan Chow, “Publishing Prophecy: A Century of Adventist Print Culture in China,” in Religious Publishing and Print Culture in Modern China: 1800-2012, Religion and Society Series 58, eds. Philip Clart and Gregory Scott (Berlin: De Gruyter, 2015), 52.

  70. Ibid., 64.

  71. Ibid., 65.

  72. Ibid., 66.

  73. Ibid., 72.

  74. Ibid., 73.

  75. Ibid., 75.

  76. Chan Sheng Gu, Missionaries and Modern China (Shanghai: Shanghai People’s Publishing House, 2004), 375.

  77. Trevor O’Reggio and Jomo R. Smith, “Christianity with Chinese Characteristics: The Origins and Evolution of Adventist Mission in a Chinese Province,” Journal of Adventist Mission Studies 8, no. 1 (2012): 131.

  78. Adventist Frontier Missions, “Who We Serve: Mongolians,” 2021; https://afmonline.org/serve/detail/mongolians.

  79. Charlotte McClure, “Mongolia Awakens to Christian Gospel After Seven Decades of Communism,” Adventist News Network, January 23, 2001; https://adventist.news/es/news/mongolia-awakens-to-christian-gospel-after-seven-decades-of-communism.

  80. Bettina Krause and Dale Tunnell, “First Mongolian Adventist Pastor Ordained,” Adventist News Network, August 20, 2001; https://adventist.news/news/first-mongolian-adventist-pastor-ordained/.

  81. Paul G. Hiebert, “Critical Contextualization,” Missiology: An International Review 12, no. 3 (1984): 287-296. In short, those steps are: 1) Gather information about the traditional practice under consideration. 2) Study biblical teachings related to the traditional practice. 3) Evaluate the traditional practice in the light of biblical teachings. 4) Maintain or reject the traditional practice or create a new contextualized Christian practice.

  82. Kuhn, “Adventist Theological-Missiology,” 204-205.

  83. Ko Young, “Korean Ancestor Worship in the Light of Biblical Teachings” (M.A. thesis, Adventist International Institute of Advanced Studies, 1980), 242-248.

  84. Functional substitutes are culturally appropriate elements that take the place of rituals and practices which are incompatible with biblical teachings. They replace the pre-Christian practices to avoid creating a cultural void or cultural vacuum.

×

Martin, Carlos G. "Contextualization." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. November 28, 2021. Accessed February 27, 2024. https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=6FN6.

Martin, Carlos G. "Contextualization." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. November 28, 2021. Date of access February 27, 2024, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=6FN6.

Martin, Carlos G. (2021, November 28). Contextualization. Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. Retrieved February 27, 2024, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=6FN6.