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#237 | Contextualization in the New Testament with Dean Flemming, Pt. 1
10th May 2024 • Apollos Watered • Travis Michael Fleming
00:00:00 00:47:01

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"Just be biblical!" "Preach the Word!" are phrases we hear from well-meaning Christians who want to see lives transformed. Rarely, however, do we think about exactly how we are supposed to do it. What do we mean by "be biblical"? Does that mean act like those in the first century? And what exactly are we preaching? Christ crucified for sure, but what stories, illustrations, and metaphors do we employ to build a bridge that help our listeners understand what the cross really means?

It sounds complicated, but it's actually not as hard as we think. You have probably heard the phrase, "Know your audience!" That's what we are talking about. Communicating to your audience in a way that they understand. As Christians, we call this process, "contextualization." How do we go about communicating the gospel to those from different backgrounds than us that enables us to communicate in a way that they understand without compromising what the Gospel calls for.

Today's guest is Dr. Dean Flemming. Dean Flemming (Ph.D., University of Aberdeen) is an award-winning author, Bible teacher, and seminar speaker. He is Professor Emeritus of New Testament and Mission at MidAmerica Nazarene University and teaches New Testament at the Missional Training Center in Phoenix, AZ. He served for 24 years as a theological educator in the Philippines and Germany and has taught in many global settings.

Dean is the author of six books, including Contextualization in the New Testament, which won a Christianity Today book award, and a commentary on Philippians that received the Smith-Wynkoop book award. He writes especially on the connection between the New Testament and mission.

An ordained minister in the Church of the Nazarene, Dean has pastored churches in Ohio and Japan. He is active in his local church, which includes teaching an adult Bible class.

Today, he joins Apollos Watered to discuss his book, Contextualization in the New Testament, and how the early church contextualized the message of Jesus to its audience and we must do the same thing as well.

This conversation will help you to identify what contextualization is, why and how it was done in the early church, and how it might help you communicate the Gospel effectively today to those in your world.

Learn more about Dean Flemming.

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