EV525: CONTEMPORARY CULTURE AND EVANGELISM. Brad Hill.
DESCRIPTION: This course will explore ways to share the gospel understandably and relevantly with people in our contemporary culture. We will examine the meaning of evangelism and conversion, the relationship between Christianity and culture, ways to analyze popular culture in order to ascertain people's worldview and values, historical and contemporary strategies for evangelism, and ideas for empowering believers to witness more effectively to those around them. There will be a concentration on understanding postmodern culture and discussing ways to contextualize, communicate, and validate the gospel within it because post modernity is becoming the predominant cultural atmosphere in America as well as strongly influencing many other areas of the world.
SIGNIFICANCE FOR LIFE AND MINISTRY: In this class we will learn to take a practical theology approach of examining our current evangelistic practices, reflecting upon them in light of biblical and theological texts and contemporary challenges and then suggesting new practices. This course will apply practical theological methodology to each of the topics. The class will teach the student a method for both developing evangelistic strategies for today, but also for addressing the challenges of tomorrow.
LEARNING OUTCOMES: Students completing this course will be more able to integrate the various disciplines with personal narrative, evaluate and harness available resources and be more effective in their work of evangelism in their ministries. Students will have demonstrated: (1) an understanding of the biblical meaning of evangelism and conversion, the development of evangelism in church history and trends today, and various theological perspectives on evangelism and conversion; (2) an understanding of different aspects of evangelism and of different paradigms, methods, strategies and engagement in discussion of application; (3) increased ability to analyze cultural, local, and church or ministry contexts to determine and implement potential outreach activities, strategies, and motivation, contextualized to generational distinctives; (4) ability to apply understanding of communication theory to evangelism strategies using cultural exegesis to do theological translation. (5) an understanding of contemporary culture and its impact on evangelism in culture, church, ministry, and personal relation-ships today; (6) an increased passion for evangelism and confidence in personal ability to share about faith in Jesus.
COURSE FORMAT: This is a mentored course which will meet on 4 Saturdays. The classes will include lecture, interactive class discussion, and guided small group discussions for a total of 30 hours of class.
REQUIRED READING: Total of approximately 1300 pages:
Escobar, Samuel. The New Global Mission: The Gospel from Everywhere to Everyone. Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 2003. 192p ISBN-10: 0830833013. $10.77
Grenz, Stanley. A Primer on Postmodernism. Grand Rapids, William Eerdmans, 1996. 74p. ISBN 978-0802808646. $12.73.
Guder, Darrell L. The Continuing Conversion of the Church. Grand Rapids: William Eerdmans, 2000. 208p. ISBN 978-0802847034. $16.59.
Jones, Scott J. The Evangelistic Love of God and Neighbor: A Theology of Witness and Discipleship. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2003. 224p. ISBN 0-687-04614-9. $17.71.
Kallenberg, Brad. Live to Tell: Evangelism for a Postmodern Age. Grand Rapids: Brazos Press, 2002. 127p. ISBN: 1-58743-050-9. $13.96.
Richardson, Rick. Evangelism Outside the Box: New Ways to Help People Experience the Good News. Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 2000. (pp 1-154) ISBN: 978-0830822768. $9.98
Wood, Christine. Character Witness: How our Lives can Make a Difference in Evangelism. Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 2003. . 229p. ISBN 0-8308-2378-6; $7.68
Articles and web-links as assigned
Frost, Michael and Alan Hirsch. The Shaping of Things to Come: Innovation and Mission for the 21st-Century Church. Peabody, Mass.: Hendrickson, 2003. (p. 1-96) ISBN 1-56563-659-7.
Booker, Mike and Mark Ireland. Evangelism- which way now? London, Church House Publishing, 2005; ISBN 0-7151-4075-2
Carson, D. A. Becoming Conversant With The Emerging Church. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2005. 234p; 0-310-25947-9
Chilcote, Paul , Edit. The Study of Evangelism: exploring the missional practice of the church. Grand Rapids: William Eerdmans 2008 488 pages; 0802803911
Rah, Soong-Chang. The Next Evangelicalism: Freeing the Church from Western Cultural Captivity; Downers Grove, Ill; IVP Books, 2009; ISBN 978-0-8308-3360-3; 208 pages
Coupland, Douglas. Life After God. New York: Pocket Books, 1994. ISBN 0-671-87434-9. 368p
Detweiler, Craig and Barry Taylor. A Matrix of Meanings: Finding God in Pop Culture. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2003. ISBN 0-8010-2417-X. (selected chapters, approx 100 pages)
Green, Michael. Evangelism Through the Local Church Nashville, Oliver Nelson, 2001. 304p. ISBN-10: 0340561262
Driscoll, Mark. Radical Reformission. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2004. 200p. 0-310-25659-3
Miller, Donald. Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2003. 256p ISBN: 9780785263708.
Gibbs, Eddie and Ryan Bolger. Emerging Churches: Creating Christian Community in Postmodern Cultures. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2005. 335p. ISBN 10:0-8010-2715-2
Morgenthaler, Sally. Worship Evangelism: Inviting Unbelievers into the Presence of God. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1995/1999. 320p ISBN-10: 031022649X
Roxburgh, Alan and M. Scott Boren. Introducing the Missional Church: What It Is, Why It Matters, How
to Become One. Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 2009. 200p. ISBN-10: 0801072123. $12.23.
Webber, Robert E. The Younger Evangelicals: Facing the Challenges of the New World. Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 2002. 243 p. ISBN 0-8010-9152-7.
McClaren, Brian The Story We Find Ourselves In. San Francaisco: Josey-Bass, 2008; 336p. ISBN-10: 0470248416
Barna, George, Revolution. Carol Stream: Tyndale House, 2006, 143p. ISBN 1414310161,
Olson, David. The American Church In Crisis. Grand Rapids: Zondervan 2008, 240p. ISBN-10: 0310277132
Brownson, James et al. Storm Front: the Good News of God. Grand Rapids, Eerdmans, 2003; ISBN 0-8028-2225-8
ASSIGNMENTS AND ASSESSMENT: Students are expected to:
1. Attend class, prepare for and participate in class small group discussions and class presentations, participate in on-line discussions with classmates, read required texts and articles assigned in class (approximately 1300 pgs). (15%)
2. Group presentation on a current model and/or program of evangelism. (20%)
3. Fulfill mentorship requirements. (10%)
4. One short papers (750-1000 words) due during the course of the class dealing with selected topic of interest. (7.5%)
5. One short paper reflecting previous praxis of evangelism in light of course content and resulting changes in praxis. (7.5%)
6. Submit briefly annotated reading log of all required and other reading. (20%)
7. Write one major paper (3700-5000 words). (20%)
RELATIONSHIP TO CURRICULUM: M. Div. MIN 1; MIN 3; MA, Elective; MACL, Elective.
FINAL EXAMINATION: None.