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MB500: Culture & Transformation

by Sherwood Lingenfelter

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Transformation is a familiar buzzword among God's people. We want to be transformed ourselves and play a role in the transformation of other individuals and the world at large. This desire to be involved in God's transforming work is often based on good intentions but bad assumptions about other cultures, how we should interact with them, and what we should change about them. As the world shrinks and connections between individuals and cultures become more numerous and complex, understanding our own cultural assumptions as well as those of others becomes increasingly important for Christians to be transformational agents in the world. This course's aim is to heighten our sensitivity to our own cultural assumptions and biases, and to recognize the blind spots those create as we interact with others. Ministry ought to be incarnational. In order to minister incarnationally, we need to first become aware of our own cultural biases and how to transform them, so that we can more humbly and sensitively approach others and their cultural biases. Exegeting a culture is the central activity of this course. It describes the work of unpacking one's cultural biases and assumptions as well as the systems and structures within a culture. It is something we may have done intuitively but without awareness of how our own biases are affecting the process. Our hope is that this course will give you a new awareness of and fresh perspective on how to exegete a culture from God's perspective. Using case studies, historical examples, and your own ministry experience, we will learn how globalization, economics, and other social forces have shaped a culture and how those forces create both opportunities and challenges for transformational ministry. With this knowledge, you should be able to more effectively engage in partnership with majority world Christians for ministry that transforms you, other people, and communities.

MB500: Culture & Transformation
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