Two Kingdoms and Every Tribe, Language, People, and
Two Kingdoms and Every Tribe, Language, People, and Nation: Cultural Proficiency or Counter-cultural Proficiency? 1 Summary: 1. Christian education, with the body of Christ, is committed to Christs ransoming people for God from every tribe, tongue, people, and nation; and to serving church and world by means of our Christian, Lutheran higher education. 2. We examine and consider programs such as Cultural Proficiency in terms of our Reformation insights on the Gospel and the Bible as our source and norm for decisions.
3. We will be informed when selecting our references, and faithful and precise when defining our goals and aims. 2 So what is the relationship of Cultural Proficiency with Christ-and-Culture? Christ conflicts with culture Christ conforms to culture Christ transcends culture Christ in tension with culture Christ transforms culture Table Talk: Use these standard themes to consider and critique our topic of cultural proficiency. How would our Lutheran two-kingdoms insight about the Gospel inform this topic? 3
Would you characterize Jesus as culturally sensitive and proficient? Mk 7:24, Lk 10:25, Mt 19:16, Lk 7:1, Mk 7:1, Acts 1:6, calling the Syro-Phoenician woman a dog the Good Samaritan and who is my neighbor not accommodating the rich young ruler engaging with the Roman centurion dismissing human cultural mores and scruples mission to Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and all the earth What other incidents from Christs ministry come to mind? Whats the verdict: Culturally proficient or no? What does this mean for us?
4 Bible Data Base: Cultural Proficiency and Counter-cultural Proficiency We can catalogue several texts that inform a Biblical examination of culture, multiculturalism, cultural diversity, and cultural proficiency. One key theme across the Whole Counsel of God is Scriptures condemnation of human culture and cultures, a theme that moves from Gen. 3 through the Revelation to John. Parallel to yet predominating that theme is the Gospel itself and what the Gospel says about human distinctions, divisions, and prejudice. Keep in mind that the institutions and programs of Gods left-hand kingdom do not resolve sin and its consequences. The left-hand kingdom keeps sin in check to forestall its chaos and allow for some justice and well-being while Gods right-hand kingdom does its work. Exercise: To quickly gain an overview of the Bibles complex and nuanced treatment of these themes, scan the bolded texts below. The bolded texts are not more important than the others. They are highlighted merely as a convenient way to note the scope of the Bibles treatment of these themes. 1. Gen 1 2, a very good creation 2. Gen 3 11, the corruption of culture 3. Gen 11, the tower of Babel: confusion, not diversity 4. Gen 12:1-3, blessing to all nations 5. Gen 22:1, sacrifice of Isaac 6. Dt 23:7, etc: welcome the stranger and sojourner
7. Joshua, destruction of the Canaanites 8. Ezra 9-10, mass divorce of non-Jewish wives 9. Isa 60:1, arise, shinenations shall come to you 10. Mt 25:35, I was a stranger and you welcomed me 11. Mt 28:19-20, of every nation 12. Mk 6:14, John the Baptist condemns Herod Antipas sexual conduct 13. Mk. 7:24, Jesus calls the Syro-Phoenician woman a dog 14. Lk 10:25, the Good Samaritan and, Who is my neighbor? 15. Acts 2, Pentecost and reversing the tower of Babel 16. Acts 10:34, from every tribe and nation cont. on next page 17. Acts 11:19-26, Jerusalem and Antioch 18. Acts 15, no greater burden than these necessary [four] things [Is MLK day sort of like accommodating those Jewish Christians?] 19. Acts 17, Paul in Athens 20. Rom chs 1 8, God has imprisoned all in disobedience (11:32) 21. 1 Cor 7:1, case study on the conduct of the Corinthian Christians (penultimate); and 1 Cor 7:29, the form of this world is passing away (ultimate) 22. 1 Cor 8:13, causing my brother to fall
23. Gal 3:28, neither Jew nor Greek 24. 2 Cor 6:14, do not be yoked with unbelievers 25. Eph 2:11, Christ has broken down the dividing wall 26. Phil 3:30, our citizenship is in heaven 27. Philemon: sustaining cultural distinctions while subverting and converting them 28. Rev 5:9, ransomed men for God from every tribe, tongue, people, and nation 29. Rev 7:9, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages 30. _______________________ (What text would you add?) The Bibles view on diversity and multiculturalism is not the view of the Enlightenment, modernism, or postmodernism, though all these movements have been powerfully influenced by the Scriptures and have their left-hand kingdom contributions to offer. How about Paul? Would you characterize him as culturally sensitive and proficient? For though I am free from all, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them. To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews. To those under the law I became as one under the law (though not being myself under the law) that I might win those under the law. To those outside the law I became as
one outside the law (not being outside the law of God but under the law of Christ) that I might win those outside the law. To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some. I do it all for the sake of the gospel, that I may share with them in its blessings. 1 Cor 9:19-23 7 Cultural Proficiency and the Credibility of the Bible 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.
