The study of theology itself is quite spacious; and also the study of culture is a big field too for they have several ranges and different diverse fields. Therefore, engaging with the study of “Theology and Culture” is, really a big work to make it concise into a limited space. Modern anthropologists and Contextual theologians have commonly agreed the fact that culture plays the most important role in human life. When dealing this fact with theology, culture took the same position as in the field of the whole human life.
With this regard, this paper tries to deal the subject Theology & Culture within Asian perspective. On the other hands, this paper is a small piece of proposed arguments on the subject of Theology and Culture, which tries to find out some relevant relations between theology and culture especially in Asian situation. In fact, there are little resources directly written on this topic. However, this paper tries to find some clue to meet the subject and suggests some reasonable theological foundations taken from Asian perspectives and witnesses, which can be made as practical implications nowadays.
So far three books seem to be most relevant such as Christ and Culture: 1951 by H. Richard Niebuhr; The Word of Christ and the World of Culture: 2003 by Paul Louis Metzger; and Christianity in Culture: 1979 by Charles H. Kraft. I try to reflect some suitable theological meanings on theology and culture from these books. Reading in Religion, Culture and Society Book I & II, which are given us as Theology & Culture course materials also give me much knowledge in this paper.
What is Theology?
Basically the word “theology” comes from the Greek word qeou (“theo”) = “God” and logoj (“logos”) = “word.” Thus Theology is defined as “the study of(about) God.” In other word, theology is the study of God’s revelation to His creatures (the world). There are quite considerable diverse definitions to mention into this account, but I will try to mention only some of them as following which best reflect our subject. Theology is:
- The study of religion, especially the Christian faith and God’s relation to the world.
- A religious theory, school of thought, or system of belief.
- A course of specialized religious training, especially one intended to lead students to a vocation in the Christian Church.
A. H. Strong described theology as "The science of God and of the relations between God and the universe." Charles Hodge wrote that it is "The science of the facts of divine revelation so far as those facts concern the nature of God and our relation to Him, as His creatures, as sinners, and as the subjects of redemption."
Merriam-Webster defines theology as “the study of God and God's relation to the world.” But not only is theology the study of God, it is also the means of that study. If the glass is not polished properly, then one will not see clearly. Theology is nearly the same. It is how one approach God and what one approach Him with.
We cannot believe that our theology is greater than the God whom we study. If that were so, then it would be God who must theologize and not us. As the telescope does not contain the moon, our theology does not contain God. Although theology is a study of God and God's relation to the world, it does not end there. Theology can never be a textbook that is opened, read and set aside only to be picked up at an hour more convenient. It flows much deeper. And it is not a subject embraced only by the clergy, monk or seminary student but theology is shared by everyone. It is as unique as experiencing it. Even the atheist and agnostic each are theologians who spell out their beliefs in all they do, think and say.
Theology is not just what we think; it is what we do and how we live. It is not just what we exemplify to be true while in the company of the congregation, but it is how we live in the secret places of our homes. The Apostle James shared this secret with us when he wrote that a person, who claims he has a faith in Christ, but does not show forth good works, is but carrying the carcass of faith (James 2).
What is Culture?
According to K. Tanner, culture is a God-given order of being found in nature. The word “culture” comes from cultura, colere, which means to till, cultivate. It has the following meanings:
1) Cultivation, tillage
2) Act of development by education, discipline, training, etc.
3) The cultivation or rearing of a particular product or crop; as, oyster culture.
4) The enlightenment and refinement of taste acquired by intellectual and aesthetic training.
5) A particular stage of advancement in civilization or the characteristic features of such a state or state; as primitive culture, or Chinese culture.
In short, “culture” has to do with cultivation, tilling, and tending, and speaks of a quality, study, or way of life. Physically, it speaks of tending, and mentally it aims at training, education, reverence, and refinement. So, it is the root word of “cult” (as a system of religious worship) and “cultivation” (of the soil). It speaks of the development and improvement of a person’s whole being through training and discipline (and care), and thus stands for a person’s skills and arts.
