Resources

Books and Articles

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Contextualization Resources
Title & Author Language Links Tags
Towards a Contextualized Theology of Work for the Philippines by George Capaque
Sample

Note: The material below was first presented in an Asian consultation on marketplace theology which took place in Manila November 28-30, 2007. Much of the material on the Philippines was presented by Dr. George Capaque.

  • How does a Filipino understand work?
  • What meaning does he/she give to it?
  • This is an attempt to develop a contextual understanding of work; a people’s theology of work using local materials (culture) mutually interacting with biblical faith
  1. The Anthropological Dimension

(To develop a contextualized theology of work we must know how the human person is viewed; what makes persons “tick”; how persons see themselves in relation to family and community; how decisions are made; how the physical and spiritual aspects of personhood are related; sexual identity)

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Asian Perspective on Marketplace Ministry by Paul Ng
Sample

An Asian Perspective on Marketplace Ministry

By Paul Ng, Singapore

  1. EMPOWERMENT FROM AN ASIAN VIEWPOINT

 

Even as the marketplace believer grapples with the new paradigm required to fulfil his call in life and as institutions of learning and churches deal with issues like new methodologies and content, another major area has to be looked into. This is the area relating to contextual issues. Even with new content and methodologies, the way that we view our world has a tremendous impact on how we empower believers for ministry. Hwa Yung deals with the quest for an authentic Asian Christian Theology in his book, “Mangoes or Bananas.”[1]

 

From the various issues raised in Hwa Yung’s book, I have opted to look at five of these and how it relates to the marketplace. Due to the great diversity within Asia, I will review these five issues mainly from the perspective of the Chinese because much of East Asia eg Japan and Korea share a similar belief system to that of the Chinese with roots in Confucianism and Buddhism. These five are the Supernatural, Family and Group Solidarity, Filial Piety, Authority and Leadership and Ethics. I will also look at the effect that culture has upon the workplace.

 

[1]  Haw Yung, Mangoes or Bananas?: The Quest for an Authentic Asian Christian Theology. Regnum Studies in Mission (Oxford, Akropung, Buenos Aires, Irvine,CA, New Delhi: Regnum Books International, reprint 2000. Original 1997), 71-96 (page references are to the reprint edition). While he demonstrates how Asian theologians have yet to break out of Western captivity, he has also suggested two themes by which we can perform further theological reflections on contextualization. These are firstly the various types of literary genres required to fully express theological reflection in Asia and secondly the concerns that must be taken into consideration in this process.[1] Under the first theme he considers biblical exegesis, Christian apologetics, systematic theology, ethics and theology for and from the grassroots. For the second theme he suggests unearthing hidden presuppositions, in-depth studies of Asian Cultures and Traditions, Dialogue with Asian Religions, insights from Cultural Anthropology, addressing the challenge of ‘Power Encounters’ in Asian Christianity and Learning from Western Christians.

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Contextualizing a Theology of Work for Africa by Setorwu Ofori
Sample

Note: the following article is a chapter from Setorwu Kwadzo Ofori’s D Min thesis for Bakke Graduate University entitled, “A Study of How Theology of Work Would Affect Theology of Preaching for the Practice of Business as a Calling: A Survey Conducted among Pastors of the Global Evangelical Church”, used with permission.

Historical Background

Introduction: The Bible reveals a Creation and the Redemptive Mandate. Despite the clarity of the Creation Mandate that sets the tone for a theology of work, the church has focused largely on the Redemptive Mandate.

Various Calls: Since the beginning of Israelis history, God has called people who worked and functioned in service to God and humankind. From Abraham, a pioneer leader called into Canaan, to Amos the man called from farming profession to become a prophet, from Joseph who represented Pharaoh, believed to be a son of the sungod, Ra, to Daniel whose support determined the heartbeat of Nebuchadnezzar, from Esther who served as queen in a heathen kingdom to Lydia whose handicrafts bore testimony to Christ, from Paul the tentmaker to the twenty-first century businessman who serves as witness in an Islamic country, God continues to call people from all walks of life to serve him through their work.

English
Transformation Theology for Africa by Cosmas Chukwunyelum Ilechukwu
Sample

The following chapter is a portion of the D Min thesis of Cosmas Chukwunyelum Ilechukwu. Copied with permission.

LITERATURE REVIEW

            In this part of the study, an attempt is made to review some relevant literature with a view of providing a strong theoretical basis for the work. The literature review was done according to the following categories: an overview of African traditional beliefs and thought systems, an overview of African traditional worldview and its comparison with the western or scientific worldview, the implication of African belief system on socio-economic development in Africa, and the church as an agent of transformation.

...

