Theology of Missions

Group presentation questions

The Theology of Missions class will be divided up into groups of 4 or 5 people. Each group will select one of these questions (two groups may not use the same question) which they will research together and prepare a presentation for the entire class.

This list of questions is not closed. That is, the group may ask for permission to deal with a variation of one of these questions or even with a question not listed here.

Group presentations will be enriched if liberal use is made of quotations and illustrations from the literature on the topic.

Theological questions for discussion

  1. What happens to the unevangelized heathen who die without ever having heard of Jesus? What are the various positions that have historically been taken (and by whom) on this question?
  2. How far can one adapt the Christian faith to a new culture and it still be Christian? (Issues of contextualization versus syncretism). "Indigenous" was a word once used in connection with this issue.
  3. Is Jesus the only way to God and to salvation?
  4. Is there a theological basis for believing that God does impress or call some people to be missionaries? If so, what is it?
  5. Can traditional non-Christian ceremonies be integrated into Christianity?
  6. How should Christians treat the reverence for ancestors expressed by the Chinese and other peoples?
  7. What is the irreducible minimum that one should consider to be the authentic gospel message? That is, what should be the requirements for Christian baptism?
  8. What are the main issues a person from another religion should consider in converting to Christianity?
  9. What about Jews? Should we try to convert them? Why or why not?
  10. What should we make of liberation theology's view that Jesus is a political hero to be imitated as much as He is a divine figure to worship?
  11. Are all religions worshiping the same god/God even though each one says different things about Him/Her/It?
  12. What do Jesus and Paul have to teach us in our encounters with other religions?
  13. What guidelines should one use in developing contextually appropriate materials and modes of Christian expression for various cultural groups?

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