Culture is that which holds life together, i.e., it is the patterned manner in and through which people do things together and live as a community. Culture covers everything in human life and is learnt afresh by each generation in the social activities. Therefore, culture as a whole is none other than the manifestation of God’s creative power translated into actual forms and event. Thus, creation may be regarded as God’s culture in its totality.
Kathryn Tanner has provided us an extensive as well as comprehensive meaning of the word “culture”. It has to do originally with the care and tending of crops or animals. Culture is a God-given order of being found in nature. Yeow Choo Lak wrote—the Bible gives us numerous clues of human cultures as seen in the People-Land-History-Religion specificity of the Old Testament, i.e., the Old Testament speaks of the People of God, living in the Promised Land, with a History peculiarly their own, and a Religion given by Yahweh. The Old Testament cannot be properly understood without an in-depth investigation of the People-Land-History-Religion specificity. From Genesis to Malachi it speaks of these four items that form the Old Testament culture. The ethnic, territorial, historical dimensions are reflected in the economic, ecological, social and artistic forms of the Life and People of Israel. God was present in all these aspects of life, and it was from all these aspects of human existence that God revealed Godself. In this view, God cannot be absent from culture and Christ as well.
According to Encarta Encyclopedia Deluxe 2002 culture includes:
- Art, music, literature, and related intellectual activities
- Enlightenment and sophistication acquired through education and exposure to the arts
- The beliefs, customs, practices, and social behavior of a particular nation or people
- A group of people whose shared beliefs and practices identify the particular place, class, or time to which they belong
- A particular set of attitudes that characterizes a group of people
- The cultivation of the land or soil in preparation for growing crops or plants
- The development of a skill or expertise through training or education
The theology-culture relation is perhaps the chief problem for theology today, both in academic field and in everyday faith. The urgency of the issue is pressed upon us as we look, from a global perspective, at the political and military conflicts today that often involve clashes, either perceived or real, between cultures and theological world views, notably between Christianity and Islam, but also between other religions and cultures. Noted writers are conjecturing about catastrophes as yet unimagined if people fail to understand one another from both theological and cultural perspectives. In addition, the shape of Christianity itself is changing radically, so that increasingly it can be understood only in relation to the wider world of religions and cultural expressions that are the forces behind its reshaping. Christian theology must now be undertaken with an eye toward how doctrines and practices can be understood in relation to other religions and within the contexts of the cultures within which Christians live.
Missiologists Charles H. Karft and Marvin K. Mayers, working from the viewpoint that cultures are integrated, functioning systems, argue that culture is a neutral vehicle through which God communicates to human beings. Kraft (1981, 113) states that “culture consists of forms, functions, meanings, and usage… a kind of road map made up of various forms designed to get people where they need to go. These forms and the functions they are intended to serve are seen, with few exceptions, as neutral with respect to the interaction between God and man. Cultural patterning, organizing, and structuring of life… are not seen as inherently evil or good in themselves.”
Theology as Contextual
Charles Kraft wrote, “Contextualization is the expression of Christian meanings and commitment or allegiance in truly traditional cultural forms that may remain the same of may be adapted but in which the major change will be in the meanings conveyed and the commitment/allegiance chosen rather than in the forms themselves.” Today, in post modern age, many renowned writers as well as theologians commonly came to believe that everything is to be judged with its context of each respective and particular thing. In doing so “context” play the most important role and in each and particular context culture involved as a measure of credit.
In the sphere of doing local theology, it is widely believed and applied that theology should be contextual. If theology is not contextual it is not a good theology for the particular local community. What makes contextual theology precisely contextual is the recognition of the validity of another locus theologicus:three sources or loci theologici: scripture, tradition, and present human experience—or context.
Sherwood Lingenfelter in his book “Transforming Culture” states that culture should not be over used or emphasized. Paul Hiebert (1985) argues for the fact that Christianity provides a new hermeneutic for cultural living. Every culture and every person must change in light of a new perspective—Jesus Christ, crucified, risen, and exalted. Jesus came to save not cultures but people, and he came to transform them into his likeness. But whole cultures will not be transformed!
Transformation is neither bridging from one system to another nor transferring a Christian system to another place and people. Rather, transformation means a new hermeneutic—a redefinition, a reintegration of the lives of God’s people (the church) within the system in which they find themselves living and working. With regard to this view, “is culture could be transformed?” and “will culture need to transform?” are crucial questions to me.
