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  • Writer's pictureLES HENSON

Our Relationship to Western Culture

Les Henson

When we, the people of God, the church, rediscover our missionary self-understanding, we inevitably attain a new understanding of our relationship to culture. Our missional engagement results in an encounter with the niceties of Western culture, and a realisation is born within us of the need to take that culture seriously. Thus, our missiological analysis of the Western culture and worldview stems from our practical on the ground engagement with the people of Western culture. As we seek to rediscover ways of communicating the gospel to the people of Western culture, we realise afresh the need to do so from within their cultural and worldview framework if the gospel is to make sense. If we are to confront the idols of their culture, we must do so from the perspective of their reigning worldview and foundational assumptions instead of our own. We can neither engage from our own cultural and worldview perspective nor may we fully buy into theirs. It is out of an analysis of the foundational assumptions of Western culture that we are prepared to withstand the pull to live in comfortable cohabitation with powers that contradict the reign of God in Western culture.

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