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Anthropological Insights for Missionaries Paperback – January 1, 1986
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From the Back Cover
--Gottfried Oosterwal, Religious Studies Review
"In this book Paul Hiebert has pulled together an impressive array of insights (from his own missionary experience and from the experience of other missionaries) which anthropology offers the would-be missionary. . . . The book has been written in an easy-to-read, straightforward style. Hiebert provides an abundance of primary sources for those who might want to pursue further individual insights. It is a book that will be valuable to mission executives, missionary candidates, and even experienced missionaries."
--Jacob A. Loewen, Missiology
"This is a book that needed to be written. . . . No single volume focuses the insights derived from the study of anthropology so comprehensively and yet so practically on the life and work of the average evangelical missionary as does this one. While ideal as a supplementary text for a course in missionary anthropology, this book can be read with real profit by anyone engaged in or contemplating a cross-cultural ministry. . . . The book is replete with helpful tables, charts, diagrams, and carefully selected excerpts from other writers. . . . This is the kind of book that deserves to be read not only at the beginning of one's missionary career, but at five-year intervals thereafter."
--Kenneth Mulholland, Evangelical Missions Quarterly
"A masterful tool. . . . [Hiebert] provides a sound treatment both of culture and the Gospel which denies the complexity of neither. He treats the task of living in another culture with much practical wisdom and a good deal of intellectual sophistication. He presents a thoroughly sound and persuasive approach to contextualization and the communication of the Gospel. . . . This is all done in clear, non-jargony language. Effective charts and diagrams sprinkle the text and go a long way towards illustrating difficult concepts and ideas. . . . This book is believable, convincing, and practical. . . . It would be useful for courses in applied anthropology, missiology and missionary preparation, and the theory of culture."
--Harley Schreck, Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith
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Top Customer Reviews
"Anthropological Insights for Missionaries" begins by presenting a base of information. Anthropology is described and various terms are defined and interrelated Overarching theories of intercultural interaction are presented and Hiebert describes his basic anthropological and theological assumptions. One of the most important arguments for the purposes of the book is Hiebert's contention that the Gospel is compatible with any culture as each culture is able to understand and apply the Gospel in a unique, Holy Spirit-led way.
The second part places the focus on the missionary himself. It is certainly a stressful task for the missionary to pack up everything and move to a remote, unfamiliar land. Issues of culture shock and ethnocentrism are examined as well as cultural assumptions. Hiebert provides paradigms and practical advice for acclimating to a new culture and (beyond that) to becoming incarnational within that culture (adopting it as best as one is able).Read more ›
Hiebert accents that the preaching of gospel may reflect the background of missionaries but he in his book helps to avoid trap of culture shock, how to make bridges between cultures, and lay good foundation for native Christian churches. Especially interesting is Hiebert's analisis of trends what will and may happen in the new native Christian church later after three and four generations.
I recommend this book not only for missionaries but also for pastors and gospel workers.
Hiebert launches his first chapter with a story about how a church in India featured Santa Claus in their Nativity drama. He makes the point that first one must understand the historical and cultural setting of the Bible and second one must interpret the Bible into the historical and cultural setting of the people one is ministering to. He lists four benefits of anthropology to missions. First, it helps the missionary understand cross-cultural situations. Second, it helps with Bible translation. Third, it helps the missionary understand the process of conversion. Fourth, it helps the missionary make the Gospel relevant to the listeners. Finally, it helps the missionary relate to different cultures and build bridges of understanding.
In the second chapter, culture is defined as “the more of less integrated system of ideas, feelings, and values and their associated patterns of behavior and products shared by a group of people who organize and regulate what they think, feel, and do.” Every culture has its own cognitive, affective, and evaluative dimensions. These work together to form a worldview, or assumptions and expectations about reality.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A good book that we used for class as we studied Anthropology
I liked it at most parts and it really helped me to understand this important subject and I realized a lot of... Read more
Mr. Hiebert's book was instrumental in getting me back to my Christian roots! He is a genius of our time in the Christan field of knowledge. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Kiva Neufeld
Excellent by one of the top authors in the field. The brief case studies bring the text to life and help equip the reader for applying the insights to ministry.Published 10 months ago by anonymous