Yeow Choo Lak, in his extensive article “Christ in a Multi-Cultural Context” wrote: Theology is supposed to talk about God who is unconditionally present to all people at all times and in all places, yet theology as formulated by Church-people throughout the ages and from many countries is conditioned by the traditions and cultures of the countries from which theology has been formulated.
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Many cultures, one Christ: In all societies today there is a search for cultural identity; Christians around the world find themselves caught up in this quest. The Bangkok Conference on Salvation Today (1973) asked: “Culture shapes the human voice that answers the voice of Christ. In our sharing with one another we have discovered that the Christ who meets us in our own cultural contexts is revealed to us in a new way as we confess him. Further, since Christ shares in a special way with all who are exploited and oppressed, we find when we meet with them that our understanding of him is enlarge and enriched. We affirm the necessity of confessing Christ as specifically as possible with regard to our own cultural settings.
God’s Revelation through Different Culture
It is good to consider how God has been revealing throughout the culture of ancient people. We may specially relate this section with Charles H. Kraft’s discussion on “God through culture” in more specific lines: God—the Originator of Culture, The God-Against-Culture Position, Two God-in-Culture Positions, Five God-Above-Culture Positions, and The God-Above-but-Through-Culture Position. When we think about creation story (i.e., before Abraham was called), one would logically and naturally assume that God had been revealed with Adam and Eve, then Noah. With Noah God made special covenant what He (God) likes and His (God’s) instructions (Gen 9:1ff.). After this happening, Abraham was called by God round about 1900 BC only after human history had long been civilized. Especially ancient Babylonian Empire and Egyptian Empire were so great and powerful in human history and had developed. We can assume this fact in other words that they were developing under God’s presence a long time even before Abraham was called. We cannot deny them in our notion nowadays that they were out of God’s purposes. Although they were wicked and sinful people as shown by the Bible, God was (always) with them.
God made His revelation and His way more completely by calling Abraham. So Abraham was considered the one who manifested God’s law better than the other ancient peoples before him. If we think about the history of human religion before Abraham, it could be assumed that every religion or cult turns to the truth and encouraged to do good deeds. However, at this point the punishment is obvious on the other hands as a result of sin and wickedness. Even in Israelite history (i.e., after Abraham), the same result was evidently happened throughout their history.
After Abraham, Jesus Christ is the manifestation of God (i.e., ultimate revelation and most authentic) as we firmly believe today. It is the fulfillment and final authenticity as Jesus had told the Jews (Mt 5:17) … “For I do not come to exterminate but to fulfill your religion.” Between Abraham and Jesus Christ there were revelations and manifestations of God through Zoroaster (in the time of King Darius of Persia), through Buddha in India, and through Confucius of China, etc. They all turned and subjected to the universal truth and holiness. Exceptionally Muhammad appeared the same way only after Jesus Christ. The clear fact that appeared here is—all of them who bore Divine revelations were purely men and none of them claimed their deity except Jesus. In this connection, it is claimed that Jesus is the real incarnation of God as He himself claimed His deity. In this sense, it now becomes quite logical as well as reasonable fact that the following systematic conceptions accord as undeniable truth scripturally, historically, and chronologically (more precisely the resurrection and sinlessness of Jesus Christ).
- God revealed / spoke through / with Adam and Eve
- God revealed through Ancient peoples
- God revealed through Abraham
- God revealed through Buddha, Zoroaster, and so on
- God revealed through Jesus of Palestine, then
- God revealed through Muhammad of Arab.
