Communicating Christ Cross-Culturally to other Religions
A Mission Perspective on Sharing the Gospel
Nowadays in this contemporary 21st century, in the age of post modernity, everything is interpreted and accepted as norm, truth, right, wrong, etc. according to each particular understanding and its context. This means that there is no universally or internationally truth, rule, standard, etc. in this world which comprises of quite pretty different types of people, with their different religious, cultural, social, political, economics, etc. settings. In such different settings, culture seems to play the most important role in all aspects of human related life. This could be said that every thing need to be judged by culture and all things should be culture based interpreted, and understanding.
Talking about culture is always related with the context of particular people. Therefore, communicating Christ Cross-Culturally also cannot be done without taking the context of particular local people. The Communication process is utterly fundamental to all our psychological and social processes. Without repetitively engaging in acts of communication with our fellows, none of us could develop the mental processes and social nature that distinguishes us from other forms of life. Without language systems and other important tools of communication, we could not carry on the thousands of organized group activities and lead our interdependent lives.
Language seems to be the primary prerequisite need and the most important tool in communicating Christ to other people. In fact, without having understood any language, no communication could be possible. At a second priority, culture would play very important role in communicating each other. These facts reflect the same truth to the Gospel in communicating Christ Cross-culturally.
This paper is dealing with theological and cultural out look in general frame-work to all non-Christian religions rather than focusing on any single religion. It presents statements mainly on an inseparable links between culture and religions each other. From this investigation we could see a clear picture to understand “How Christian mission should present Christ amidst in such a diverse cultures and different religious faiths”.
Understanding culture is to deal with what is culture. It includes definition (e.g. culture is a way of thinking, feeling, believing), characteristics (e.g. culture is learned, shared, integrated, changes), categories or types (e.g. Technological, sociological, ideological), layers (e.g. 1st level—ideology, cosmology, worldview; 2nd level—values; 3rd level—institutions; and 4th level—material artifacts and observable behavior).
I put some definitions of culture in order to reflect how it bears such a wide scope of meaning. In Clifford Geertz’s understanding, culture is the “glue” that gives coherence to a particular worldview. In today’s globalized concept of culture, the understanding of culture is dealt under the rubrics of “social location” and “social change.”
According to anthropologists culture includes knowledge, belief, art, morals, law, custom and any other capacities and habits acquired by man as a member of society. Culture is the sum total of the knowledge, attitudes and habitual behavior patterns shared and transmitted by the members of a particular society.
Kluckholn says, “Culture is a way of thinking, feeling, believing. It is the group’s knowledge stored up for future use.” Luzbetak writes:
Culture is a design for living. It is a plan according to which society adapts itself to its physical, social, and ideational environment. A plan for coping with the physical environment would include such matters as food production and all technological knowledge and skill. Political systems, kinships and family organization, and law are examples of social adaptation, a plan according to which one is to interact with his fellows. Man copes with his ideational environment through knowledge, art, magic, science, philosophy, and religion. Cultures are but different answers to essentially the same human problems.
Intercultural communication is as complex as the sum total of human differences. Since the word culture is a very inclusive term, it takes into account linguistic, political, economic, social, psychological, religious, national, racial, and still other differences. It is important for the missionary to understand culture and cultures equally—his own and his respondents.
H. R. Niebuhr has categorized five views of the relationship between Christ and culture taken by various theologians.
- Christ against culture—i.e., Christ is the sole authority; the claims of culture are to be rejected.
- The Christ of culture—i.e., the Christian system is not different from culture in kind but only in quality; the best of culture should be selected to conform to Christ.
- Christ above culture—i.e., the reception of grace perfects and completes culture though there is not a “smooth curve or continuous line” between them.
- Christ and culture in paradox--i.e., both are authorities to be obeyed and the believer, therefore, lives with this tension.
- Christ as Transformer of culture—i.e., culture reflects the fallen state of humanity; in Christ, humanity is redeemed and culture can be renewed so as to glorify God and promote his purposes. 
McGavran also presents the “high-low” views debate in a logical biblical way and urges missionaries to take the fourth views. 
- A high view of the Bible and a low view of culture.
- A high view of culture and a low view of the Bible.
- A low view of the Bible and a low view of culture.
- A high view of the Bible and a high view of culture.
