Anthropology In The Communication Of The Gospel

1074 Words 5 Pages
Ruth Benedict an anthropologist says that the purpose of anthropology is to make the world safe for human differences. If this is the surpassing idea, has it any specific values in the communication of the Gospel? Most definitely, this is what this brief paper is going to describe. In an endeavor to describe these values, I will begin by defining anthropology. According to Grunlan and Mayers, anthropology is the study of man as a biological, psychological, and sociological culture-bearing. The application of anthropology in the communication of Gospel may take place in missions. Anthropology in missions or in the communication of the gospel is not an end in itself or sovereign rather as a means through which the Holy Spirit increases the harvest …show more content…
It builds the desire to understand others because God is the creator of all people. But wherever they are, culture is part of them. It is a strong fraction of people's lives. It influences their outlooks, ethics, values and actions. Therefore, anthropology helps one to direct efforts toward understanding the cultural background, values, beliefs and attitudes of the people around them in relation to gospel she/he the Gospel. When one becomes familiar with the practices of another culture, they become certain of what to expect and how he/she aught to relate with the specific people. When challenges come, one will respond with the knowledge of the people of the people at the back of his mind. Relationship based on understanding one’s culture will help one determine the hope, fears and worries of the targeted people. In Acts 17:23, Paul did not disapprove the men of Athens right away. He says, “For as I walked around and looked carefully at your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: to an unknown god. So you are ignorant of the very thing you worship and this is what I am going to proclaim to you.” He walked looking carefully analyzing the cultural practices of these people before criticizing …show more content…
Awareness of the language and expressions of a specific culture simplifies explanation of biblical doctrines and terminologies. Missionaries should note that bringing the Gospel to a society that has its own culture and values is a big deal. So where to start and how to consistently communicate the gospel effectively really counts. It involves identifying major decision markers and those who are influential communication agents of the society. In most societies the chiefs are to be approached first if one is visiting the society for first time. Without the knowledge of anthropology, these steps may be easily undermined. When this happens, the missionary may be viewed as an impediment to the goals of the society. Anthropology also presents the need to understand or learn the language of the people for proper communication. It is important in translating scriptures and everyday conversation. For example, if the missionary is not competent with the language, it will be hard to explain the major biblical doctrines like justification. Therefore, anthropology plays a role creating the need to learn new languages for cross-cultural

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