Story

还没有用户? 现在注册。 这是免费的!

The Lausanne Global Conversation is on the World Wide Open Network

开普敦2010会前报告

向列国宣讲和平(撒迦利亚书9:10):上帝宣教中的民族

作者: Ethnicity and Identity Advisory Group
日期: 31.05.2010
Category: 和好

评级 (2)
  • Currently 4.50/5
收藏夹 (5) 推荐

翻译

可用的翻译版本:

最初发表于英语

编者按:本篇2010开普敦会议会前报告由Dewi Hughes 提交,是对将在多元主题分会上讨论的议题综述。对这篇论文的回应将会通过“洛桑全球对话”反馈给作者和其他人,从而有助于他们确定自己在大会上的最终发言稿。

在一节关于民族的课堂一开始就问听众,当听到“民族”,“民族的”或者“民族身份”这些词的时候,首先想到的是哪些词?通常说来,“冲突”是出现频率最高的。实际上,大家想到的大多数词汇都是负面的。正因为对民族的这种负面认识是如此自然而又屡见不鲜,以至于许多福音派基督徒也认为民族是人类身份认知中危险且容易导致分裂的部分,从而不加重视,甚至刻意回避。并且,许多基督徒也珍爱他们自己的民族身份,将其视为神的恩赐。

在转向圣经怎么看待民族之前,我们先了解一些关于民族的定义。

对民族的定义:下面的定义反映了现今对民族的普遍想法:

在希腊文中,“ethnee”是“thnos ”的复数,英文圣经翻译为国家、民族(nations)或者外邦人(gentiles)。 这两个词,ethnos [单数] and ethne [复数] 将会作为英语的名词出现在本篇文章中(译者注:中文翻译通译为“民族”)。

Ethnos(民族): 指意识到自己区别于其他人群的一群人,他们有以下特征:

  • 一个共同的专有名称
  • 相信有共同的祖先
  • 有共同的历史和记忆
  • 有相同的文化要素,如语言、习惯,物质文化,宗教
  • 与故土或国家有联系
  • 有团结意识

少数裔民族(Ethnic Minorities: 指由于种种原因,如移民或强制性迁移(奴隶),散居于某个国家的某个民族。

少数民族(national Minorities)或者土著:指的是那些在自己祖先生活过的土地上被压迫或边缘化的族群。

按照这些定义,民族(nation)这个词的用法存在问题,尤其在其经常使用的语境下。比如说很多人称英国(UK)为一个民族,但是如果对照以上的定义,英国其实是一个由三个少数民族组成的国家——土著居民(一个占统治地位的民族)和多个少数民族。如果对照上述的精确定义,所谓的由一个单一民族统治的民族国家几乎不存在。朝鲜(北朝鲜和韩国),以及莱索托王国是仅有的几个由单一民族组成的国家。

世界上的绝大多数国家都有多个民族,尽管在一些多民族国家常会有一个占统治地位的民族。为了更好地看清楚这些定义的交织对某一个具体的国家意味着什么,我们先看一看下面这个后殖民国家的例子。

乌干达共有50多个民族居住在国内的四个主要居住区。在南部的班图地区,居住了超过全国60%的人口,这代表了全国一半以上的民族。最大的民族是巴干达族,他们占据了首都坎帕拉附件的地区,但是他们的人数也不到总人口的五分之一。巴干达族的人数是其他任何巴图人民族的两倍以上,即便他们中的一些大民族,如Bankole, Bakiga 和Basoga族的人数都达到了一百万到两百万。第二大的居住区是尼罗河区域,集中在北部地区,大约居住了全国四分之一的人口,共有18个民族,包括Iteso, Acholi 和Karamajong.。第三大居住区是位于东北部的苏丹语地区,虽然只有全国5%的人口,即便如此,他们也分成8个民族。最后一个居住区域大约占全国2%的人口,主要由一些从邻国迁移过来的人口和一个亚洲社区组成。

现代观念中的民族

按照西方现代历史学者和政治哲学家的定义,现代意义上的民族国家诞生于18世纪,其标志是美国的立国和法国大革命后之后法兰西共和国的建立,因为它们将一些启蒙运动的政治理念付诸实践。这些新兴的国家提供的自由包括参与政治活动的平等权力和参与经济活动的自由,而放弃民族的多样性正是要获得这种自由和平等的代价。在美国,自由和平等的权力并没有照着土著美国人的身份赋予他们。而在法国,在君主制时代拥有身份的布列塔尼人和巴洛克人,则被他们的手足——崛起的革命党残酷镇压。其他欧洲国家也采取了这种启蒙运动的模式。在英国,也曾兴起了新兴的运动,试图压制爱尔兰、苏格兰和威尔士的身份。