The cultural sciences cover everything from languages, social sciences and law to philosophy and religious studies, in sum, everything that belongs to the culture of a society. David J. Heselgrave book “Communicating Christ Cross-Culturally” dealt with such a broad scope and he proposed extensive and comprehensive applications to communicate Christ Cross-culturally in “Seven Dimensions of Cross-Cultural Communication.” The Presenting and discussions on these Seven Dimensions are the major work of his book. We may have it a nutshell glance in a sum up out line.
- Worldviews—ways of perceiving the world
- Cognitive Processes—ways of thinking
- Linguistic Forms—ways of expressing ideas
- Behavioral Patterns—ways of acting
- Social Structure—ways of interacting
- Media Influence—ways of channeling the message
- Motivational Resources—ways of deciding
Religion and Culture
“Culture is religion made visible” (J. H. Bavinck). Man is a wondrous and complex being. For wherever we find man—in widely different cultures geographically dispersed and at all points from the dimmest moments of recorded history to the present—we also find religion.
According to William D. Hardt, religion and culture are similar in that they both provide systems of authority, canons of order, and moral codes that coerce and seduce their followers. Cultural studies are conceived as an intellectual engagement in people’s daily life.
According to Immanuel Kant religion became a matter of ethics. This view of religion was applied to Christian theology by Albert Ritschl, and said that religion is a matter of moral judgments. Since ethic or morality is closely related with culture religion and culture also integral each other.
Some critiques (e.g. Althusser) hold a position in ideological “tradition” in cultural studies—any thing “religious” is synonymous with “ideology.” Edward Said sees religion as an obstacle to true “intellectualism.” He struggled with the pain of seeing how religion blocks intellectual enquiry, enforces group conformity, and subjugates people through the cultivation of violent passion. Religion is for him the equivalent of dogmatism, illiberalism, scapegoating, arbitrary power, anti-democratic authority, and the propensity to dissemble and lie.
Religious belief is one of the important elements which constitute the tradition of a community. All the experiences of our ancestors are preserved as cultural memory, including their life and death experiences, their interactions with the environment and, last but not least, their hopes and dreams for the future.
Religious tradition is an integral part of our cultural memory. Each religious tradition has transcendental experiences. E.g. The Judeo-Christian religion in particular is a religion of hope. If we want to comprehend the inner forces of modernity in the West, we have to understand the Christian religion of hope. It was and still is the power that drives the world to transformation. Every religion has a unique tradition revelation. Such revelation is not a supernatural, miraculous intervention of God in our history, but His abiding presence in human life as recognized by people in a faith experience.
Stephen B. Bevan, the author of Models of Contextual Theology, in his “Anthropological model” states—culture and other religious ways are already expressions of God’s loving and healing presence. Vatican II’s decree on missionary activity also points to the fact that God’s grace is present already in other religions and cultures, and this has strong implications for theological method. The anthropological model is based on the fact that culture and other religious ways are already expressions of God’s loving and healing presence.
There are, perhaps, six basic cultural functions of religion (O’Dea, 1966).
- Psychological. Religion provides support, consolation, and reconciliation.
- Transcendental. It provides security and direction.
- Sacralization. It legitimizes norms and values.
- Prophetic. It criticizes norms and values.
- Identification. Religion gives the individual a sense of identity with the distant past and the limitless future.
- Maturation. It marks the individual’s passage through life for him and his society.
There is also condition to be aware that Culture must always be tested and judged by Scripture. Take an example with regard to Christianity. The Gospel doest not presuppose the superiority of any culture to another, but evaluates all cultures according to its own criteria of truth and righteousness and insists on moral absolutes in every culture.
The above mentioned views show us the reality of culture also in all religions. Out of Niebuhr’s categorized culture Number 2 and 4 would go well with most relevant in this global post-modern age to communicate Christ Cross-culturally. It is also already mentioned that a high view of the Bible and a high view of culture is urged to have by Christian missionaries as the most relevant notion.
Various Patterns in Culture
To examine cultural premises of one’s own actions and thought is a difficult process… However, in dealing with people of another culture, it is a necessity of the first importance. “African churches are extremely culture-bound.” The same is true to Buddhist countries like, e.g., Burma and Thailand. Buddhism in these countries is bound inextricably with their culture and nationality.
In the one stream there could be a danger in presenting Christ into different cultures. For example, mixing Christianity with local customs can lead to a Christopagan syncretism. Therefore, ethnotheology, the theology of culture and people group is primary need for missionaries through Christian seminaries and colleges. Ethnotheology is concerned with de-culturalizing theology, separating theology and culture, and relating the Gospel in cultural patterns relevant to the receiving culture. 
Several distinctive terms are used in cultural application. I mention some of them.
1. Acculturation: “Acculturation is the dynamic process by which a society in contact with other societies changes its culture, adapts to the new situation, accepts some innovations and modifies its system” (McGavran, 1980). “Acculturation involves a whole gamut of dynamic processes which influences one or both cultures over a long period of contact.”
It is a change in the cultural behavior and thinking of an individual or group through contact with another culture; the process by which somebody absorbs the culture of a society from birth onward.
2. Inculturation. For Aylward Shorter, Inculturation means the assertion of faith into culture.
3. Enculturation. We allow our behavior to be conditioned by culture with its dialectic of nature and history, tradition and prophesy. We live by experiences of the past, by transmission of culture. Every child is trained by his parents in concepts of truth and reality. This process is called enculturation. It is the gradual development of an individual cultural frame of reference.
4. Ethnocentrism is “defined as the practice of viewing alien customs by applying the concepts and values of one’s own culture” (Taylor, 1973). It is viewing other people’s ways of life through our own colored glasses. It is the “practice of interpreting and evaluating behavior and objects by reference to the standards of one’s own culture rather than of the culture to which they belong. To those who are especially ethnocentric all other cultures appear to be inferior.”
5. Bicultural. The capacity to understand and accept the cultural ways of other groups of people, while at the same time recognizing the validity of one’s own cultural heritage is a bicultural perspective.
[Acculturation is “the process and effect of significant change through mutual borrowing and adaptation by peoples of different cultures in contact with some continuity” (Herbert Reynolds). Inculturation emphasizes truly on the local situation. Third-World churches take much more seriously than the church in the West. At this local level, inculturation comprises much more than culture in the traditional or anthropological sense of the term. It involves the entire context: social, economic, political, religious, educational, etc. <<< This portion is a split and miss placing from somewhere in the paragraphs<<<]
Gospel and Culture
Hiebert writes, “We adapt ourselves to whatever culture we are in, but we separate the different cultures in our mind. For example, in Africa we act and think African. In the United States we act and think American. And we keep those two worlds apart. God has been using culturally-relevant channels of communication for the spread of the Gospel for centuries. The heart of every culture is a religion of some kind. The missionary must “acquire the attitude of an unbiased scientific field worker by ridding himself the attitude of a know-it-all reformer.
Cultural awareness expands our narrow perspective and makes us more capable of effectively communicating the Gospel in a cross-cultural setting. The missionary must study the Bible in the light of its own cultural context and his own cultural bias. Then he translates it into the culture of his target field with minimal intrusion of his own cultural understanding. We can no longer run the risk of sending out missionaries without some cross-cultural training.
The church has a threefold duty with regard to the social environment:
- Seek to understand the culture of a people and its significance in their lives
- Conserve the values of the culture
- Transform the social and cultural environment by making it conformable to the will of God and a suitable place in which the Christian life may be lived.
The meaning of the Gospel could be transmitted and interpreted from our own particular horizon and in our own particular thought forms. As our cultural and historical context plays a part in the construction of the reality in which we live, so our context influences the understanding of God and the expression of our faith.
In advocating the need to root the Gospel in the local culture the International Review of Mission stated that:
By all accounts, the attempt at Christian expansion in Asia is a failure. "After two-thousand years of Christianity in Asia, in spite of many intense missionary efforts, the Christian religion has failed to baptize Asian cultures, nor has it made much of an impact on the ancient world religions of the Asian continent." After many years of work, the number of Christians remains only a small minority of the population. The Semitic presuppositions that underlie Christianity as it encountered the Asian world were not present in the Asian soil. Christianity had thus to meet a completely new culture and religious world. As a result, the church simply failed to be rooted in the Asian soil. The Asian churches are thus called to find their way into Asian hearts by completely new and hitherto untried ways. In the face of such situations, a process of "de-culturation of European Christianity" becomes extremely sensitive and difficult, because the missionary expansion had been more or less accompanied by a denigration of the cultures that it encountered outside Europe.
Ultimately the gospel is the judge of all contexts, even though it seeks to work with and within all contexts. The contextual situation, ultimately, is the vehicle of the message. The original gospel message was wrapped in a certain culture and embodied in certain persons and experiences, but these contextual particulars can, in many cases, be dispensed with in an encounter with other cultures and situations in other times. But context and message are always separate things, and context is clearly a secondary element.
A truly bicultural individual can introduce the Gospel in any culture or subculture without the accompanying cultural baggage that is a potential for enslavement of the person and falsification of precept or truth. His range of variation of life-style or norm is increased, so he is comfortable and at peace with peoples of diverse styles or norms, while at the same time he is protected from abandonment of his own principle.” (Mayers, 1974)
We need to understand the people and their thinking to translate the Gospel into their thought patterns. We need also to understand the Scriptures within their cultural contexts, so that we can translate them into the local culture without losing their divine message.
Looking back upon the intertwinement of the Christian gospel with Western culture, a few qualifications are in order. First, the gospel always comes to people in cultural robes. There is no such thing as a “pure” gospel, isolated from culture. It was therefore inevitable that Western missionaries would not only introduce “Christ” to Africa and Asia, but also “civilization.” Second, there is no point in denying the fact that the Western missionary culture has also had a positive contribution to other societies.
It was recognized that a plurality of cultures presupposes a plurality of theologies and therefore, for Third-World churches, a farewell to a Eurocentric approach. The Christian faith must be rethought, reformulated and lived anew in each human culture (Memorandum 1982:465), and this must be done in a vital way, in depth and right to the cultures’ roots. Such a project is even more needed in light of the way in which the West has raped the cultures of the Third World, inflicting on them what has been termed “anthropological poverty.”
Inculturation consciously follows the model of the incarnation. The coordination of gospel and culture should, however, be structured christologically. Since culture is an all-embracing reality, inculturation is also all-embracing. It is now, however, recognized that it is impossible to isolate elements and customs and “christianized” these. Where this is being done the encounter between gospel and culture does not take place at a meaningful level. Only where the encounter is inclusive will this experience be a force animating and renewing the culture from within (cf. Muller 1987:178).
There is the “indigenizing” principle, which affirms that the gospel is at home in every culture and every culture is at home with the gospel. Inculturation’s concern is to become “a principle that animates, directs, and unifies the culture, transforming it and remaking it so as to bring about a ‘new creation”. The focus then is on the “new creation”, on the transformation of the old, on the plant which, having flowered from its seed, is at the same time something fundamentally new when compared with that seed.
The relationship between the Christian message and culture is a creative and dynamic one, and full of surprises. There is no eternal theology which may play the referee over “local theologies.” We are beginning to realize that all theologies, including those in the West, need one another; they influence, challenge, enrich, and invigorate each other. Therefore, in a very real sense, then, what we are involved in is not just inculturation, but “interculturation”. We need an “exchange of theologies” in Western as well as in Third-World contexts.
Marchal Fernando wrote an article entitled “Gospel and Cultures: From the Perspective of Sri Lankan Buddhist Experience.” In this article, he emphasizes the need to understand the cultural reality/values of the local people so that the Gospel could enable and penetrate the people. To take an example, he made the importance of the value culture.
People should be encouraged to take culture for good and honest reasons and not as yet another trap to proselytize. Emphasis on "Gospel and Culture" should be based on honest recognition of the need to integrate in the community to share the richness of plurality in our society. This is possible only when we have undergone a transformation of our "inner culture" that takes the others as co-creators of new energy to build harmonious relationships. This approach to culture could help the modern day Christians to overcome the shackles of exclusivity of the hegemonic era and to explore a new dimension of understanding of the love that Christ demonstrated in his life death and resurrection.
Therefore, to communicate Buddhists by means of mission and evangelism should inevitably involve/engage with mutual respect of their cultures. Of course, especially Buddhists in Burma are highly culture oriented—Burmese culture and Burmese Buddhists are inextricably interwoven each other. Any missionary/evangelist who does not respect Buddhist culture will gain vain.
