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Gospel, Church and Australian Culture

 

EM 430 / EM 630
This is the information page for the online subject.

Workload: One semester, 4 credit points.
Status: Elective
When: Semester 3, 2018/19
Who: Tim Foster with online tutors

In Post-Christian Australia, Christians must become missionaries in their own nation, but how might our culture shape the way the gospel is told?

This unit pushes students to see, perhaps for the first time, the thick cultural lens through which we view the world. It also challenges us to see the way our understanding of the gospel is framed by our history, background and socio-cultural environment. But far from posing a threat to the gospel we know and love, this new insight allows us to appreciate the richness of the gospel like never before and the capacity to bring it with new power to the Australian sub-cultures which we engage.

In this unit, students will seek to understand how the gospel speaks into and subverts different Australian sub-cultures, including suburban, battler, urban and first generation immigrant cultures. They will also be given the opportunity to conduct ‘cultural exegesis’ in the field, to develop their skills in contextualisation.

This unit is about rethinking assumptions, developing a greater cultural sensitivity and humility when approaching another culture and forcing oneself to stop, look and listen; skills that will stay with you for life.

Note that you will be required to undertake a half–one day ‘field trip’ to investigate a culture or sub-culture that is of interest to you and develop a presentation on this culture or sub-culture as part of the requirements of this unit. The field trip can be completed in your local area or other relevant place.

Content

Introduction

  1. The Suburban Captivity of the Church

Section A: Culture

  1. Worldview, Culture and Cultural Narrative
  2. Field Trip: Analysis of the urban environment
  3. Urban Culture case Study
  4. Individual/Group Field Trip
  5. Presentations

Section B: Gospel

  1. What is the Gospel?
  2. Gospel Contextualisation
  3. Case study: Battlers
  4. Contextualisation Presentations

Section C: Church

  1. Evaluating our Operational Ecclesiologies
  2. Towards a Missional Ecclesiology

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course you will:

  • Understand the nature of culture, its influence and how to discern a cultural narrative;
  • explain the nature of the gospel, and the principles, process and limitations of contextualization;
  • critically evaluate an operational ecclesiology in the light of a biblical theology of the church and mission;
  • integrate your learning by exegeting a culture and contextualize the gospel for that culture, recognizing the particular challenges for the life and witness of the church.

 

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