Reclaiming culture to share the message of Christ.
Embedded in a culture, there is usually some practice or understanding which can be used to demonstrate the Gospel.

Of course, the idea was not really new. Jesus used the technique all the time in his story-telling: “The kingdom of God is like…….” Many of the prophets and various preachers throughout the years have used it as well. The Gospel stories are so familiar to us that we often completely overlook the fact that Jesus’ method of communication was totally revolutionary, used redemptive analogy within story-telling, and was something very close to street theater.

The concept of redemptive analogy is very close to that of contextualisation – that is – presenting the Gospel in terms which relate to the particular culture.

Defining redemptive Analogies

Redemptive Analogies   external link
(article) A key to meaningful communication of the Christian gospel in all cultures. There are customs or beliefs which can be built on to illustrate the Gospel meaningfully each individual culture.
Defining Redemptive Analogies   external link
(article) Don Richardson’s books Peace Child external link and Eternity in Their Hearts external link discuss the theory and practice of understanding, recognizing and using redemptive analogies.
In Search of Redemptive Analogies? Part 1   external link
(blog) Mainly applied to North American Culture
Youth Workers as Cross-Cultural Missionaries   external link
(article) Using Harry Potter as an example and exploration of redemptive analogies
Culturing Christianity   external link
(article) A discussion referencing different approaches
Redemptive Analogies in Outreach   external link
(link list) A list based resource for using redemptive analogies
Cultural Insights Inc.   external link
(website) A mission assisting people to find context relevant vehicles for Christian communication and organizational planning
What Colour is Jesus?   external link
(article) How Can We Present Jesus to a New Culture Without Bringing Our Own?
Christ in the Qur’an   external link
(pdf) A extensive article on the nature of Christ represented in the Qur’an
Aloha Ke Akua Ministries – Culture Specific/Based evangelism   external link
(article) Article on contextual evangelism
Dramashare   external link
(website) Christian resource for drama scripts and much more.
Christ the Tao   external link
(website) Exciting page by David Marshall showing how knowledge of God is universal, and also gives redemptive analogies from Taoism, Hinduism and Confucianism. Marshall is also the author of True Son of Heaven: How Jesus Fulfills the Chinese Culture external link and Jesus and the Religions of Man external link


Contextualisation – an explanation
(DOC) Dr. Phil Parshall gives us another helpful explanation of the concept of contextualisation in a church planting situation. A very thorough work.
Muslim Contextualisation   external link
(pdf) International Journal of Frontier Missions online journal discussing the issue of contextualising for the Muslim world
Contextualisation in Paul’s teachings   external link
(article) The missionary principles of Paul and how they could be applied today
Contextualisation   external link
(article) Gospel Communication article on how to make the message relate to the culture
Communicating wisely with the world   external link
(article) How to relate to the culture around us
AD2000 – Contextualisation links   external link
AD2000 has a large link list of articles and resources that discuss, define and model contextualisation
AD2000 – Contextualisation among Muslims   external link
AD2000’s large link list of articles and resources that discuss, define and model contextualisation in the Muslim context   external link
(website) Essential insights for communicating in relevant ways to the modern world.
The X Spectrum   external link
(article) Gospel Communications article defining the contextual position of Christian websites
How to encounter a new culture   external link
(article) A helpful article for beginning research on a new culture
American Cultural Assumptions   external link
(article) An article helping to expose some of America/western cultural assumptions
Contextualisation   external link
(pdf) International Journal of Frontier Mission article on the use of contextualisation in missions
10 ways to avoid becoming a missionary   external link
(article) I am reminded of a very funny TV sketch of many years ago: the late (Jewish) comedian Marty Feldman attempting to get good terms from an insurance agent ‘to insure himself against the danger of becoming Jewish’. What terms would be offered, perhaps, against the awful fate of becoming a missionary? OK, we are not all called to be cross-cultural missionaries in person. And the mission field does start outside our front door. Or at the end of our modem. But it remains true that there are still huge needs overseas which can only for the foreseeable future be met by cross-cultural workers from outside those countries. And, err, it’s a funny thing, but there is one gender which seems twice as good at hearing God’s voice, if their numbers overseas are a reflection of it. Mission statesman and author Stewart Dinnen’s short article is just a little bit challenging.
Global Mapping International   external link
(website) A range of CD’s, maps, and overheads including ‘World of Islam’ which contains a number of books by contextualisation expert Phil Parshall
Paul and the Contextualization of the Gospel   external link
(article) Study by Michael Depew.
Lifting up the Fatwa
(DOC) Dr. Phil Parshal shakes the C5ers with this new article called, “Lifting the Fatwa”. A must read for contextual church planters!
The Methods of Jesus   external link
(article) Scroll down – it’s not the top item.
The Engel Scale   external link
(article) Understanding the way people move up a scale of spiritual understanding.
More Engel Scale   external link
(article) ‘Tell it often by Bill Bright and Mark McCloskey
The Gray Matrix   external link
(article) A very helpful modification of the Engel concept. It is also explained in the context of web evangelism, in the down loadable RTF 34k file Manifesto for the Future.
Indonesian Contextual Fellowship
(pdf) Check out the story of our Indonesian contextual fellowship video project!
Internal or External
(doc)  This document discusses what is more important. Does the external appearance of a person have as much value as the internal change?
From C1 – C6
(pdf) Comparing Approaches used in the Muslim World. The C1 – C6 compares and contrasts types of ‘Christ- Centered-Communities’ (groups of believers in Christ)
Contextualisation forum   external link
When the indigenous people of a community think of the Lord as their own, not a foreign Christ; when they do things as unto the Lord meeting the cultural needs around them, worshiping in patterns they understand; when their congregations function in participation in a body, which is structurally indigenous; then you have an indigenous Church” (Alan Tippett, in Lidorio 2002)

