Monday, November 26, 2007

Do Chinese Students Need An American Jesus?

As the Internet Monk a.k.a Michael Spencer continues in his journey to deconstruct American Evangelicalism, I came across this very insightful post by him on 15 November 2006, almost one year ago. The post is titled ‘Do Chinese Students Need An American Jesus?’

American Christian.
You didn’t like that did you? I don’t like it either. “American Christian” sounds idolatrous. It makes me want to hit the delete key and retype something like “a Christian, who happens to be an American.”

But I’m an American Christian. Whether I like it or not. I live in an American culture that has delivered Christ to me in the swaddling clothes of American religion, American culture, American values, the American imagination, American education, American language, American assumptions and an American view of reality.

To declare myself independent from this is to be purposely ignorant and naively arrogant. Every time I read the New Testament, I am an American reading and interpreting that New Testament. When I go to church, I am an American. When I apply my understanding of the gospel, I do it as an American.

I’m not a blank slate. I don’t supernaturally shed my cultural and intellectual skin when I think “Christianly.” I am not free from all that came before me, all that surrounds me or all that is within me.

This has nothing to do with the truth and veracity of the gospel. It has everything to do with honestly recognizing that we are thoroughly, deeply and continually swimming in the water of Americanism. It has to do with what I and other American Christians present to the world as the life that follows and obeys Christ.

Read his complete post here

I believe this post throws an important light on contextualization of the gospel.

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