Timothy K. Park
“. . . . I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some.” (1 Cor. 9:22)
The Apostle Paul, a great model for missionaries, confessed that he became all things to all people so that by all possible means he might save some. Do we become all things to all people for the sake of the gospel? Are we truly incarnational to communicate the gospel effectively? The Apostle Paul was very strict to the law, but was so flexible when it comes to communicating the gospel.
Today’s mission environment is so complex. A Missionary’s approach to the Muslim world, the Hindu world, the communist and socialist communities, the Confucian culture, and the nominal Christian world cannot be the same. Missionary approaches must be different. Inflexible approaches could be a great hindrance to effective communication of the gospel. People do not reject the gospel because of its content, but mainly because of inappropriate methods of communication.
Let us pay attention to what Paul said in 1st Corinthians Chapter 9 verses 19-22: 19. Though I am free and belong to no man, I make myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. 20. To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. 21. To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law. 22. To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some.
The theme for this 59th issue of Asian Missions Advance is effective communication of the gospel. Apparently, each article contributors deal with different topics, but all of them address the issue of communication directly or indirectly in different context of mission. John H. N. Chung’ paper is about ‘The Issue of Replacement Theology of Christian Zionism, Tu Thien Van Troung wrote about “Leadership Development in Vietnam’s Communist Context”, S. David Park on “Developing Disciple Making Self-Theology Through Integrating Evangelism and Mission: Towards Shaping Christianity in Asia Truly Asian and Biblically Global”, Esther L. Park on “Cross-Cultural Communication in Asian Context” (particularly in the Philippine context), Sandy Day and Gibbs Mweemba on “The Strategic Contribution of Media in Africa,” and Thir Koilala wrote on “Communicating the Gospel in Nepal”
Thanks to the article contributors and readers! May His kingdom come and may His will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Hallelujah!
Timothy K. Park