Reflections and resources for lifelong learning for missionaries

Category: Worldview

Book Review: A Novel Approach

Story is a common topic in mission circles, and often is understood primarily as a way of communicating the Gospel and Scripture in oral cultures. But story is more than a communication tool; it is a key to understanding culture as well. It is often overlooked when talking about ethnography.

My friend, Mike Mathews, has written a helpful book explaining how story can help us understand culture¬†–¬†A Novel Approach: The Significance of Story in Interpreting and Communicating Reality, 2017. He writes in the introduction:

Review of Paul Hiebert’s Transforming Worldviews

Cover Art

Transforming Worldviews: An Anthropological Understanding of How People Change is variously described as “the capstone of Paul Hiebert’s work”, “Hiebert at his best!”, and “mission anthropology at its best.” (from the back cover). A. Scott Moreau writes, “For the first time, all of his major missiological insights – from set theory in church growth to the flaw of the excluded middle to critical contextualization – are integrated into a single volume.” (back cover).

Hiebert’s central focus is that the transformation of worldviews must accompany change in behavior and beliefs. Without the transformation of worldviews, change in belief and behavior remain on the surface level. He writes:

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