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Empowerment and Equipping Resources
Title & Author Language Links Tags
Work by Gordon Preece
Sample

Work, whether in its presence or absence, is a pervasive part of everyday life. One of the first things we want to know about people is what they do. The waking time of most adults is taken up with work, and a person’s passing is often noted in terms of their workplace achievements. Work and worth, industry and identity, are very closely related in contemporary culture. This article deals with work in this modern context. It will examine (1) a wider definition of work, (2) a biblically integrated view of work, (3) the disintegration of work and faith, (4) reintegrating spirituality and work and (5) redirecting Sunday towards Monday.

A Wider Definition of Work

Over the last two centuries work has become equated with a job.

This is a seismic shift in our understanding of ourselves, our world and even our God. It has had earthquake like effects on people’s emotional, family, social and spiritual life. The tremors have been felt hardest by the overworked, the unemployed, housewives, the forcibly retired and the attention-deprived children.

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Women in Ministry and Leadership by R. Paul Stevens
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INTRODUCTION

The issue is not about women in ministry (which is generally acknowledged to be accepted, at least with children, young people, adult women, students and on the foreign mission field with both men and women). The issue is about women in leadership, especially as pastoral staff, public preaching and eldership. To clarify this, I note what are the underlying issues:

(1) Scripture. As I will show below Scripture is ambiguous on the issue, and both those who deny women leadership in the local church and those who support it have Scripture on their side. Scripture is not ambiguous on the subject of homosexual practice, premarital sex, the exploitation of the poor and marginalized. But it is also ambiguous, as well, on the subject of wealth, the Old Testament largely arguing that it is a blessing of God, and the New Testament calling (essentially) for voluntary impoverishment and declaring that the wealthy already have their “reward.”

(2) Marriage. This is a marriage issue as it is argued that if the husband is the “head” of the home, this would be essentially undone by having one’s wife in authority over him in the church. Leadership structures in the church should support the home, not undermine it, so it is thought...

English
Weaving Theology of Work into Church Life by Larry Peabody
Sample

Not long ago, someone asked me, “If you could create it from scratch, what would a church look like that fully embodied a proper theology of work and really empowered its members to be ministers in the workplace? What would it do?”

In reflecting on that challenge, I thought of ten ways a “church-from-scratch” might make what God has revealed about work a regular part of its life together. Incorporating these approaches into the DNA of a church with years or decades of history would be more difficult though not impossible. I do not offer these ten practices as a formula for “success.” Instead, I hope God may use them as thought and prayer prompters in shaping your own church menu.

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Spiritual Gifts by R. Paul Stevens

From the Book of Everyday Christianity

Sample

Several prevailing misunderstandings make it difficult for us to come to the biblical data on their own terms without forcing on the material a grid of expectation formed by popular Christian teaching. It is popularly understood, for example: (1) that spiritual gifts are given at the time of conversion and do not change during one’s lifetime; (2) that Christian maturation is hampered if we do not know what our gift is; (3) that our gift defines our identity (“I am a teacher”); (4) that gifts are primarily linked to roles and offices in the church; (5) that the more extraordinary gifts are indications of advanced spiritual life; (6) that gifts have little to do with our natural capabilities (sometimes called talents); (7) that gifts concern the spirit of a person (generally people talk of spiritual gifts but not of Spirit gifts); (8) that gifts define the character of the personal ministry of each Christian; (9) that emphasis on spiritual gifts may threaten the unity of the church and (10) that the lists of gifts in the New Testament are definitive and exhaustive.

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MInistry by R. Paul Stevens

From the Book of Everyday Christianity

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The word ministry is derived in both Greek and Hebrew from a word that simply means “service.” A Christian servant is someone who puts himself or herself at God’s disposal for the benefit of others and for the stewardship of God’s world. Christian service—commonly called ministry—accords with God’s purposes for people and the world and has the touch of God, often unknown to the servant. Christian service makes no distinction between the sacred and the secular. Washing dishes, designing a computer program, preaching a sermon and healing the sick are all one, as William Tyndale said so long ago, “as touching the deed to please God.” How far this is from contemporary thinking about ministry!

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Laity by R. Paul Stevens

From the Book of Everyday Christianity

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George Bernard Shaw once said that every profession is a conspiracy against the laity. But there is a problem with this cynical remark when it is applied to the church. It is pointless to launch a conspiracy against something that no longer exists. The New Testament does not reveal two peoples: the professional clergy (those who are superior, gifted and powerful) and the laity (those who are inferior, untrained and powerless). Rather there is one people: the laity (in Greek laos), which includes the leaders. Moreover the leaders, like the led, are first and foremost members of the laity and share the exquisite honor of the people of God (1 Peter 2:9-10). Indeed the cultivation of professionalism by leaders of the church is incongruous with the essentially amateur nature of all Christian ministry. It is the work of love (as the root meaning of amateur indicates). To recover a biblical perspective on the people of God, we may need to abolish the words laity and clergy. We may also need to reinvent a way of expressing the dignity and duty of the ordinary Christian. In preparation for this we must first examine the biblical data, then reflect theologically on the identity and vocation of the people of God and finally consider what this all means.

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