Book Summary: The Global Gospel

This is from the March Leader’s Edge Book Summary of Missio Nexus. These are the best book summaries on the web. Leader’s Edge monthly book summaries and insightful interviews connect you with today’s leading writers in the Great Commission community. You can visit their website here. Access for individuals starts at under $30. The services include:

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Accessing their services just for the book summaries is well worth the cost. Below is a sample from the March edition of Leader’s Edge Book Summary Werner Mischke’s book The Global Gospel. Each book summary includes the content of the book by category of:

  • Best chapter
  • Best quotes
  • Best illustration
  • Best idea
  • Best take away
  • Recommendation
 Global-Gospel

The Global Gospel: Achieving Missional Impact in Our Multicultural World

Author: Werner Mischke

Published by Mission ONE,Scottsdale, AZ, 2015, 352 pages. (ISBN: 978- 0984812868)

Available in Kindle format. (ASIN: B00QCW1B1M)

Summary

Biblically-based and well researched, this book is a compelling read that helps frame the gospel in the unique social dynamics of honor and shame – something we in the West so often miss. This is more than a book. It is a full-fledged course on biblically-based cross-cultural communication containing graphics, charts, and diagrams which forcefully illustrate Mischke’s insightful principles of sharing the gospel cross-culturally.

 Best chapter

The book is divided into four sections. Although difficult to choose, chapter 5 of Section One, “Does It Hurt or Does it Heal,” is selected as the best chapter, simply because it summarizes nicely for the Western reader the differences between guilt and shame based cultures. Several illustrative diagrams help the reader see these distinctions.

Best quotes

“The primary social value of the ancient Middle East in the Bible is the pivotal cultural value of honor and shame; knowing this will provide a new perspective…help you and your church be more faithful to God’s Word now for a more effective ministry in our multi-ethnic, multi-cultural world.” Page 38

“If Christian theology is Western while his or her cultural context is Majority World – Asian, African, Middle Eastern, Latin American (or other honor/shame culture) –then to ignore the theological/cultural matter of honor and shame comprises a blind spot which hinders the missional impact of the gospel.” Page 60

“Simply stated, shame is about who I am; guilt is about what I’ve done. It follows… that shame is generally more painful than guilt.” Page 63

“Many mission and culture leaders recognize that Majority World peoples have honor and shame as their pivotal cultural value. Could it be that when Christians present the gospel of Christ to Majority World peoples in a way that only addresses humanity’s guilt before God, that resistance to the message of Christ’s gospel may be easier to understand?” Page 64

“What we have seen is that shame is more likely to lead to hurtful behavior, whereas guilt is more likely to lead to healing behavior. The pathology of shame for individuals and families can be terrible and impact generations. But when the pathology of shame impacts whole societies and nations, it becomes truly horrendous.” Page 69

“When you read the Bible with an awareness of this emotional landscape – the love of/longing for honor and fear of shame – God’s Word simply makes more sense and it has more impact. I contend that by incorporating the emotional variable in Scripture interpretation, you will come closer to understanding how the original authors and hearers of Scriptures would have experienced God’s Word.” Page 91

“Every communication of gospel content, including the very kernel of the gospel, contains cultural assumptions and ideas which, first of all, resonate with the culture of the messenger (preacher, missionary, believer). The question is whether it also resonates with the people with whom the messenger is communicating.” Page 217

“Therefore, when it comes to the Bible’s honor/shame dynamics, I contend that the effect of knowing the applicable social science would be just the opposite of ‘leavening the dough of its missiology.’ For it is through the use of social science that we uncover a major blind spot and gain a more authentic reading of Scripture by which to appreciate its ancient cultural values. Does this not help us convey with greater authority the original meaning of God’s Word?” Page 310

Best illustration

“We must obviously agree that eating the flesh and drinking the blood of Christ is not to be taken literally. However, if in ancient Hebrew and Greek culture ‘blood replicates the honor of the family,’ then I must ask: Could it be that when Jesus told his disciples to ‘drink his blood,’ he was saying that his followers should trust and believe in his life and atonement so deeply, so comprehensively, that his very honor would be spiritually ingested into their own lives?” Page 158

 Best idea

“Most Western presentations of the gospel assume that the primary felt need of all humanity is the alleviation of guilt from sin, and that the cross of Christ addresses this need. But this derives from a Western theological bias. Instead, why not begin a ‘gospel message’ with the assumption of humanity’s longing for glory and honor, and correspondingly, the alleviation of shame?” Page 220

 Best take away

“I agree with Jackson Wu who simply states: ‘The gospel is already contextualized for honor/shame cultures,’ and, ‘honor and shame are built into the framework of the gospel itself.’ This means that the global gospel of Jesus Christ has the potential to resonate with the peoples of our multicultural world – and with persons struggling with shame – perhaps far more than we ever realized.” Page 278

Recommendation

All cross-cultural workers in this multicultural world would “reset” their outreach strategies after reading this book. It does not matter what area of the world one works, this book brings an eye-opening guide as to how to formulate appropriate ministry through honor/shame considerations. For more about this book go to: http://globalgospelbook.org

 

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