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I had a conversation with Sophie this week. Sophie is our seminary student in Cameroon, completing her seminary degree in Yaoundé. She has been serving alongside our youth groups, every time one has gone over on a mission trip, since she was 16 years old. She is in the last year of seminary and she was a bit upset. The systematic theology class was discussing contextualization and the professor was evidently advocating a more African interpretation of the faith. “Scripture is scripture,” she said, “they have no right to change it.”
I shared with her my understanding of the appropriateness of constant reform in the church, for although God’s truth in Scripture may not change, human beings do, and so does our interpretation. Therefore, our proclamation needs to adapt to evolving mindsets. Not to alter the truth of course, but to make it comprehensible to new generations. If it is an agenda to change for the sake of change (other than the proclamation of the gospel), I told her that I share her concern, but…BUT…if the gospel becomes clearer, stronger, louder, sharper….. then I am 100% behind it.