Country specific redemptive Analogies

Possible redemptive analogies for African culture   external link
(article) A list of commonalities between African traditional culture and Christianity
Contextualisation of the Gospel in Sukumaland, Tanzania   external link
(article) Different ways that African proverbs, sayings, stories and symbols can be used to proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ to the Sukuma ethnic group and other people in East Africa. As described in the two books: “Towards An African Narrative Theology: Something Good From Africa: Enriching World Christianity with African Wisdom”, and “Were You There? Stations of the Cross: Scripture Meditations as Written Theology, Religious Paintings as African Symbolic or Visual Theology.”
Doing Theology in a Chinese Context   external link
(pdf) The Chinese world is increasingly raising up its own theologians—both those trained in the Western world as well as those trained in Asia. For both groups, one of the most vexing issues in Chinese theology continues to be ancestor worship. In this article Nancy Porras attempts to analyze some current Chinese thinking on the subject while also offering her own helpful insights.
Doing Theology Among the Ibanags   external link
(pdf) The Philippine Islands are home to dozens of tribal groups like the Ibanags who consider themselves Catholic but who are very much animists. In this article Clifford Peters describes the Ibanags and their worldview and offers guidelines for doing theology among such a people.
Doing Theology Among the Zuni   external link
(pdf) Although the Zuni have been acquainted with the Gospel for some 400 years, they have yet to embrace Christianity. Why is this so? Calvin here offers an explanation and suggests new approaches based upon a more thorough understanding of the Zuni worldview.
The Malay Funeral Rite: A Ritual Analysis   external link
(pdf) Keys to reaching a people are usually not apparent from superficial contact. Here, among the Muslim Malays, an in-depth analysis of a vital ritual sheds light on what strategies might be used in communicating the gospel to them both clearly and effectively.
Global Mapping International   external link
(website) Top missions resource supply among other things a CD of 27,000 African proverbs, with ways to bridge them across to a Christian application! African Proverbs mailing list is also a regular source of proverbs – check also Rev Peter Addo’s insight into his Ghanain Ga culture and proverbs.
Redemptive analogies in Russian culture   external link
(article) A clear discussion of Russia and it’s culture and possible redemptive analogies in the culture
The Issan People – research and redemptive analogies   external link
(article) A well researched profile on the Issan people group with possible redemptive analogies
Christ in Thai culture   external link
(book) A summary of the book – ‘Poles Apart’
Contextualisation: An Adapted Rice-Feeding Ceremony   external link
(article) “On 22 Jan 2000 we did a Rice-Feeding Ceremony for Lydia (our baby). We had thought for a while that this would be a good opportunity to attempt a contextualised traditional Newar ceremony. It would also be a good opportunity to feast our Newar friends who have so often invited us to their functions. It would help build friendship and trust……”
Review of True Son of Heaven; How Jesus fulfills the Chinese culture   external link
(book) Describes various aspects of Chinese culture, history and philosophy and shows how they can be viewed as analogies or “bridges” to aspects of the gospel.
Missions in China   external link
Here you will find various articles by Dr. Enoch Wan. The most recent additions address the subject of Christianity in the East and West, as well as development of a “Sino-Theology.”
Finding more info about Redemptive Analogies   external link
(link list) A list of resources for different countries
Matrix – Western Movie Example   external link
(website) Another film page which finds Christian parallels in a secular movie.
Redemptive analogies in Western youth culture   external link
(online store) Bible studies for youth groups using redemptive analogies from western culture
Hollywood Jesus   external link
(website) This site is employing a technique to extract meaning from current films. Of course, you don’t need to dig very deep into Tom Hanks’ The Green Mile – it’s more than an allegory already! May God use it to turn many people to Him…..