Max Weber, in addition, also provided us suitable statement to our subject. He wrote—the religion exercises a stereotyping effect on the entire realm of legal institutions and social conventions, in the same way that symbolism stereotypes certain substantive elements of a culture and prescription of magical taboos stereotypes concrete types of relationship to human beings and to goods. The sacred books of the Hindus, Muslims, Parsees and Jews, and the classical books of the Chinese treat legal prescriptions in exactly the same manner that they treat ceremonial and ritual norms. All law is sacred law. However, in this point we must be cautious one thing that Jesus is the most authentic and God incarnated. Even Mohammedans confess that Jesus was sinless, most high and eminent teacher. And the Koran says in Surah 33:69—Jesus is “illustrious in this world and the next. Jesus is superior to all other prophets.” The Islamic tradition, which I assume as the last revelation of God in the history of world major religions further supports and affirms the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Al ‘Imran 3:55 says, [God said]: “O Jesus, I am causing you to ‘die’ and rasing you to myself, and cleansing you of those who do not believe, and causing those who follow you to be above those who do not believe until the Day of Resurrection.”
Maryam 19:33 says, [Jesus said]: “Peace be upon me, the day I was born, the day I die, and the day I am raised alive.”
In this promoting Jesus (to) the super state I do not mean that only God’s revelation to Jesus is unique. Others are also undisputable. But Jesus required all people strikingly to confess, to know that He was God’s Son, the incarnate Son of God. No other religious founder and their sacred scriptures exclaimed that the founder is God’s begotten Son but Jesus alone. Kuran says again, Jesus was raised again after his death and ascended to heaven (Surah 3:55). The doctrine of resurrection that we have only in Jesus’ religion is quite significant to all other religions.
The last revelation and manifestation of God through Mohammad confessed Jesus’ deity. So it is logically true, chronologically coincided and relevant. So we cannot say that other sacred scriptures are invaluable. We, therefore, could conclude in our theological perspectives that Jesus is the most unique and the real incarnation of God. Jesus Christ requested the disciples to teach his uniqueness to all nations (Mt 28:19-20). Now what is quite clear here is that Jesus’ commission of doing mission is quite different from the age of Christianization today. But now especially the renowned and reverend persons of all faith of religions turn to what God has incarnated and it is a result of religious, cultural, political, economic interactions of the nations and perfectly signified in the life and person of Jesus. It is quite logical and acceptable to hope that all faiths will confess Jesus’ deity before the end of the world. One may think of me reaching this stage that I had become a pluralist. No! That’s a million-year distance. I would ask that person to turn the Bible and read Romans chapter two.
Theology and Culture in Third World and Asian perspective
More and more Third World Christians are beginning to realize that theology must take and engage with cultures and historical traditions seriously. If not so, Biblical theology would be done without any reference to the cultural heritage from which Christians come from. Dr. Yap Kim Hao, General Secretary to the Christian Conference of Asia, correctly pointed out that “our theological task must surely include the explication of our cultural context and the relating of the Gospel to it.”
Another Asian theologian, Dr. Kim Chung Choon wrote: “Before formulating an Asian theology, it is absolutely necessary to have a proper study of the cultural heritages of each nation. We have to study the raw materials of our culture without having Christian presuppositions: it means that we should read and interpret the traditional heritages of culture and religion from our own indigenous or national viewpoint, not from the Christian viewpoint.” The point made here is valid that we cannot run away from the fact that God’s Revelation in Christ was clothed in the cultural garb prevalent at that time. An implication of this statement is: theology cannot ignore cultures.
Andrew F. Walls, in his lecture (1982), “Culture and Coherence in Christian History” pointed out six phases of Christian land mark in which culture existed as major element and important. He put:
From Pentecost to the twentieth century, Christian history may be divided into six phases. Each phase represents its embodiment in a major culture area which has meant that in that phase it has taken an impress from that culture. In each phase the expression of the Christian faith has developed features which could only have originated in that culture whose impress it has taken within that phase.
Theology, Culture, and the Bible are inseparable elements in making Christian Theology. I would also say that the same is true to all religions if they build their theology—their sacred scriptures like the Bible in Christianity would be the foundation of their theology. Giving pay attention to our subject Theology & Culture, Lamin Sunneh has furthermore and critically provided us an extensive discussion on the importance of culture in the work of Bible translation. According to his statement, Bible translation itself is the very first foundation of making theology into a local theology. Because Bible translation helps people realized God’s revelation through their languages in accordance with their cultural presuppositions.
