Contextualizing Paul`s Writings in Ministry: Proposed Guiding Principles

Contextualizing Paul`s Writings in Ministry: Proposed Guiding Principles

Author by Prof. Michael O. Akpa

Journal/Publisher: Asia-africa Journal Of Mission And Ministry

Volume/Edition: 3

Language: English

Pages: 113 - 131

Abstract

The writings of Apostle Paul provide Christian missionaries and pastors with readily available tools for spreading the Gospel of the kingdom of Christ and nurturing new believers in Christ all over the world. This is traceable to the fact that Paul is the author of most of the extant New Testament documents. It is obvious that Paul`s letters were addressed to specific people, in specific places, who lived under specific and peculiar circumstances in their time. However, as Christian missionaries and pastors utilize Paul`s writings in preaching Christ and nurturing believers in Christ, the tendency is to apply every detail of Paul`s instructions to people who live in places, time, and circumstances that are remarkably different from those of Paul`s original audience. When this happens, Paul`s writings are subjected to severe misapplication and sometimes misinterpretation. In response to this, this study utilizes the contextual approach to suggest seven guiding principles for interpreting and contextualizing Paul`s writings in doing ministry, especially among people who live in places, time, and circumstances that are far removed from those of Paul`s time. While not purporting to provide all the answers to the questions surrounding Paul`s writings, this study seeks as much as possible to help the modern reader hear or read Paul as though he or she was part of his original audience. It is by doing this that Paul`s writings can effectively speak to the life and experiences of the modern Christian.

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