All cultures can adequately serve as vehicles for the communication of the Gospel. This does not mean that the Gospel is fully understood in any one culture, but that all people can learn enough to be saved and to grow in faith within the context of their own culture… Each culture brings to light certain salient features of the Gospel that have remained less visible or even hidden in other cultures. Churches in different cultures can help us to understand the many sided wisdom of God, thereby serving as channels for understanding different facets of divine revelation, truths that a theology tied to one particular culture can easily overlook.
Sometimes there are teachings and concepts in the non-Christian religious systems which are contrary to the teaching of the Bible and therefore make it difficult for the people to understand or accept the truth of the gospel. When the Muslim hears the phrase ‘the Son of God’, he thinks of a physical relationship; when he hears about the Trinity, he thinks of three gods, and this to the Muslim is idolatry; the Cross is a scandal to him, for he claims that God cannot die. When the Hindu hears of the Cross and forgiveness, this to him is foolishness, for, according to the law of Karma, everyone must suffer for his own sins, there is no place for vicarious suffering or forgiveness.
However, Christians should put our trust in Christ and listen to others without fear of losing our faith and we can share with them the new life that we ourselves have found in Him. Our knowledge and hope should fall in the recognition of other people that—God is working in the hearts and minds … of Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, animists, Communists, atheists, and nominal Christians. He is preparing individuals and ethnic groups for the coming of the Christian messenger.
Cross-Cultural Communication should be Contextual
In every religion and society, there exist signs and symbols as important elements. Context is very important in determining the meaning of symbols. In the study of culture, Semiotic (the study of signs) is major important work in constructing contextual theology. “Culture” is the concrete context in which this happens. It represents a way of life for a given time and place, replete with values, symbols, and meanings, reaching out hopes and dreams, often struggling for a better world. Without a sensitivity to the cultural context, a church and its theology either become a vehicle for outside domination or lapse into docetism, as though its Lord never became flesh.
It seems, then, that the task of the evangelist and the missionary is proper exegesis, keeping in mind their own cultural biases, the cultural context of the Scripture, and the application of the universal principle in the local setting. Padilla writes: “Without contextualization the Gospel will become tangential or even entirely irrelevant.”
The main motive for contextualizing theology is communication. In turn it can be assumed that the main task of communication is to deal with concrete context. “It is not to make the Gospel less prophetic or to make it less offensive … The real concern of contextualization is clarity of message, not acceptance or rejection.”[Stults]
Each human being lives within the seven coordinates which is of the wholeness of salvation—in which human beings can really be fully human. These are: 1) Relationship with human corporeality, 2) Relationship with other persons, 3) Relationship with community and society, institutions and structures, 4) Conditioning by culture, 5) Relationship between theory and practice, 6) Religious awareness, and 7) Synthesis of all the constants. Each human being lives within these seven coordinates all at once. Missionaries should attain a fair knowledge of these relationships to communicate Christ to people of other faith.
The missionary needs to develop a metatheology—evangelical, transcultural theology—“the theological consensus that emerges as people from different cultural settings share their understandings of biblical revelation comparing theology and exploring the cultural biases of each seeking to find biblical universals.”
Significantly, the one fundamental belief among evangelicals and those of ecumenical persuasions is anthropological. It is assumes that one’s biblical study is rooted in and identified with a specific culture. Contextualization is a dynamic term, recognizing the need for constant update, attempting to be culturally relevant with God’s unique message.”
We can attribute culture as the core course of constructing local theology. Christian theology and communication is therefore much to do with contextual/local theology. In ideal circumstances the process of constructing local theologies begins with a study of the culture, rather than with possible translations of the larger church tradition into the local circumstance. To maintain the desired openness and sensitivity to a local situation, the prevailing mode of evangelization and church development should be one of finding Christ in the situation rather than bringing Christ into the situation.
The strong recommended work for communicating Christ cross-culturally, according to Dennis Teague, is to set up indigenous principles and encouraging local believers to be able to form and manage self-propagation, self-supporting, self-governing and self-theologizing. For example, William Carey is one great missionary to India. His goal was to build an indigenous church by means of native preachers and by providing the Scriptures in the native tongue and to that end he dedicated his life. This is to say the practical implementation of missionary work to edify the local churches and community.