Lamin Sunneh wrote that Bible translators have consequently first devoted much time, effort, and resources to building the basis, with investigations into the culture, history, language religion, economy, anthropology, and physical environment of the people concerned, before tackling their concrete task. This work was often indispensable to the task of authentic translation. In this sense, in several cases and places the Bible needs to translate its meaning in accordance with the cultural values. E.g. to the Zanaki people, translating the sentence “Behold I stand at the door and knock” (Rev 3:20) implied that Christ was declaring himself to be a thief, for in their culture only thieves make a practice of knocking on doors. “An honest man will come to a house and call the name of the person inside, and in this way identify himself by voice” (Nida, 1952, p. 47). The appropriate translation would, therefore, be, “Behold I stand at the door and call.” In one Indian language in Mexico, the idea of the Word being “full of grace and truth’ (Jn 1:14) is translated as the Word “full of chicken and truth” (Nida, 1952, p. 48). This is because the only “living gifts” people exchanged in their culture were chicken. 
Paul Louis Metgzer (“The Word of Christ and the World of Culture,” 2003, esp. pp. 3-50) and H. Richard Niebuhr (“Christ and Culture,” 1951, esp. pp. 83-108, 190-218) provide us rich and quite comprehensive knowledge on this subject, how theology and culture are related in such a discussion topics “The Word of Christ in Cultural Context,” “The Word of Christ and World of Culture,” “the Christ of Culture,” and “Christ the Transformer of Culture.” Charles H. Kraft, an anthropologist, gives us much more extensive and wider knowledge on theology and culture. His book “Christianity in Culture: A Study in Dynamic Biblical Theologizing in Cross-Cultural Perspective,” on the other hand concerned more with on the relationship between God and culture. He, especially in Part III: God Through Culture (pp. 103-115), discusses topics like “God’s Attitude Toward Culture,” “Supracultural Meanings via Cultural Forms,” and “Communicating Within Culture.” This gives us a considerable knowledge on our subject not like Christ-concerned relations but God-concerned relations between theology and culture.
Panikkar said that “non-Christian surroundings” (we may identify this “surroundings” here with Nos. 3 & 4 under the topic “What is Culture” from page 3) is to be understood as a world in which Christ was not yet explicitly recognized as the Lord. They were the conscious fellow workers of Christ in his creative, redeeming and exalting actions in the whole world. What was necessary and important was to believe in God (not in action of Christian world) to God, to hope in Him and to love the world in Him, in a theological act towards the world. Hans Kung also said the non-Christian religions were roads to salvation to the following: “For the person who is not confronted with the Gospel of Jesus Christ in an existentialist way, this religion can be a channel for the grace of the salvation of Christ.” It would be best to think religion here as one concrete cultural reality of the people which makes theology for them. Mahatma Gandhi had a great reverence for Christ; the Sermon on the Mount was his constant study. He is also great national leader at a time. One of American missionary Stanley Jones asked him—what advice he would give to a Christian missionary about to begin work in India. His reply was: “Be a little more like your Jesus”. Teach your converts that when they become Christians they do not cease to be Indians.” These lines of considerable statements above mentioned could be taken as a meaningful “theological-cultural value.”
The above facts of discussion show us enough clear indications that how culture takes the important role of life which is God’s revelation to the world. This is assumed simply as religion. Through the cultural reality of the ancient people God made His revelation to them, and made them known Him. God revealed to every nations and people according to their existing culture, such as tradition, presupposition, belief, and practice, etc.
Dr. Andrew Hsiao, former President of the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Hong Kong, in his address to his fellow Lutherans, affirmed that the proclamation of the Gospel is effective when it is done contextually. Referring to the way Christ was present in His culture Dr. Hsiao said: “Jesus came into the world at a specific point in human history. The language he spoke, the clothes he wore, the food he ate, the customs he observed were all in line with the culture of that time so that people could better understood properly and accepted easily, it is important that it be proclaimed in accord with the needs of the culture of the area.”
In those religions, in their sacred books, in their religious practice, among their monks and mystics there are in fact thoughts, sayings, attitudes to life which simply surprise us, there are pearls which we wonder at, men whom we admire greatly when we meet them. They form the better part of the human race; they do not attract attention but they compensate for all the conflicts and crimes and in the storm of the world. They, in a prayerful way, give the right answer to the real questions of all human beings.
Here it also becomes worthy to mention how Paul has been influenced by the Jewish cultural concept on his attitudes toward women in his teaching. We read 1 Timothy 2:11-15 (NIV):
“A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent. For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not the one deceived; but it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner. But women will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety.”
If Christian Theology is done with Christian teaching, which is found in the Bible, and which is mainly measured with the teachings of Jesus and Paul, then we need to make our modern theology in the light of our modern cultural realities and values, not necessarily on the Jewish’s cultural conception. If we apply these particular verses of Paul’s teaching directly to the present situation regardless of its meaning within the cultural context, then we are surely becoming being out of date. The point what I would like to make is that how Culture is important in such a situation in terms of theology and theological interpretation.
P. L. Metzger told us that Karl Barth is to be regarded highly as the most significant figure in Theology and culture field. He wrote that Barth’s theology is a theology addressing humanity in modern culture, indeed arising out of confrontation. The Word always has a direct bearing on the concerns of the church and culture. Barth believed strongly that theology best serves the concerns of church and broader culture and has the best and most direct bearing on them when the theologian concentrates on those concerns addressed by the Word of God.
To support the above statement, the impact of Bible translators is worthy to consider again. Bible translators believe that in Jesus Christ was to be found the message of salvation, a message that was expected to cohere in the vernacular. This they expected the vernacular to be the congenial locus for the word of God, the eternal logos who finds familiar shelter across all cultures, but one also by which and in which all cultures find heir authentic, true destiny. Jesus Christ was assumed to be universally accessible through the medium of particular vernacular cultures, so that universality might propagate the spirit of unity without demanding cultural conformity for its real efficacy.
Conclusion As mentioned in above previous page, “Theology that is contextual realizes that culture, history, contemporary thought forms, and so forth are to be considered, along with scripture and tradition, as valid sources for theological expression.” It now came to clear that the essential role of engaging with the subject “Theology and Culture” seems making contextual theology as the major field. In my understanding, theology and culture are, in a sense, the same “way of life” of all people. Theology is all about what God communicates with people and in turns culture is all about what people are—the life of people. In other words, theology cannot be separated from culture.
Lamin Sunneh mentioned—“… No culture is so advanced and so superior that it can claim exclusive access or advantage to the truth of God, and none so marginal or inferior that it can be excluded. All have merit; none is indispensable. We do not need to become first Europeans before we become Christians. The same way, one needs not to become Arab if he/she becomes a Muslim. The same is true to all people’s faith and religion or people’s theology and of culture. In this respect it is good to reflect Gandhi’s words mentioned above. God reveals His truth through culture in accordance with our different cultural values because He made all these existence as He wills.
We live in situations of great change and cultural diversity. Some are called to engage in mission in traditional cultures, some in modern and others in postmodern cultures. We are called to communicate the Christian message in modern cultures. Increasingly, however, we confront postmodern cultures. All these realities and challenges are involving directly or indirectly with the subject of Theology and Culture. Theology should be theologized in such cultural realities of contexts. In a sense, theology without culture could not be existed. This is the reason why several theologies emerged with different terms, like Western Theology, Asian Theology, Latin America Theology, Minjung theology, Dalit theology, Feminist etc. nowadays.
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 “What is Theology?”, URL: http://www.theology.edu/theology.htm (Accessed on 11 Nov 2007)
 “What is Theology?”, URL: http://www.shol.com/featheredprop/theo2.html (Accessed on 20 Nov 2007)
 Kathryn Tanner, Theories of Culture: A New Agenda for Theology (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1997), p. 3. See also the subtopic of the “Modern Meaning of Culture” in the same book, pp. 25-29.
 Raul Fernandez-Calienes, The Asian Church in the New Millennium: Reflections on Faith and Life. Voices from the Edge Series, No. 2 (Delhi: ISPCK & Sydney: Centre for Millennial Studies, 2000), p. 165.
 Fernandez-Calienes, The Asian Church in the New Millennium, p. 166. Quoted from C. S. Song, Christian Mission in Reconstruction: An Asian Attempt (Mysore: TCLS, 1975), pp. 32-33.