Joshua and destruction of the Canaanite tribes Ezra and mass divorce of non-Jewish wives The sacrifice of Isaac and abusive religious parents Jesus, divider of families The standard sexuality texts The exclusivity of the Jews The exclusivity of the Gospel _______________________ Perhaps the critics of Christian education are correct: the Bible does not fit with a progressivist program for society. 8 1. Assess Culture: Name the Differences These are the five CP standards
2. Value Diversity: Claim Your Differences 3. Manage the Dynamics of Difference: Reframe the Conflicts Caused by Differences 4. Adapt to Diversity: Change to Make a Difference First edition, 1999 (17 years agois that good, not so good, or neither?) 5. Institutionalize Cultural Knowledge: Train About Differences In terms of the two kingdoms, are these kinds of programs a benefit from studies and research in Gods left-hand kingdom? an education-and-cultural trend? an ideology with a set of pre-suppositions? 9
Cultural proficiency is a mind-set, a worldview, a way a person or an organization makes assumptions for effectively describing, responding to, and planning for issues that arise in diverse environments. For some people, cultural proficiency is a paradigm shift from viewing cultural differences as problematic to learning how to interact effectively with other cultures. Culturally proficient leaders display personal values and behaviors that enable them and others to engage in effective interactions among students, educators, and the communities they serve. Cultural competence is behavior that aligns with standards that move an organization or an individual toward culturally proficient interactions. Source: Cultural Proficiency: A Manual for School Leaders, by Randall B. Lindsey, Kikanza Nuri Robins, and Raymond D. Terrell, p. 4 What axioms and
presuppositions shall we set our mind on? What view of the world? What effects are we seeking to attain? What are these standards and what is their source? These questions dont get answered. But not a bad book basically a cultural diversity application of the golden rule (2nd Great Commandment) and the Teacher Effectiveness Training of the 1970s. 10
So which is it? Jesus, the stumbling block and the offense (1 Cor. 1:18ff), despised and rejected (Isa 53)? Or the Jesus, the magnet? And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself. Jn 12:32 For many are calledbut few are chosen. Mt 22:14 11 As practitioners in Christian and Lutheran education, and with regard to our current cultures many social divisions, how might we, for our students, effectively fashion a ministry and application of the 2nd Great Commandment and the
Gospel so that we Include valid research from Gods left-hand kingdom Dont simply adopt and mimic some generic or popular program we saw in the Chron of Higher Ed Address actual needs and concerns for our students Recognize the complexities of individual, corporate, and systemic sin (cf 1 & 2 Sam, 1 & 2 Kings) Employ Gods word and the Gospel on behalf of sinners Avoid being co-opted by regulators or targeted by advocacy groups Contribute to our raison detre: using Christian higher education to advance Gods right-hand kingdom of grace? 12 IN-REACH AND OUTREACH Implosion / Explosion Is it the mission of Lutheran education to bring in the worldly and those still of the flesh as a ministry of outreach? Is it in-reach to
already-committed young Christians? In-reach or outreach: which can CUNE do best as an institution of Lutheran higher education? Can it do both? Why or why not? 13 Worldly, of the Flesh, and Spiritual The natural [worldly] person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. The spiritual person judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one. For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ. However, brothers, I could not address you as spiritual people but as people of the flesh, as infants in Christ. I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for it. And even now you are not yet ready, for you are still of the flesh. 1 Cor. 2:14 3:3 Table Talk: Which of Pauls three distinctions would you say describe our students? And if its a mix, what does that
mean for us? 14 An analogy to consider: A hospital has lots of warm, safe rooms and beds. A hospital has food services for lots of people. Hospitals should open their doors to house the indigent and homeless. When Wittenberg University began receiving lots of requests from families and towns to enroll students unprepared for the rigors of the liberal arts, Melanchthon opened a prep school in his own house at his own expense. 15 Heres a key issue for us: If we bring in increasing numbers of 18 20 year-olds who do not understand our Biblical sources and our Christian, Lutheran identity at the level of higher education (not pre-school or day school),
and we do so, thinking that this is effective evangelism and outreach, and we do so without the requisite in-reach and educing (as in the word education) from the 66 books of Scripture and grounding in Christian community, then their culture-capture to the world they come from will inevitably compromise our Christian counter-culture and our counter-cultural proficiency. A Christianity without Christian formation is no match for the powerful social forces at work within our society. -William Willimon from his 1986 essay, Making Christians in a Secular World 16 Suggested Recommendations for your critique: 1. Rather than some typical generic office (Cultural Diversity Czar) soon outdated by pejoration, lets be who we say we are: Broken Wall Ministries (Eph 2), The Onesimus Office (Philemon), Ransom Ministries (Rev. 5), or ___________.
2. Select a person of color who has already been effective in ministry among us, academically successful, knows us our community, is experienced in and understand athletics, knows how to welcome the stranger, can patiently build credibility and community, and can work with St. John to foster community adoptions and opportunities. 3. Strengthen our in-reach for spiritual formation and biblical literacy. 4. Re-arrange our already-available resources to locate in the first two weeks of the fall semester those students who will need academic, spiritual, and social assistance. 17 Methods Alone, Jesus went to the mountain and prayed All night long before the decision he made. The following day, the twelve he would choose: All would be local. All would be Jews. All twelve would be men, and four of them brothers. One tax-man, four fishermenas for the others,
Who knew their professions? Not even elected! What an unrepresentative choice God directed. - Jessica Shaver 18
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