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ดร. ระวี ดินกินส์ มิชชันนารี OMF แบ่งปันในวันอังคารที่ 5 กุมภาพันธ์ 2013 ณ ห้องประชุมใหญ่พระคริสตธรรมกรุงเทพที่ผ่านมา (เทศนาแบบเล่าเรื่องเจาาะใจ) การเรียนพระคัมภีร์อย่างนี้สนุกดีและช่วยผู้ฟังให้เข้าใจพระคำของพระเจ้าดีมากที่เดียว ลองฟังดูซินะครับ ขอพระเจ้าอวยพระพรครับ
One of the first things our supervisor instructed us to do as church planters in Central Thailand was to glue a card with the Apostles’ Creed into the cover of every hymnal. Every Sunday we would have our small congregation of mainly leprosy believers memorize the creed and recite it in unison. Our congregation had no real appreciation of the historic development and impact of this creed, but as preferred oral learners in a group culture, they enjoyed saying the creed out loud together and in the process gained a major dose of scriptural truth. Ancient statements of faith, like the Apostles’ Creed, have been translated and used for centuries in a variety of cultures. Much ink has been spilt analyzing the contribution and content of the historic creeds, but less has been said about how to contextualize them for non-western contexts. To contextualize a creed, one must be aware of the nature of creeds historically as well as the benefits and potential pitfalls inherent in the development process.
The Value and Dangers of Creeds
Philip Schaff in his massive three-volume work on Creeds states, “Confessions, in due subordination to the bible, are of great value and use. They are summaries of the doctrines of the Bible, aids to its sound understanding, bonds of union among their professors, public standards and guards against false doctrine and practice.”[i] G. W. Bromiley notes the benefits, but also highlights the dangers of creedal statements:The dangers of creed making are obvious. Creeds can become formal, complex, and abstract. They can be almost illimitably expanded. They can be superimposed on Scripture. Properly handled, however, they facilitate public confession, form a succinct basis for teaching, safeguard pure doctrine, and constitute an appropriate focus for the church’s fellowship in faith.[ii]
I tried an experiment in a Thai church I was asked to preach at recently. As a Dallas Theological Seminary graduate I always try to prepare my expositional messages well ahead of time and end up spending many hours in preparation. Yet I departed from my usual regimen on this occasion and found myself standing in the pulpit on this particular Sunday saying something I had never said in 40 years of preaching, "Congregation, I have to be honest and tell you that I'm not sure what I'll be preaching on today." They gave me a rather blank stare and then I put a PowerPoint slide in Thai on the screen with the title and references to 15 Bible stories, "You see today I want you as a congregation to "vote" for one of these 15 stories. The one that gets the most votes will be the one that I will preach on." Before they voted, I asked for 6-7 people to tell the congregation which story was their favorite from the list and to convince the rest in just a minute of why they should vote for that story. One Thai lady got so carried away in her appeal that she almost told the entire story. When the votes from the 50 or so that were present were counted, the majority voted for the story of the poor widow who gave her two coins (Mark 12:41-44). Fortunately this was the shortest story on the list. I briefly looked the story over and then for the next 40 minutes I led them through that story in a "Simply The Story" style (www.simplythestory.org). The response was quite encouraging and I promised to return for another "election" in the future.
guest post by Larry Dinkins On Saturday I reconnected with a former student of mine who has been a pastor for over 10 years. I shared with him what I had been learning about oral communication among Thai and tribals. He readily admitted that he did not know how to preach a narrative type sermon from the pulpit. I immediately reminded him of the times I've seen him sharing a story from a popular poster set that we use here in Thailand. In such settings I've seen him break into the northern dialect and banter in a winsome and natural way with seekers and others (and without notes). My plea was to focus more on the stories of the Bible and try to capture more of that natural ethos in his communication. My friend didn't seem that convinced, yet was as always very polite and deferring to his "older" mentor.
I have just finished four orality (Simply the Story) workshops in the Thai language in Khon Kaen, Bangkok, and with Thai/tribals in the Chiang Mai area. This is the fourth year that we have done such training with the Thai and these patterns continue to emerge:
Orality and the Need for Bible Storytelling in Thailand
1. Thai at their core are oral learners and although education is widespread, the majority after school do not use what they have learned and often end up semi-literate or even functionally non-literate. It may be true that most all who come to Christ have been influenced at some point by printed material or tracts, but it is the relational dimension of hearing personal testimonies/witnessing that influences them the most.
At the U.S. Center for World Missions a group of us mission trainers were asked to brain storm concerning our understanding of an "ideal" cross-cultural church planter. They encouraged us to go ahead and dream, so we listed most all of the skills, character traits and qualities that would make for a successful church planter. Only when this target was clearly defined did we take on the task of designing a training program to ensure our desired result. Recently I've been reflecting on how this same process can be applied to preaching. Clearly defining what you want to happen in the life of your listener by the time the sermon ends (and beyond) will hugely shape how one constructs and delivers a sermon. The typical response I received at the end of my sermons in Thailand was, "Di mak, Ajarn" (Good sermon, Teacher). Although gratifying, I never knew just what they were taking away from my forty minutes of preaching. Now hopefully older and wiser, I am shooting for a more clearly defined target.
—reviewed by Larry Dinkins You wouldn’t expect a pastor of an International Church in Melbourne, Australia with a name like “Cioccolanti” (Italian for “chocolate”) to claim an inside track to the mind and worldview of Buddhists. However, his claim to an insider’s view of Buddhism is substantiated by his Thai upbringing and exposure to a very religiously diverse extended family. Besides his Thai Buddhist roots, Steve has added to that a broad education in America and Europe which allows him to address Buddhist issues from both an oriental and occidental viewpoint.
As a young missionary, I (Karl) like talking to veteran missionaries to get their perspective on things. At our recent OMF Thailand annual conference, our guest speaker Larry Dinkins spoke on cross cultural evangelism and overcoming barriers in communicating the Gospel to Buddhists. Larry & his wife Paula came to Thailand as new missionaries in 1981 where they did church planting and theological education until 2002 when they needed to go back to the U.S. for Paula to receive treatment for cancer in her bone marrow. The treatment for Paula’s cancer has been successful and she is in remission. As a result Larry and Paula have been acting as mobilizers and recruiters for OMF in Southern California as well as the Midwest. They are involved in Thai churches in the U.S. and have made numerous trips back to Thailand as well.
(UPDATE, Feb 2012: Since this article was written in 2009, Paula has gone to be with the Lord, and Larry has subsequently returned to Thailand to continue to minister among the Thai people).
After listening to Larry speak at the conference, and later in a recorded lecture, I became curious and sent him an email, asking, “If you could go back to your first term on the mission field, knowing then what you know now, what would you do differently? How would you go about planting a church in Central Thailand if you had to do it all over again?” Larry was kind enough to email me back and here’s a bit of what he had to say: