- Paperback: 354 pages
- Publisher: Mission ONE (January 1, 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0984812857
- ISBN-13: 978-0984812851
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 26 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #423,616 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Global Gospel: Achieving Missional Impact in Our Multicultural World Paperback – January 1, 2015
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I am delighted to see it catching on through
- the Jan/Feb 2015 issue of Mission Frontiers magazine,
- four Missio Nexus webinars scheduled for February 2015, and
- major forthcoming articles in International Orality Journal and Evangelical Missions Quarterly.
But HOW have we overlooked for centuries the fact that "our Bible" was written in cultural values foreign to our own?
And HOW have we assumed that our presentation of the Gospel for Western societies is the best presentation for all cultures?
And HOW should this new awareness affect global evangelism, discipleship and community formation?
This book provides an in-depth look at honor-shame dynamics in the Bible itself, as well as addressing these other pressing questions.
The Global Gospel: Achieving Missional Impact in Our Multicultural World will take you deep into the heart of the Bible and the Gospel, and prove an important reference work for decades to come.
--- My own summary of Werner's thesis:
We all come to scripture with lenses shaped by our culture and our mentors.
Over the centuries, *individualistic* Western culture has formed a deeply entrenched *legal* view of the gospel, reflected in
- *Four Spiritual Laws*,
- the *Romans Road*,
- The Way of the Master, etc.
Each of these aims to awaken awareness of personal guilt, then introduce God's plan for restoring our innocence.
These reflect a true and effective understanding of the gospel, *however* the Bible was written in and to cultures where *honor*, *community* and *purity* were deeper concerns than *innocence*--and this is still is true in most of today's world.
While the gospel does resolve our *guilt*, it just as effectively addresses *shame*, *estrangement* and *defilement*--issues of much deeper concern than guilt among most of today's unreached peoples.
Since these elements of the gospel are not of primary concern to Westerners, we tend to read our Bibles *without* seeing the *honor/shame* themes in almost every Bible story, and to pass on our lenses even in cultures with honor/shame dynamics.
Thus evangelism often defaults to teaching everyone to understand their *guilt* rather than *starting with how the gospel addresses the local culture's deepest concerns.*
--- Proof in the pudding
Werner doesn't just make an abstract claim that we have missed much of what the Bible has to teach us.
He demonstrates clearly and compellingly that understanding honor and shame in the Bible is essential to
- unlocking many of the Bible's riches, and
- removing the glass ceiling a Westernized gospel can have in non-Western cultures.
Werner provides separate chapters detailing with ten honor-shame dynamics present on every page of the Bible, and parallel chapters discussing how a gospel presentation can be adapted to harmonize or resonate with that concern in other cultures.
In The Global Gospel: Achieving Missional Impact in Our Multicultural World you will learn about the Biblical and global significance of:
- Honor-status reversal: with Jesus himself as the prime example
- The love of honor (Biblically not just a bad thing)
- Two sources of Biblical honor: ascribed and achieved
- Image of limited good (the false idea--challenged by the Bible--that your gain means my loss)
- Challenge and Riposte: the pattern through which Jesus challenged the ascribed honor of the religious leaders
- "Face": how humanity lost honor in the Fall, and how God is restoring it
- Body language (How the Bible relates this to honor and shame)
- Patronage: (how Biblical values may run counter to Western assumptions)
- Name/Kinship/Blood: the Biblical significance of our background and relationships
- Purity (and the Bible's solution for the universal defilement of mankind)
The Global Gospel: Achieving Missional Impact in Our Multicultural World presents two exciting possibilities:
- *Our Bible reading can be greatly enriched* to expand our understanding of God's love for us.
- *Our global outreach can be greatly empowered* as we shift
- from trying to teach everyone to think about guilt like Westerners,
- to letting the gospel connect with everyone in their own greatest concern.
The Global Gospel: Achieving Missional Impact in Our Multicultural World is a must read for every Christian interested in understanding the fullness of what Christ has done for us.
It is also important reading for every cross-cultural worker.
For those working cross-culturally, two valuable (briefer) introductions to this topic are
- Roland Muller's The Messenger, the Message and the Community, and
- Jayson Georges' The The 3D Gospel: Ministry in Guilt, Shame, and Fear Cultures
Learn more about this topic, and the related Mission Frontiers magazine I helped produce, at my own site: theMissionNetwork dot org
I had the privilege of offering feedback on this book shortly before its publication, but I did not receive a copy or any other compensation for this review.
I do have an arrangement which enables MISSIONARIES and MOBILIZERS to get discounted copies for their ministry networks.
(If this interests you, email me through my "reviewer" link.)
Finally, If you found this review helpful, select "YES" below. Thanks!
Mischke is right to note that shame has not been fully integrated into western theological education, and that its rise into western awareness is quite recent. He omits, however, one of the earliest extensive contrasts between guilt and shame-based cultures in David Augsburger’s excellent book Pastoral Counseling Across Cultures, 1986. I also find it curious that in his book helping people relate to the narrative, community-based face of shame in the 2/3 world, Mischke’s content lacks many stories and instead is overrun by diagrams and lists—a traditional, western, propositional approach to truth.
Still, if you can endure all his charts, his thesis is accurate, his analysis of the honor and shame emphasis in the Bible (what he calls the Canopy of Truth) is helpful, his assertion to Westerners that “the Bible is not your book” is necessary, his advice to missionaries in the 2/3 world to move from a Four Spiritual Laws/Roman Road approach in evangelism to a shame-themed approach is essential, and his final section of the book is extremely valuable as he details how to share the gospel Biblically according to his nine areas related to shame and honor—the love of honor, two sources of honor, the image of limited good, challenge and riposte, the concept of face, body language, patronage, name/kinship and purity. A must read for all people sharing the gospel with those in the 2/3 world.
I give this book 5 stars because in our multicultural world, effective communication means we understand the value systems in various cultures.
-M.L. Codman-Wilson, Marylousreviews.blogspot.com
Although I suspect that most who read this book will be receptive to its main message, the book appears to be written as if trying to sway a skeptical audience--with rhetorical questions about the utility of each illustration even appearing late in the book.
All this aside, the book lays out specific and practical aspects of an honor & shame theology that will lead its western (i.e., not familiar with honor & shame culture) readers step-by-step towards being able to express the Good News cross-culturally. I look forward to the time when books become popular with the reverse objective of helping honor & shame background believers explain the Gospel to western culture audiences.