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Contextualization and Syncretism (EMS 13)

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Table of Contents

  • Foreword by Gailyn Van Rheenen
  • Author profiles


  • 1. Syncretism and Contextualization: the Church on a Journey Defining Itself by Gailyn Van Rheenen
  • 2. Syncretism and Social Paradigms by Paul H. Hiebert
  • 3. Contextualization, Syncretism, and Spiritual Warfare: Identifying The Issues by Scott Moreau
  • 4. Syncretism: Mission And Missionary Induced? By David J. Hesselgrave


  • 5. The Role Of Context In Shaping Theology by Steve Strauss
  • 6. The Lamb And The Emperor: Theologies Of Revelation Countering Syncretism by Ron Stansell


  • 7. To the Muslim I Became a Muslim? by Dudley Woodberry
  • 8. Suburban Evangelical Individualism: Syncretism or Contextualization? by J. Nelson Jennings
  • 9. Post-constantinian Missions: Lessons from the Resurgence of Paganism by Michael T. Cooper
  • 10. Dwarves, Elves, and Vampires: An Exploration on Syncretism in Metro Manila by Cynthia A. Strong and David K. Strong
  • 11. Revelation in the Chinese Characters: Divine or Divined? by How Chuang Chua
  • 12. “You Must Not Worship in Their Way…”: When Contextualization Becomes Syncretism (Syncretism Among Messianic Jews) by Larry Poston
  • 13. Legalism-Syncretism from within a Challenge in the Romanian Church by Cristian Barbosu
  • 14. Syncretism and Identity Among the Byano Kuna by Eric J. Moeller
  • 15. Building Bridges to Muslims: A Test Case by Gareth Lee Cockerill

by: Gailyn Van Rheenen (Editor)

Spreading the Gospel to All in All Places

God calls his people to communicate the gospel for all nations. And so, the matter of contextualization is always relevant for every generation and culture. Many people know the difficulty of contextualizing the Christian message in ways that are faithful to Scripture and meaningful to the local context. Discerning culture’s influence on Christianity is easier done in retrospect than in prospect.

When navigating cultural currents, we must consider the question, “What distinguishes contextualization from syncretism?” Culture inevitably shapes our theology. But how do we avoid accommodating the biblical message such that it loses its divine essence?

The contributors in this volume wrestle with these and other critical concerns. The essays address diverse historical and cultural settings. Readers will find themselves both challenged, stimulated, and encouraged as they reflect on the ideas presented in this book.

Additional Details

  • Pages: 354
  • Publisher: William Carey Library
  • Binding: Paperback
  • Publish Year: 2005
  • ISBN: 9781645085263
  • Vendor: William Carey Library