A Contextualized Gospel

Below is a video I made of me sharing the gospel using postmodern philosophical language. As a pastor, I always want to be careful that I am both speaking correctly about God while at the same time speaking in a language that the culture can understand. This is something seminary folk call contextualization.

The balance is tricky though. I honestly am not completely convinced that I didn’t go too far with this experiment in contextualization. What do you think? Does this communicate the gospel, or does it lose the gospel in an attempt to contextualize?

Also, I am just becoming reoriented with Final Cut and apologize for the editing of this video. This will either be received well for its content or become an embarrassing viral video. Either way, I guess the gospel will be shared…

5 thoughts on “A Contextualized Gospel

  1. So, once again, you prove that you got your intellect from your mother’s side of the gene pool. The Signifier became signified and lived among us. And we have seen Him the only begotten from the Signifer full of grace and truth.

  2. I understood your context and what you where saying and would certainly have it’s niche in proclaiming the Gospel, especially in an intellectual setting. But as a wide reaching proclamation the emotion and personalization of the Gospel gets lost. Plus I think one should be able to proclaim the Gospel in an elevator ride. Would have needed a tall building 🙂

    • Thanks Jon for the feedback. This is definitely a presentation that would only appeal to a very niche community. This would probably not be the choice I would make if I were sharing my faith on an elevator. I also agree that some of the personalization and emotional feelings seem to be lost in the presentation. However, if you are deep in postmodern philosophy, the key factor contributing to the angst of the postmodern condition is the inability of language to communicate anything eternal or true. Since there is a disconnect between words and meaning, or as Derrida famously wrote, “nothing outside of the text,” connecting language back to truth would be a very emotional, very personal feat because it is that very disconnect that brought mankind into this nihilistic postmodern condition.

      Like I said, it definitely only appeals to a very small sub-group, but it was nevertheless a fun experiment. Do you think it hit all the points needed in sharing the gospel?

      • Yes I do believe the Gospel is in your words definetly !! It is also weird because at first glance I thought if it (the gospel) where presented to me in this way I would have more questions than answers. But as I thought about it more that is the very thing that leads to understanding the truth. I take this aproach often to get employees to ask “the questions” that set me up to teach and or explain. I just never thought of it in context of proclaiming Christ. Because the listner may question because of a lack of understanding, he or she may find truth quicker than he or she would have listening to the “same old message in an elivator” Jesus certainly was clear with His words, yet it seems the Desciples questioning is where much of the understanding came from. SO I think this message would reach more than what I first thought, shoot made me think,

        Love ya man

  3. I love this dialogue between you two. Jon’s point about it inclining the listener to ask more questions immediately made me think of Jesus discussion with the Samaritan woman in John 4. He dialed in on a point of her interest while applying double meaning to it (water … living water, etc.). Although I have absolutely 0 friends who would know what I’m talking about if I used terms like signify … fier. But then again, most of my friends read books with pictures in them.

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