Thursday, October 30, 2008

Alan Hirsch on Planting the Gospel

Alan Hirsch has a fine post based on a quote by Dr. D.T. Niles of Sri Lanka. Hirsch suggests that we replace the term church planting with gospel planting. Here is Dr. Niles' quote:
The Gospel is like a seed, and you have to sow it. When you sow the seed of the Gospel in Israel, a plant that can be called Jewish Christianity grows. When you sow it in Rome, a plant of Roman Christianity grows. You sow the Gospel in Great Britain and you get British Christianity. The seed of the Gospel is later brought to America, and a plant grows of American Christianity. Now, when missionaries come to our lands they brought not only the seed of the Gospel, but their own plant of Christianity, flower pot included! So, what we have to do is to break the flowerpot, take out the seed of the Gospel, sow it in our own cultural soil, and let our own version of Christianity grow.

I think this is quite powerful, and I would suggest that cultural soil is fractal in that this principle of soil applies not just to the largish entity thought of as a culture, but it applies equally as well to each successively smaller sub-culture, right down to the individual level.

I particularly like how Dr. Niles talked about breaking the flowerpot. A lot of rejection we see in evangelism is not an out and out rejection of Jesus, it's a rejection of our flowerpot, the container in which we bring the gospel. A lot of situations where people do not go forward with Jesus are simply flowerpot problems.

Like it or not, we add a lot to the gospel when we share it. We do this without realizing it; it's unintentional, but real nonetheless. I think Hirschy is encouraging us to plant the gospel as cleanly as possible, enabling the hearer to really accept it, embed it into their lives.

Powered by ScribeFire.

No comments: