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Effective Intercultural Evangelism

Good News in a Diverse World

by W. Jay Moon and W. Bud Simon

Effective Intercultural Evangelism
ebook
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  • Formats: epub and pdf
  • Published: August 24, 2021
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  • ISBN: 978-0-8308-3173-9
  • Item Code: 3173

We live in a multicultural society. But Christians often do not know how to engage those of other faiths. As a result, many Christians hesitate to talk about Christianity with others in any kind of evangelistic way.

Jay Moon and Bud Simon unpack the intercultural dynamics that Christians need to understand when encountering people from different communities and cultural backgrounds. Regarding evangelism from the perspective of four major worldviews (guilt/justice, shame/honor, fear/power, and indifference/belonging with purpose), this book demonstrates contextual evangelism approaches that are relevant, biblical, and practical. The authors draw on new research conducted with hundreds of participants that reveal concrete ways to communicate the gospel effectively across cultures.

Sharing one's faith does not require attacking other religions; rather, we can engage at the worldview level in order to address people's deepest concerns. Greater understanding provides us with better skills for relational connection, empathy, and effective witness.

"This is exactly the book we need for evangelism in a time of increasing cultural diversity and globalization. God did not wait for humanity to come to the heavenly places but sent Jesus to meet humanity on our turf to invite people into the kingdom of God. Taking a cue from this, Moon and Simon draw together their experiences as missionaries who lived as guests in others' cultures with a combination of classical and new scholarship on evangelism and intercultural communication to develop a comprehensive and eminently practicable framework for sharing the Christian faith in a pluralistic context. Their framework provides Christians with a way to meet people on their own turf by teaching both how to listen for the worldviews people hold and how to offer the message of Jesus in a way that is most meaningful to the various worldviews. The authors explain their ideas creatively and accessibly, welcoming readers to reflect on their personal attempts to evangelize and learn how they can improve on those using the framework. Anyone interested in sharing their faith, whether among those who are beset by destructive forces in their lives, those who link their faith to a communal sense of shame and honor, those who feel crushed by their moral failings, or those who are formed in a secular setting and are indifferent to Jesus, will find this book equips them to be witnesses for Jesus Christ with greater grace, wit, and confidence."

Mark R. Teasdale, E. Stanley Jones Professor of Evangelism at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary and president of the Academy for Evangelism in Theological Education

"If you are looking for a book that moves beyond making evangelism a closed salvific sale to encouraging an ongoing conversation that leads to lifelong transformation, if you are looking for a book that moves beyond the legal models of guilt and justice to other perspectives just as weighty, if you are looking for a book that addresses holistic evangelism from a pluralistic perspective, then I recommend you take a look at Effective Intercultural Evangelism. Passionate. Practical. Personal. Promising."

Tom Steffen, professor emeritus of intercultural studies at Cook School of Intercultural Studies, Biola University, and coauthor of The Return of Oral Hermeneutic

"As both practitioners and thought leaders, Moon and Simon have provided much-needed insight into becoming intercultural evangelists. Effective Intercultural Evangelism helps us move beyond a monolithic worldview to understanding other perspectives. The pluralistic nature of our world means we can no longer assume when it comes to evangelism. We must learn to listen and discern so that we can holistically proclaim the gospel with deeds, words, and lifestyle in ways that are meaningful and effective."

Bill Couchenour, director of deployment, Exponential

"'Adapt or die.' This is Moon and Simon's cry to the church as it wrestles with the challenge of evangelism in a rapidly changing world. With wisdom from decades of combined experience on the mission field, the authors provide a thoughtful, practical guide for adaptation that is grounded in Scripture, guided by principles of crosscultural discernment, and honed in practice. Effective Intercultural Evangelism is a timely gift that is sure to increase joy and fruitfulness in the sharing of our faith."

Brad Wong, lead pastor of the River Church Community, San Jose, CA

"Moon and Simon provide readers a practical and readable guide demonstrating how the gospel can speak to people with the most diverse backgrounds. In a day of increasing cultural diversity at home and abroad, the examples given in Effective Intercultural Evangelism will prove helpful to Christians anywhere who want to share their faith with others in a compelling and relevant manner."

Craig Ott, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

"Compelling and biblical, this application of cultural intelligence and competencies is a unique contribution to the field of evangelism in our current context, and seminal. Whatever your approach—justice focused or parish oriented, holistic and integral or presence and deed, prayer or gospel-centered holy conversations—Effective Intercultural Evangelism is essential reading for academics and church and parachurch practitioners."

Beth Seversen, director of the Center for Christian Ministries and Practical Theology at North Park University, author of Not Done Yet

"In this wonderfully practical book based on solid scholarship and contemporary research and drawing on their personal crosscultural evangelism experiences, Moon and Simon identify intercultural evangelism as having meaningful conversations with others about what God is already doing in their life. Believing that God interacts with people in terms of their worldviews, a first step is to identify the worldview in which the person is embedded. Four major overarching worldviews—guilt/justice, shame/honor, fear/power, and indifference/belonging—are lavishly illustrated with Scriptural antecedents. We have needed this book for a long time. It takes seriously the evangelism mandate and the cultural context in which it must take place in order to be effective. Bravo!"

Darrell Whiteman, Global Development

"Yes! I love the way Jay Moon and Bud Simon frame evangelism as being part of the conversation God is already having with a person. Addressing people's deepest concerns is exactly what we need in this moment. This is a resource full of practical help in identifying how the gospel addresses key questions raised by different cultures. Highly recommended."

Mark Fields, director of global ministry, Vineyard Churches USA

"Authors Jay Moon and Bud Simon bring together intercultural missionary experiences, research, and classroom training in practical evangelism to provide a readable and engaging book. They make giant strides in providing much-needed guidance in intercultural evangelism in an increasingly secularized, integrated, and diverse world. Each chapter is packed with practical insights to assist the reader in just about every witnessing context imaginable, whether it is a chance encounter or an intentional, planned dialogue. I strongly recommend Effective Intercultural Evangelism because it is a significant contribution to the church universal. From this lifelong student of intercultural engagements and practical evangelism, this book receives two thumbs up!"

Carl R. Lammers, president of Knox Fellowship and pastor of Chapel in the Pines, Tampa

"Moon and Simon have brought much clarity to the task of bringing the good news to our diverse world! With an abundance of personal examples, the authors help us better understand intercultural evangelism, especially in worldviews of guilt/justice, shame/honor, fear/power, and indifference/belonging. The 'putting it into practice' sections at the end of each chapter are particularly helpful for all of us as we attempt to be more effective in our evangelistic efforts. I highly recommend this book!"

Larry W. Caldwell, chief academic officer and dean, and professor of intercultural studies and Bible interpretation at Sioux Falls Seminary

"Moon and Simon skillfully walk readers through recognizing that intercultural evangelism applies everywhere we are. Their wholeness approach to evangelism and discipleship is refreshing, and their recommendation that we begin through entering the conversation God is having with others, as well as ourselves, is energizing."

Janice Raymond, professor of global contextual studies at Pacific Theological Seminary
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Read an Excerpt

CONTENTS

Introduction: Reframing Evangelism
1. What Is Intercultural Evangelism?
2. Four Worldviews
3. Guilt/Justice
4. Shame/Honor
5. Fear/Power
6. Indifference/Belonging with Purpose
7. Holistic Evangelism
8. Local Learning Preferences
9. Present Trends and Influencers

Acknowledgments
Appendix 1: Intercultural Evangelism Training
Appendix 2: Faith-Sharing Survey
Glossary
Notes
Bibliography

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Author photo W. Jay Moon

W. Jay Moon is professor of church planting and evangelism and director of the Office of Faith, Work, and Economics at Asbury Theological Seminary. Along with his wife and four children, Moon served for thirteen years as a missionary with SIM, primarily in Ghana, West Africa, among the Builsa people, focusing on church planting and water development. He is the author or editor of several books, including Intercultural Discipleshipand Entrepreneurial Church Planting.

Author photo of W. Bud Simon

W. Bud Simon is a mission consultant who was a church planting missionary in Brazil for twenty years. His doctoral research at Asbury Theological Seminary explores the effects of the shame/honor worldview for evangelism in Brazil. Simon has presented at many academic conferences, including the Evangelical Missiological Society and the Association of Professors in Missiology. He regularly teaches on evangelism to missionaries and churches.