Dear ITEM Partner,
I am in the lounge in the South African airport. I only have a few minutes but this will be my only chance for any kind of a report today. I met with Dr. David Beakley this morning and wanted to talk to him about doing a seminar in his area so he could evaluate it and see how it fit his ministry context. What we talked about was totally different.
WORKING THROUGH ASSUMPTIONS AND CULTURAL BLINDSPOTS
There is no easy way to simplify what he said but here goes the attempt. We agree that the Bible is truth, God’s truth, and directives are to be obeyed. But it is one thing to say “thus saith the Lord; do ‘this'” and to answer the question, “How do I apply it in my culture when customs, manners, habits, traditions have trained you to act in a certain way?”
WE NOT YOU
He said that we need to help them discover the cultural filters/customs that block a biblical understanding of a biblical proposition. He also said that we have to be able to illustrate how we have had to overcome our own cultural filters and customs to apply biblical principles.
If we do not do that, he warned, the truth we are putting into their heads might not be processed or applied biblically. We need to help them learn to apply biblical truth/principles in their local situation. All of that takes relationships and conversation, which we don’t have much time for at seminars. So, he and I talked about how we can help our American team learn this insight and try to apply it when they are in and out of a country in 5-10 days at a time.
WITCHCRAFT, ISLAM, THE KORAN
Regarding the Muslim Imam and witchcraft. I had heard years ago from a former witchdoctor in Tanzania (now a believer) that as a witchdoctor he used the Koran in his practice as a witchdoctor. At the dinner table the other night, a missionary who had spent time in Tanzania told me a story of a Muslim Imam who used the Koran to perform witchcraft.
“YOU’RE TOO OLD”
Finally, when I checked in at Kenya Airways and requested an exit row seat they told me that I was too old (70). They were respectful but said that was the rule. I joked with them and asserted that no one else had ever told me that. They said it was a Kenya airways rule. I went on their website a few minutes ago and there was nothing like that stated.
They gave me an exit row set but I am afraid it is behind the bulkhead and I won’t be able to stretch out my legs. Oh well.
I will be back in Nairobi for one night. Tomorrow morning it is on to Madagascar for a seminar beginning Tuesday.
Thanks for your prayers.
By His grace,