直到20世纪中叶,消除民族的区分都被认为是利他的。人们认为民族的差异性会妨碍社会的民主化和工业化,影响社会的繁荣和大多数人的幸福。在此信念背后的确信就是,人们最根本的需要是物质的,只要人们看到这种整齐划一的好处,就会迫不及待地抛弃自己的民族身份。这种现代主义的政治信条信心十足地预示了,随着越来越多的人享受与民族身份无关的基于政治平等的种种好处,也随着这些人在物质上越来越富裕,民族便会消亡。然而,这种情形从未发生过。

这也是一些后殖民国家在立国时的政治信条。它们的独立是以消灭民族差异性为前提的。在此前提下,许多后殖民国家的失败归咎于民族中心主义或者部落主义也不足为奇了。

然而,从20世纪中期开始,这种现代主义的观念逐渐发生转变,尤其在一些西方国家。文化多元主义,一个听起来比民族差异性更积极的观念,逐渐成为许多国家的政策主张。在欧洲的许多地方,一些土著民族逐渐实现了自治,如西班牙的加泰罗尼亚人,英国的苏格兰人。这可以看作是西方国家后现代模式的开端。

圣经中神的宣教与民族

圣经中关于人类起源的经文(创1-11)以叙述一个民族的起源结束(创10:1-11:9)。在创世纪10章中,民族的延续和存在可以看成是神对人类始祖“要生养众多,遍满地面”之命令的一个直接结果[1]。这一命令的实现在中途被打断过两次。一次是毁灭了大多数人类的大洪水。在大洪水之后,神重新向人类宣告了他的命令,要“生养众多”和“在地上昌盛繁茂”[2]。这一命令的有效性可以从创世纪10章列出的那些民族得到证明。随着诺亚的儿子越来越多,社会、经济和其他的压力迫使他们中的一些宗族开始寻找新的居住地。人类早期的历史记载显示这一时期的寻找范围甚至跨越了海洋[3]。于是,不同的民族开始出现,“将各国的地土,海岛,分开居住,各随各的方言,宗族立国”[4]

在当代的一些学术讨论中,创世纪10章中提到的国家(nations),非常接近于“民族”的主要特征。创世纪10章所提到的一些名字介于民族的名字和祖先的名字之间。比如,雅弗的儿子歌篾很像是一位住在俄罗斯南部的操印欧语系的人名,而玛各或者玛代看起来像是一位印度裔伊朗人的名字[5]。在8-12节,经文中断了家谱的介绍以讲述宁录的故事,宁录是古实的儿子,含的孙子,建造了美索不达米平原上的大城——巴比伦和尼尼微城。

这是一个关于民族记忆的极好范例。在诺亚每一个儿子的家谱之后,紧接着叙述了宗族立国和各随自己的方言,同时列在这里的每一个人的名字同时也是土地的名字。麦西/埃及,西巴,哈腓拉,底但都是一些土地的名字。创世纪10章这一段文字唯一没有见证的是凝聚力——但是如果其他五项关于民族的特征存在的话,凝聚力是必不可免的。

创世纪第10章中对民族形成的记载直到创世纪11:1-9节以巴别塔的故事结束。在这里,巴别塔事件告诉我们,在第10章中看起来是自然而然的历史进程实际上自始自终都被人的罪深深影响着。

建造巴别塔是人类遍满地面过程的第二次中断。在大洪水之后的早期历史中,我们发现人类原来是使用同一种语言的,从方舟所停靠的亚拉腊山往东迁移至美索不达米亚平原。人们在那里定居,并且在人数和技巧上开始增长。为了传扬自己的名,他们决定建一座通天塔。这可能是人类历史上第一次关于帝国的宣告,即一座城市试图去统治地上的其他人,并试图篡取只属于上帝的荣耀和地位。这座城市和这座塔也意味着它试图成为一个充满吸引力的人间权力中心,可以使人类不用像上帝所期待的那样彼此分散而去布满地面。正是看到了使用同一种语言的人类将拥有不可限量的能力,从而可以不断悖逆,神于是变乱了人的语言。从此人们再也不能自由地交流并一起谋划违背上帝的旨意。由于彼此沟通的能力被限制,他们抵挡上帝的能力也被削弱了。因为没有言语上的互相理解,合作是无法达成的。所以通天塔被废弃了,人们重新向各个方向迁移以“布满地面。”最终的结果恰恰如上帝在起初所命令的一样,就是不同民族的人要布满整个地面。思考创世纪10、11章让我们得出结论,不同民族的形成是上帝的旨意,但在一定程度上,这个过程被人的罪给损坏了,正如人堕落之后的所有其他事物一样都被罪损坏了。

对亚伯拉罕的呼召是神所预备的救赎的开端,但是这个救赎的故事和巴别塔的故事有着惊人的差别。巴别塔的修建是为了传扬人的名,为了达成这个目的,人们准备不再迁移,也不准备分散为不同的民族。上帝叫亚伯拉罕的名为大,是为了要把祝福带给万国万族。巴别塔的道路是是一条消灭民族的道路,也是一条背叛的道路。与此完全相反的是,神却在亚伯拉罕的后裔耶稣身上为他们预备了祝福。

申命记2:9-12, 19-23; 32:8、耶利米书18:1-10和27:1-7的信息也说明是神的主权在掌管着民族[6]。新约中,保罗在亚略巴古也向雅典知识分子宣告中说,神从亚当造出万族的人,并且神已经并且继续会定准他们的的年限和疆界[7]。神在民族上的主权意味着从长远来看,民族不是一个存到永远的概念。他们就像人类的个体一样,出生、成长、昌盛、消亡。因此,在神的面前,没有任何空间和可能性将民族主义的观念上升为一种偶像崇拜。第二,神对民族有道德方面的目的。比如,悔改能使一个民族免于灭亡(耶利米18:7-10;约拿书3),或者神能使用一个民族去惩罚另一个陷在罪中的民族——关于后一点,决不能被用于把一个民族对另一个民族的侵犯或战争合法化。(申命记9:4-5)[8]

新约延续旧约的脉络,聚焦于民族的两个主题。一方面,万族都被邀请,乐意接受神国的好消息,先知预言了在末后的日子,列国都要带着礼物到锡安来朝见神[9]。关于这一旧约预言的最高潮是约翰在启示录21:24-22-5记载的在异象中所看到的天国的荣耀。另一方面,与此针锋相对的是,列国会聚集起来企图共谋摧毁神的国。同样是作为对旧约预言的回应,启示录展示了在末后将会有一场哈米吉多顿之战,这是发生在想要摧毁列国的世界之王和羔羊的国度之间的争战。在这最后的争战之后,我们作为羔羊的门徒将对那起初的盼望笃信不移——我们将是得蒙祝福和永不消亡的族类。 

在启示录7:9,我们可以看到一幅关于民族的极其美好的画面,这是圣经所有关于民族的教导的本质。约翰看见百姓从各国、各族、各民、各方而来,都身穿白衣,站在羔羊的宝座面前。所有的民族都在耶稣和他的公义里面彼此联合。但是这种联合不会摧毁他们自身的特点,因为他们将作为不同的国家或民族而被区别和尊荣。在这位弥赛亚耶稣里面,我们将达成具有民族多样性的合一,以及并不会破坏合一的多样性。

 现代福音宣教神学与实践中的民族

现代的福音宣教学对于民族或国家缺乏一致的观点。一方面,我们不加批判地吸收了现代政治哲学对民族的观念,另一方面许多的宣教经验却与之相冲突。许多布道领袖对民族主义或部落主义的谴责证明他们是被现代政治哲学所影响。但是同时他们所投身其中的圣经翻译运动却又是和这种政治哲学的诉求相违背的一种宣教策略。

有人认为在现代民族国家中,民族多样性会随着人的逐渐平等和物质的丰富而消失。所以屡见不鲜的是,甚至许多基督徒也认为是民族冲突导致了与工业化相伴随的经济奇迹迟迟不来,尤其是非洲的许多国家还依然处在贫困当中。但是这个问题的原因更有可能是现代的政治哲学,而不是民族多样性。这么说不是要高举民族中心主义,而是为了要摒弃它。民族中心主义是现代民族国家的根本。这是为什么甚至在乌干达这样一个国家,政府只能在以英语为官方语言时才能正常运转的原因。因为作为殖民主义者的那种民族中心主义远远比基于任何一个乌干达本地民族的民族中心主义更合人意。似乎从来就没有人考虑过在民族之间互相尊重的基础上执政的理念。

新教翻译圣经的宣教策略恰好与现代民族国家的观念相抵触。这种策略认为:用一个人的母语去传讲福音是布道有效与否的关键所在。虽然对某些宣教士来说,学一门异国的语言仅仅是出于实用主义的考虑,比如为了能进行简单的沟通,认识数字和一些民族身份特色的重要标志。但用一门新语言翻译圣经还是会提升民族的身份认同感。因为语言、词典、书籍在民族或国家的形成和延续中扮演着重要的角色。即便机率很小,圣经翻译者还是在提高该民族的生存能力,以及成长为完整的民族的可能性。

民族、教会与大使命 - 讨论得如火如荼的问题

  • 教会如何在民族多样化的处境中打造在多样性中合一的圣经原则?
  •  教会的运作如何体现这种民族多样性中的合一?
  • 在培训教会领袖上,民族身份有多重要?
  • 基督徒是否应该坚持必须接受母语的早期教育?
  • 教会是否应该更加深入地思考民族身份与贫穷的关系?
  • 如果在一个族群中建造教会有助于增强该民族的民族意识,当这种意识带来越来越强的独立和自治的政治愿望时,教会和宣教机构应该怎么办?
  • 一个国家的自由市场经济制度是否可以为国内的富有民族掠夺贫穷民族提供合法性?
  • 圣经中关于保护最贫穷的、最卑微的观点如何应用在民族多样性的处境中?   (申命记7:7)
  • 如何将“爱人(民族)如己”的原则应用到神国度模式中的民族关系上?

© The Lausanne Movement 2010

[1] 创1:28

[2] 创9:7

[3] 创10:5,“这些人的后裔,将各国的地土,海岛,分开居住,各随各的方言,宗族立国”

[4] 创10:4,参考10:20,31,32

[5] Gordon J.Wenham, Genesis 1-15 Word Biblical Commentary vol. 1, Waco:Word Publishers, 1987, pp.216-7.

[6] For a good analysis of the passage in Deut 2 see Christopher Wright, New International Biblical Commentary, Deuteronomy, Carlisle: Paternoster, 1996, p. 36. Some other passages that make the same point are Deut 26:19; Job 12:23; Ps 22:27-8; 47:8; 86:9; Dan 12:1; Acts 17:26-28.

[7] 传17:26-27.

[8] op.cit p. 133.

[9] 赛. 60:1-11.

汉语 Translation by: LGC_Translation
关于多语种功能 | 提议编辑翻译

关键词: 种族,身份,民族,独特性,现代主义,少数民族,ethnos / ethne,民族优越感,使命,民族国家,多样性,目的,团结,祝福

对话 发表评论

1  2  Next >> 
自动翻译:
PhContributeBy
回复 标记 0 支持 反对 Deborah_M (0)  
美国

When I think about how divided my own city (Atlanta, USA) is, it always saddens my heart. We have a multitude of different cultures, nationalities and ethnicities here and yet, you can go your entire life without having any relationships outside of your own ethnicity. It’s hard for people to want to get out of their comfort zone and take the time to understand/learn about any other culture/ethnicity besides their own. 

You brought up some very good questions at the end and I hope and pray that churches and ministries will continue to think about what it all means and how to make certain changes and be willing to take the time to change. Actual application is always the hard part. 

I also pray that Christians will continue to seek God’s heart on all of this and that we will be able to see every individual through His eyes. I really do believe we all need our hearts to be in the right place, to see a breakthrough in an area like this. We tend to have so many stereotypes that have been built up, where Satan wants to keep them and they need to be broken down! We all have so much to offer each other, learn from one another and I know it’s on God’s heart for us to serve alongside of each other.


06.10.2010
PhContributeBy
回复 标记 0 支持 反对 willie_williams (0)
美国
@ Deborah_M:

Unfortantly Deborah M. there are many cities and towns accross the USA. where people stay with what is considered their own, and it scares some that the way the country looks is changing. It will look this way until we learn to look within people.


27.04.2012
PhContributeBy
回复 标记 0 支持 反对 PAHayes (0)
美国

I enjoyed reading this paper, however I would like more information particlaurly on this statement: "Given the premise it is not surprising that the failure of many of the post-colonial nation-states is blamed on its ethnocentricism or tribalism."  I am curious as to how these post-colonial states reconcile adapting multiculturalism as a state policy.


07.04.2011
PhContributeBy
回复 标记 0 支持 反对 PAHayes (0)
美国
@ PAHayes:

We recently had a presentation on Howard Thurman.  And every time he is discussed I’m amazed at how in pre-Civil Rights era he was able to have a multicultural church before the concept was ever considered a reality.  We all need to embrace the idea that because we worship the same God we can worship Him in the same building. 


17.04.2011
PhContributeBy
回复 标记 0 支持 反对 sbowling (1)
美国
@ PAHayes:

I am in full agreement with you in terms of worshipping in the same building.  I believe if we could worship our God with unity in our diversity, a lot of other barriers would disappear.


28.09.2011
PhContributeBy
回复 标记 0 支持 反对 sbowling (1)
美国

Thanks for an eye opening paper!  I appreciate the reference to Genesis 11, the Tower of Babel.  Your comment that the final outcome fulfilled what God had intended and that was for the earth to be filled with diverse people.  Another well made point was how important communication or language is for ethnic identity.  Living in a country that has a tendancy for one language yet there is an influx of a different language has made me realize the value of being able to communicate with others who do not speak my ethnic language.  Instead of my expectations being for all to conform to my language, I may infact need to learn a new language also. 


28.09.2011
PhContributeBy
回复 标记 0 支持 反对 PAHayes (0)
美国

In answering the question about Deuteronomy 7:7 in relation to ethnic identity, I believe the word is saying that God’s chosen people have little to do with the actual people and more to do with God, his faithfulness and fulfilling the promises he made.


17.04.2011
PhContributeBy
回复 标记 0 支持 反对 Romesh_B (0)  
斯里兰卡

Ephesians 2:21-22 tells us that we are being fitted together into the Temple or dwelling place of God, the place where God dwells. The question that needs to be asked is, what does this Temple look like? At one time before Jesus the temple was mainly made of a single ethnic group the Jews but now it’s in the process of being built by adding different ethnic groups, bringing with them different cultures, languages, traditions, customs, practices. What would this diverse body or temple look like?

  • How will they communicate to one another?
  • How will they worship?
  • What will they eat when they meet to fellowship?
  • What will they wear when they meet to worship?

After a bitter Ethnic conflict that spanned nearly 30 years, for us in Sri Lanka the question would be how will the Sinhalese, Tamils, Muslims & Burghers (Eurasians), and expats form this new identity? What would a truly multi-ethnic, multi-cultural yet a uniquely Sri Lankan worship experience look like? 

I believe it’s time for the Sri Lankan theologians to forge a new uniquely Sri Lankan identity for the church. Currently a lot of what happens in the Sri Lankan Christian community is largely influenced by the Western practice of Christianity. 


13.10.2010
PhContributeBy
回复 标记 0 支持 反对 Matt_H (0)  
澳大利亚

I really liked this article as it clearly presented matters that have most likely laid dormant in my mind. I really appreciated the clear presentation of God’s sovereign choice of different "ethnos’ - i always saw in this in the Genesis 11-12 narrative, and then in Revelation 5 and 7, but it just jumped out all the more to me as I read.

Perhaps your analysis of the post-enlightenment current nation states and the link with ethnos was helpful. Once again I have always read "nations" in Matthew 28:19 as people groups not 20th century political nations, but your paper made the link all the more clearer.

As a pastor you articulated my quesions: "How can the church model the biblical principle of unity in diversity in the context of ethnic diversity? How can church  appointments reflect ethnic unity in diversity? How significant should ethnic identity be in training church leaders?" In Australia, with a growing multicultural environment, these are the questions we in western dominated churcehs need to engage with. There can be a spread of cultrures present in one church community, however, it is, more often than not, not present in the church staff. I know the difference it would make at HBC if we pursued it mroe intentionally. The question goes deeper as the team then has to be able to engage in the same ethnic unity in diversity context. A great step forward, but must be done at a time when the well spring of commitment to a new challenge is full. Bring it on Lord!


06.10.2010
PhContributeBy
回复 标记 0 支持 反对 Prayman (2)  
美国

Appreciated your remarks, Brother Bernardi.  I think, though that the New Testament teaching is that the enmity between cultures was destroyed at the cross.  The fact that the Bible still recognizes distinct cultures as a good thing, are of course the Great Commission, but also the scenes in Revelations 5:9 and 7:9


06.10.2010
PhContributeBy
回复 标记 0 支持 反对 Tudor_Griffiths (1)  
联合王国

Diolch, Dewi (’Thanks’ in Welsh!)

The article is very helpful in indicating how a defective (or absent) theology of ethnicity has contributed to ambiguous missiological practice. In his book ’The Construction of Nationhood’ the late Adrian Hastings emphasises the role of language and religion in the development of the nations. The recognition of minority languages shown in Bible translation can be seen as politically provocative. For example in one south-east Asian country there is government opposition to church-planting among people of ethnic minorites because it is seen as empowering them. This is perceived as politically a threat to the unified state.

You mentioned Uganda. Having taught theology there for six years, there are very good practical reasons why English is the language of education. But there is always then the danger that theological discourse is in the language of the head and not that of the heart.


06.10.2010
PhContributeBy
回复 标记 0 支持 反对 Valerio_Bernardi (0)  
意大利

I appreciate the paper about ethnicity and his definition.

I have some perlplexities about the use of the word ethnos today.

I think that, if we link together the bible teaching about ethnos and some modern ideas of the cultural anthropology, we can understand that sometimes ethnicity and the ethnic identity is only a human invention and not part of will of God.

Most of the ethnic problem are not racial problems, but cultural problems that rose during the history of some population.

I think that it is important to understand the difference between the cultural identity that it is always temporary and that can change during the life of and individual and the idea that we are part of a particular group.

Christianity, but also the Old Testament, teaches that under salvation there no cultural differences.

At the same time we have to encounter different culturer, without thinking that sometimes this kind of culture can change.


05.10.2010
PhContributeBy
回复 标记 0 支持 反对 Jacques_N (0)
法国

Thank you for this contribution that made me think about nations, ethnicity, the Bible... And my own country. France is considered a nation-state and has to deal now with multi-ethnic issues. One of the bet definition of a nation by Ernest Renan: "An everyday plebiscit"... I find it interesting, because it connects with the multi-ethnic character of God’s people that deliberately want to connect and live together. Still, we must be careful to consider the term nation in the Bible as something not quite identical with the modernist idea of nation. We must not forgot that even is a relatively small country like France, the ’nation’ was established also through physical and psychological violence: common ennemies and denial of regional identities and tongues. Nation are not a ’natural product’ of history, but also a deliberate project that is always ambiguous. In the same way, shouldn’t we be careful also with the term ’ethnè’? I think this article does it in a good way, focusing on both distinctiveness and unity of the human race. The question lies on the hierarchy of the various identities we are involved in, and the way the Gospel redeems their positive contribution to human life (diversity, dialogue), and crucifying the illusion of the supremacy of the identity that lies primarily on ethnè, or nation, or family. May the christian be workers of peace, not denying these natural/cultural/institutional settings, but placing them below the Gospel that transcends the diversity.


05.10.2010
PhContributeBy
回复 标记 0 支持 反对 Prayman (2)  
美国

Thanks, Dewi, for your thought-provoking article.  I do tend to agree with the person that commented that our hearts, too, need to be involved in this sensitive topic.  Perhaps, too, we may be bringing too much of the political discussion into our considerations.  It is certainly true that ethnicity presents a challenge to modern nation states.  However, that may not be an issue that we are to get involved with or address.  Daily, people pushed, prodded, and pressed Jesus to give political statements.  They wanted Him to comment on Roman oppression, on taxation, and on many other hot topics of His day.  He persistently refused.  When His disciples tried to trap Him to reveal when He would set up His Kingdom (which to them meant ethnic Jews would rule) He again steered them back to discussions on His Kingdom.  The Sermon on the Mount provides all the constitutional framework for the Kingdom that we need to address this pressing problem.  Our job is to disciple the peoples.  That is  not possible without first discipling individuals, as Jesus demonstrated.  True discipleship will call believers to task for issues of ethnocentrism.  If we get that job done first, and Jesus still tarries, perhaps we will have time to address issues such as political self-determination and free market economic models.


03.10.2010
PhContributeBy
回复 标记 0 支持 反对 David_Chronic (2)  
罗马尼亚

thanks Dewi for introducing this topic. i really appreciate your showing how ethne are not the result of the curse, as is often thought, through the judgment of Babel, but rather, they are part of the fulfillment of "filling the earth."

I also like how you challenge our post-modern facade that claims to value particular ethnicities, while still masking the modern philosophical assumptions that continue to perpetuate powerful/powerless and wealthy/exploited divisions in the world and in the church.


02.10.2010
PhContributeBy
回复 标记 0 支持 反对 TeresaChai (0)
马来西亚

I live in a multi-ethnic nation - a rainbow nation. We revel in our diversity. Reading the Book of Revelation this is also what we look forward to - a rainbow Church!


02.10.2010
PhContributeBy
回复 标记 0 支持 反对 Jetteke_N (0)  
荷兰

Interesting!

Interesting too, that the first word you mention people mention when hearing words related to ’ethnic’ is conflict. For me, the first words coming up are: color(ful), communication, ciothing, speech, interest, etc, and their sound is positive. Is it, because all my life I have been involved with and surrounded by other cultures? As a worker among youth, I also wonder what their first reaction would be? Probably very different in different areas. In many inner city schools children and youth do not know anything else but living with people from all nations. A class may have ten or more nationalities. 

In Revelation the nations will be before the throne of God and there will be leaves on the trees for the healing of the nations. Is the word ’ethne’ used here? Last summer at an international youthcamp in Hungary, I discussed culture with a group of (several non-Christian involved) Hungarian youth. The issuse of underlying pessimism came up. At the end of the session I asked them: ’If God would exist - I believe He does - and you could ask Him a question, what would you ask Him for your nation?’ Several answers came. My answer was: a change of heart, from pessimism to hope. At the same moment a big rainbow appeared outside. The kids ran to the window. When they came back, one said: ’i don’t know why, but a rainbow always gives me a feeling of hope of peace.’ I then could explain them some of God. At the end we read Revelation 22, on the healing leaves for the nations. While reading, I wept, there will be healing for the pessimism in Hungary! That moment the Presence of the Lord was there, and they all knew it, whether they understood or not. Our Lord loves the nations and knows them!

The questions at the end are good. In coaching a multi-cultural church leadership team, we are living these questions.


30.09.2010
PhContributeBy
回复 标记 0 支持 反对 mission21 (1)
美国

 People from all over the world live in United States.  -still more coming. The words like "ethnicity, diversity..." are not just for discussion topics  in U.S. 

As someone with Asian background, "ethnicity" issue is beyond theoretical level to me. I have been involved in both ethnic &  multi-ethnic churches/ministries context for years. 

Recently, I had an opportunity to meet some "Native American" Christian leaders. Struggle/experience of "Native American" people is very unique. What would be the meaning of the word "ethnicity/ethnos" to them?

Many churches/ministries are trying to cope with this issue. One of the comments here mentioned  "homogenous unit principle (HUP)". We might need a different model/theory in the 21st century. -  United States context.

 Experience plays an important factor on this issue. My guess is author’s Welsh backgound/experience maybe somewhat related to his concern/commitment/perspective.

Each of us is on a learning process on this issue. -trying to learn what it means, how to cope, - in a real world. beyond theoretical discussion/arguments.


28.09.2010
PhContributeBy
回复 标记 0 支持 反对 Giacomo_Carlo_Di_Gae (0)  
意大利

Could be this one, the cluster of issues sourronding ethnicity, culture and religion, the locus in which find out a new place, a theological new place, for the vexata quaestio that risks to divide deeply the evangelical world as the problem of Israel?

In this area the problem of Israel, it seems to me loses the eschatological or political (State of Israel) drive that often it carries.

What refections suggest for us, Christian in XXI century, the presence among us, in a problematic form, of an ethnic group as Israel?


28.09.2010
PhContributeBy
回复 标记 0 支持 反对 Erik_Hyatt (0)  
美国

Great article Dewi!

You raised some thought provoking issues. One can see how the pursuit of a nation-state and common language is desireable for governing multiple ethnic groupings. The downside, of course, being that one ethno-linguistic group dominates - and often in an oppressive manner.

Taking the question to how the church should function, I was surprised that you did not mention the Homogenous Unit Principle (HUP) as something to be questioned in the 21st century. This approach to church planting and church growth has been the default standard approach for missionaries and mission agencies since the early 1970’s. I believe McGavran made it clear in his writing that he never intended ethnically-homogenous churches to remain homogenous (especially in urban settings), yet it seems that most of the churches started under this principle remain homogenous. I hope this will be addressed further in our discussions at Cape Town.