 Kathryn Tanner, Theories of Culture: A New Agenda for Theology (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1997), p. 3. See also the subtopic of the “Modern Meaning of Culture” in the same book, pp. 25-29.
 Fernandez-Calienes, The Asian Church in the New Millennium, pp. 169-170. For the extensive explanation on this statement, to prove it is Biblical, read the following pages (170-191) of the same book.
 http://scu.edu/strategicplan/futuredirections/themes/theology-and-culture.cfm. See quoted from, for example, Samuel P. Huntington, The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1998), and R. Scott Appleby, et al., Strong Religion : The Rise of Fundamentalisms around the World, The Fundamentalism Project (Chicago: University of Chicago, 2003).
 Ibid. Quoted from Lamin Sanneh, Whose Religion Is Christianity? The Gospel beyond the West (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2003); Philip Jenkins, The Next Christendom: The Coming of Global Christianity (New York: Oxford, 2003).
 Sherwood Lingenfelter, Transforming Culture: A challenge for Christian mission, 2nd ed. (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1998), p. 16.
 Charles H. Kraft (ed.), Appropriate Christianity (Pasadena, California: William Carey Library, 2005), p. 83.
 Stephen B. Bevans, Models of Contextual Theology, Revised and Expanded Edition (Manila: Logos Publications, Inc., 1992), p. 4.
 Sherwood Lingenfelter, Transforming Culture: A challenge for Christian mission, 2nd ed. (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1998), p. 18.
 Raul Fernandez-Calienes, The Asian Church in the New Millennium: Reflections on Faith and Life. Voices from the Edge Series, No. 2 (Delhi: ISPCK & Sydney: Centre for Millennial Studies, 2000), pp. 164-165.
 James A. Scherer and Stephen B. Bevans (eds.), New Directions in Mission & Evangelization 1: Basic statements 1974-1991, 3rd Printing (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 1998), p. 6.
 Charles H. Kraft, Christianity in Culture: A Study in Dynamic Biblical Theologizing Cross-Cultural Perspective (Maryknoll, New York: Orbis Books, 1979), pp. 103-115.
 Max Weber, The Sociology of Religion (Boston: Beacon Press, 1993), p. 207.
 J. Dudley Woodberry, Osman Zumrut, and Mustafa Koylu (eds.), Muslims and Christian Reflections on Peace: Divine and Human Dimensions (Lanham, Maryland: University Press of America Inc., 2005), pp. 33-34.
 Raul Fernandez-Calienes (ed.), The Asian Church in the New Millennium: Reflections on Faith and Life, “Voices from the Edge Series, No. 2”(Delhi: ISPCK & Sydney: Centre for Millennial Studies, 2000), p. 171.
 Ibid., p. 172. Quote from Christian Conference of Asia: Sixth Assembly, pp. 44-45.
 Andrew F. Walls, The Missionary Movement in Christian History: Studies in the Transmission of Faith, p. 16. The six phases are 1) Jewish—the First Age, 2) Hellenistic-Roman—the Second Age, 3) Barbarian—the Third Age, 4) Western Europe—the Fourth Age, 5) Expanding Europe and Christian Recession—the Fifth Age, and 6) Cross-Cultural Transmission—the Sixth Age.
 Lamin Sunneh, Translating the Message: The MissionaryImpact on Culture, pp. 192-208. See also Lamin Sunneh, Whose Religion is Christianity, pp. 115-125.
 Lamin Sunneh, Translating the Message: The Missionary Impact on Culture, p. 192.
 Ibid., pp. 193-195.
 Luke Sui Kung Ling, Perspectives on the Bible: Mission Tools Today (Haka, Chin State: Unpublished paper, 2003), p. 3.
 Fernandez-Calienes (ed.), The Asian Church in the New Millennium, p. 172.
 Paul Louis Metzger, The Word of Christ and the World of Culture, p. 33.
 Lamin Sunneh, Translating the Message, p. 205
 Lamin Sunneh, Whose Religion is Christianity, p. 105, 106.
 Wonsuk & Julie C. Ma (eds.), Asian Church and God’s Mission (Manila, Philippines: OMF Literature Inc., 2003), p. 15.