“All theologies developed by human beings are shaped by their particular historical and cultural contexts—by the languages they use and the questions they ask. All human theologies are only partial understandings of Theology as God sees it. Yes, this is to be acknowledged true for all who engage with communicating Christ to other faiths. Human being cannot fully comprehend the will and the work of God, for Jesus Christ himself claimed that “No one knows about the day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father” (cf. 24:36)
We will further realize the importance of cultural, situational and doctrinal sensitivity as well if we really take deep concern on while communicating with people of other faiths. We take an example from the Sri Lanka Buddhists experience by Marshal Fernando. He presents the problem in this way. How well intended the present day enterprises of the Christian community may be in exploring to bring about reconciliation within the socio-cultural milieu of Sri Lanka, the Buddhist institutions and community quite legitimately look at them with certain reservation and doubt. Sometimes they resist such overtures. The roots of this suspicion goes back to two centuries of colonial history.
Moreover, at the time of the visit of Pope John Paul II to Sri Lanka in January 1995 serious controversy emerged over the reference made to Buddhism by the Pope in his book "Crossing the Threshold of Hope". Gross misinterpretation of some aspects of Buddhist doctrine in this book seriously hurt the sensitivities of the Buddhists. There have been other instances where Buddhist sensitivities are hurt by Christians in public in the recent times. These experiences are causing serious damage to Buddhist-Christian relations and therefore in such a context it sounds conspiratorial to advocate a theme "Gospel and Culture" without making a real attempt to repent over the injustices done to Buddhism and its culture through the Christian enterprise over the years.
The said experience reflects clear enough need for mutual respect of each religious values and traditions with respect to each particular religion and cultures. Whatever Christians have to say about the issue of Gospel and culture, they need to honestly do critical evaluation of the initial contacts of the Gospel with Sri Lankan culture. The same is true to Buddhist religion, e.g. Theravada Buddhists in Thailand, Burma, etc; and Hindu religion in India; and other religions elsewhere.
Bosch, David J., Transforming Mission: Paradigm Shifts in Theology of Mission, 5th printing. MaryKnoll, New York: Orbis Books, 2000.
Bevans, Stephen B., Models of Contextual Theology, Revised &Expanded ed. Manila, Philippines: Logos Publications, Inc., 2003.
Erickson, Millard J., Christian Theology: Unabridged, one-volume edition, reprinted. Manila, Philippines: Christian Growth Ministry, 1997.
Fernando, Marshal, “Gospel and Cultures: From the Perspective of Sri Lankan Buddhist Experience” in http://daga.dhs.org/daga/btr/btr9v/v95marshal.htm
Hesselgrave, David J., Communicating Christ Cross-Culturally: An Introduction to Missionary Communication, 2nd ed.. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan Publishing House, 1991.
Mesa, Jose M. De and Wostyn, Lode L., Doing Christology: The Re-Appropriation of a Tradition.Quezon City, Philippines: Claretian Publications, .
Moltmann, Jurgen, “The Idea of a Christian University” in Quest: An Interdisciplinary Journal for Asian Christian Scholars, Vol. 5, No. 1, June 2006.
Schreiter, Robert J., Constructing Local Theologies. MaryKnoll, New York: Orbis Books, 1985.
Teague, Dennis, Culture: The Missing Link in Mission.Manila, Philippines: OMF Literature Inc., 1996.
Wong, Angela Wai Ching, “Between Religious Studies and Cultural Studies: An Intellectual Reflection” in Quest: An Interdisciplinary Journal for Asian Christian Scholars, Vol. 5, No. 1, June 2006.
Course lecture note on the subject “Cross-Cultural Study of Religious Life” by Dr. Dennis Shu Maung.
Encarta Encyclopedia 2002.
 David J. Hesselgrave, Communicating Christ Cross-Culturally: An Introduction to Missionary Communication, 2nd ed. (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan Publishing House, 1991), p. 39.
 Ibid., pp. 100-102.
 Stephen B. Bevans, Models of Contextual Theology, Revised &Expanded ed. (Manila, Philippines: Logos Publications, Inc., 2003), p. 146, footnote 16.
 Dennis Teague, Culture: The Missing Link in Mission (Manila, Philippines: OMF Literature Inc., 1996), p. 171.
 Hesselgrave, Communicating Christ Cross-Culturally, p. 100.
 Ibid., p. 99.
