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Agents of Transformation: A Guide for Effective Cross-Cultural Ministry [Paperback]

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Item description for Agents of Transformation: A Guide for Effective Cross-Cultural Ministry by Sherwood G. Lingenfelter...

A social system relates individual to group and sets up bias against the gospel. Anthropologist Lingenfelter helps cross-cultural ministers understand and transform culture, instead of Westernizing it.

Publishers Description
Church planters and cross-cultural workers learn how to cut across cultural biases with the gospel, transforming without "Westernizing".

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Baker Academic
Pages   282
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.98" Width: 5.98" Height: 0.67"
Weight:   0.87 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Apr 5, 2012
Publisher   Baker Academic
Age  18
ISBN  0801020689  
ISBN13  9780801020681  

Availability  0 units.

More About Sherwood G. Lingenfelter

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Sherwood G. Lingenfelter (PhD, University of Pittsburgh) is provost emeritus and senior professor of anthropology at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California. Marvin K. Mayers (1927-2015; PhD, University of Chicago) founded the Cook School of Intercultural Studies at Biola University, where he taught for many years.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Evangelism > Missions & Missionary Work

Christian Product Categories
Books > Church & Ministry > Church Life > Missions

Reviews - What do customers think about Agents of Transformation: A Guide for Effective Cross-Cultural Ministry?

Book Review: Agents of Transformation  Jan 23, 2010
Lingenfelter is a dedicated Christian anthropologist. His analysis of cultural situations gives any would-be "Agent of Transformation" a solid anthropological foundation for building and maintaining new relationships, studying culture and bias, and studying how the receiving culture thinks.

Lingenfelter believes a missional attitude of "dying to our own social and cultural prisons" is important if one is to minister cross-culturally to others. Much of the book deals with contextualization and accommodation in relation to biblical ministry. He helps the reader ask questions like: What accommodations can I make without compromising the gospel? What biases do I have that are not necessarily biblical and needed in order to minister to a different culture? What might acceptable worship look like in another culture? What things are biblically non-negotiable? What things are simply preferential?

This book is a good resource to have. But it can be really frustrating. Lingenfelter's books are usually incredibly dry, in my opinion, and this book is no exception. I would also guess that many of these ideas are difficult to put into practice. He does a good job of pointing out the signs of cross-cultural misunderstandings, however, I don't think he spends enough time telling the reader how to put these ideas into practice. I think there is more to ministering cross-culturally than to avoid the temptation of trying to sell our culture to the culture we are ministering within.

With those criticisms aside, I think Agents of Transformation is a good read for missionaries (and probably church planters in America). Missional thinkers have to deal with a constant tension between (1) remaining biblical in ministry to a target people and (2) dealing with the drivers of a new culture. They have to decide what is bad in a culture, and must go, and what is OK in a culture, and can be kept or tolerated. The missional thinker has to wrestle with these questions, trying not to allow their own home cultural biases to overtake their missiology, and trying not to allow anything to overtake what the Bible says about whatever matters they might deal with.
Important model for cross-cultural workers  Oct 20, 2009
Key insights and interpretive model for would-be culture change agents. Very helpful for those who would proclaim the unchanging gospel in any cultural setting.

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