Contending, Contextualizing and the DaVinci Code

The following quotes from Ed Stetzer come from the third session of The Resurgence conference titled Breaking the Missional Code. He mentioned the first two passages and concepts to set the stage for the following:

1. Contending for the faith (Jude 3)

“Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints.”

2. Contextualizing culture (1 Cor. 9:22-23)

“To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some. I do it all for the sake of the gospel, that I may share with them in its blessings.”

This is what he said about them together:

“If we are going to be biblical churches we’ve got to contend and contextualize at the same time and know that both deeply matter … Many churches contend, contend, contend but they never get to contextualization. And I caution for many of us – particularly predominate among those of us who are church planters – we want to contextualize, contextualize, contextualize and we forget to contend. We’ve got to contend and contextualize if biblical churches are to be birthed and grown in culture.”

Then an example of contextualizing with the DaVinci Code:

“Here is the question we asked 1,200 Americans: After reading or hearing about the DaVinci Code are you more or less likely to seek the truth by studying the Bible? Forty-four percent (44%) said they are more likely to seek the truth through studying the Bible. Do I want this false heretical expression? Of course I don’t. But do I recognize that God is already at work and what we need to do is acknowledge the positive – and yes, rebuke the negative – but at the same time see that God is already at work and join Him there by asking people to join in studying the Bible together to see what it says? Instead of picketing and protesting [the movie] many are seeing this as an opportunity to engage in missional ministry in context.”

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