 Ibid., p. 116. Quoted from H. R. Niebuhr, Christ and Culture (New York: Harper & Row, 1956).
 Ibid., p. 120.
 Jurgen Moltmann, “The Idea of a Christian University” in Quest: An Interdisciplinary Journal for Asian Christian Scholars, Vol. 5, No. 1, June 2006, p. 64.
 Hesselgrave, Communicating Christ Cross-Culturally, p. 164.
 Dennis Teague, Culture, p. 404.
 Millard J. Erickson, Christian Theology: Unabridged, one-volume edition, reprinted (Manila, Philippines: Christian Growth Ministry, 1997), p. 17.
 Angela Wai Ching Wong, “Between Religious Studies and Cultural Studies: An Intellectual Reflection” in Quest: An Interdisciplinary Journal for Asian Christian Scholars, Vol. 5, No. 1, June 2006, p. 32.
 Ibid., p. 32.
 Millard J. Erickson, p. 19.
 Angela Wai Ching Wong, p. 31.
 Jurgen Moltmann, p. 65.
 Ibid., pp. 67-68.
 Jose M. De Mesa and Lode L. Wostyn, Doing Christology: The Re-Appropriation of a Tradition (Quezon City, Philippines: Claretian Publications, ), p. 11.
 S. B. Bevans, p. 54. See footnote 3 on p. 160.
 Dennis Teague,, pp. 404-405.
 S. B. Bevans, p. 156, footnote 20.
 Dennis Teague, p. 125.
 Ibid., pp. 126, 452.
 Ibid., p. 342.
 Encarta Encyclopedia 2002.
 Dennis Teague, p. 349.
 Stephen B. Bevans, p. 153, footnote 46.
 David J. Bosch, Transforming Mission: Paradigm Shifts in Theology of Mission. 5th Printing (MaryKnoll, New York: Orbis Books, 2000), p. 453.
 Jose M. De Mesa and Lode L. Wostyn, p. 35.
 Dennis Teague, p. 128.
 Ibid., p. 129.
 Ibid., p. 138.
 Dennis Teague, p. 140.
 Ibid., p. 404.
 Ibid., p. 110.
 Ibid., pp. 110, 111.
 Ibid., pp. 111, 113.
 Bevans, Models of Contextual Theology, p. 4.
 Marshal Fernando, Gospel and Cultures: From the Perspective of Sri Lankan Buddhist Experience in http://daga.dhs.org/daga/btr/btr9v/v95marshal.htm. Quoted from “Ecumenism Culture and Syncretism”, RIM Vol. LXXIV No. 332/333, January/April `95 WCC Geneva, pp. 8-9.
 Bevans, Models of Contextual Theology, p. 130
 Dennis Teague, p. 139.
 Dennis Teague, p. 128.
 David J. Bosch, Transforming Mission: Paradigm Shifts in Theology of Mission. 5th Printing (MaryKnoll, New York: Orbis Books, 2000), p. 297.
 Ibid, p. 452.
 Ibid., pp. 454-455.
 Ibid., p. 455.
 Ibid., p. 456.
 Marshal Fernando “Gospel and Cultures: From the Perspective of Sri Lankan Buddhist Experience” in http://daga.dhs.org/daga/btr/btr9v/v95marshal.htm
 Dennis Teague, p. 449.
 Dennis Teague, pp. 410-411.
 Ibid., p. 411.
 Hesselgrave, Communicating Christ Cross-Culturally, p. 131.
 Robert J. Schreiter, Constructing Local Theologies (MaryKnoll, New York: Orbis Books, 1985), pp. 49-73.
 Robert J. Schreiter, Constructing Local Theologies (Maryknoll, New York: Orbis Books, 1985), p. 21.
 Dennis Teague, pp. 450-451.
 Ibid., p. 452.
 Jose M. De Mesa and Lode L. Wostyn, p. 35.
 Ibid., pp. 455-456.
 Schreiter, Constructing Local Theologies, p. 39.
 Dennis Teague, pp. 482-498.
 Ibid., p. 491.
 Ibid., p. 497.
 Marshal Fernando “Gospel and Cultures: From the Perspective of Sri Lankan Buddhist Experience” in http://daga.dhs.org/daga/btr/btr9v/v95marshal.htm