The focus on ethnicity, rather than race, is significant too. Many churches (at least in the US) are claiming to be "multi-ethnic" simply because there are people from various ethnic backgrounds who attend. Yet from a cultural and linguistic point of view, those who attend such fellowships are more likley 2nd and 3rd generation children of immigrants born into the dominant language and culture. And therefore, embracing the dominant culture and language is an unspoken prerequisite to joining.

So how can the church of the globalized, urbanized, 21st century avoid the same kind of nation-state political philosophy in church growth? Can the church of Jesus Chrsit model a Christ-exalting unity while honoring each other’s unique ethno-linguisitc heritage? It is interesting to note that the Pentecost event recorded in Acts 2 was not a reversal of God’s division by language. But amazed and astonished they said, "how is it that we hear, each of us in our own native language?" (Acts 2:8).


21.09.2010
PhContributeBy
回复 标记 0 支持 反对 ChloeRoberts (0)  
联合王国

Thanks for this Dewi...made me think!

I love the work that New Tribes Mission are doing in this area.

Am particularly interested in and challenged by the following questions:

  • How significant should ethnic identity be in the training of church leaders? (i think definitely more than it sometimes currently is)
  • Should Christians insist that the initial education of all be in their mother tongue? (Hmm, practically speaking this would create huge challneges obviously but in theory i like the idea of this at least being offered...)


21.09.2010
PhContributeBy
回复 标记 0 支持 反对 Danny_McCain (2)  
尼日利亚

This article raises thoughtful questions about how to deal with ethnicity. Obviously, there are positive and negative issues in every issue, including ethnicity. Unfortunately we have probably wobbled on both sides--either ignoring culture or being overly committed to not disturbing culture. Addressing these questions will help to keep evangelical Christians balanced in this important issue.


09.09.2010
PhContributeBy
回复 标记 1 支持 反对 Mere_B (4)  
美国

Your points about ethnic identity point to the increasing importance of contextualization in the spread of the Gospel. Jesus did not come with a modernist paradigm - He was certainly anything but Modernist! In fact, he enjoined the Samaritan woman to remain within her ethnic culture as a follower of Him. Paul picked up on the same theme of remaining within one’s culture as salt and light. This is not simply a means to an end, but it fulfills God’s plan that the heart of Christ be enfleshed in the skin of every culture. Contextualizing the Gospel to different ethnes allows this. 

In order to contextualize effectively, missionaries must learn to take a back-seat coaching role. We must learn to help indigenous peoples lead, and do things within their own cultural style which help the Gospel resonate for them and the other members of their ethne. This may result in forms of worship and prayer that are very distasteful to our own ethne’s ears! But missionaries must lay down their own ethnocentrism, in order to see Jesus incarnate in every nation, with all the surprising - and sometimes uncomfortable - diversity that implies.


18.08.2010
PhContributeBy
回复 标记 1 支持 反对 Jim_Harries (-3)
肯尼亚
@ Mere_B:

Thanks for the above Mere_B. I absolutely agree with the spirit of what you are saying. I would like to suggest a few differences in detail.


I would like to suggest that missionaries should ‘not’ take a ‘back-seat coaching role’. This for various reasons. One, the back-seat is not a good place to learn from. Two, missionaries have power (that is, Western missionaries and their budgets), so if they do not learn, their ‘coaching’ will be misguided. I suggest that missionaries should be ‘right up there’ as much as they need to be. I do not mean ‘push yourself forward’, but ‘don’t shirk’ or be reticent if local people put you up front. That is – testify to Christ whatever …What is important, however, is that the missionary NOT also have charge of a budget. It is a missionary’s budget, I suggest, that often curtails their possibilities of ministering effectively.


If a missionary ’hides’ by taking a ’back seat’ while influencing things, typically using their budget, then they are not setting a good example (do as I do) to ’nationals’. Of course, the advisability of this will vary by context.


You may think I am splitting hairs? I hope not, and if I am forgive me! I am promoting what we call ‘vulnerable mission’, i.e. that some western missionaries should use local languages and resources in their ministry. To see more on this – we have a group here on the Lausanne site. MANY THANKS.


18.08.2010
1  2  Next >> 

你必须登录后才能发表评论。如果你还没有用户名,请在此注册(免费、易用!)。

到达地图和统计资料

 

观点: 52504
评论: 33
推荐: 5

点击开始行动

请把我和对资源感兴趣的人们连接起来:

使用条款 | 保密条款 | 洛桑全球对话(LGC)是由World Wide Open制作支持 | World Wide Open是什么?