Thursday, July 06, 2006

Biblical Holism

In preparation for the CLiMAT training, where I will be facilitating the topic "Biblical Holism, where evangelism and deeds connect", I have been reflecting upon Dr John Steward's thesis on the topic. In the New Testament the word "holos' expresses completeness or tatality. Good examples of its use are in Matthew 5:29,20; John 7:23 and John 9:34.

Dr Steward suggests that Biblical Holism is where God, people and deeds connect. He reminds us that the gospel is not bound to either societal tastes or traditional ideals: rather, it stands apart as a timeless message with radically fresh ideas for each age.

Steward retells the salvation story with an eye on the big picture. Creation, the fall of man, and redemption are examined from a 'whole-life' perspective. God is pre-eminent, Lord over every area of life, spiritual, physical, and social. When assimilated into individual and corporate life, it is important to foster a balanced, vital community of faith.

Biblical holism, according to Steward, thrives when every person, culture, and race adds a voice. This blending of perspectives, practices, and priorities makes a glorious choir of God's work on earth. It is based on Christ's lordship over every part of life - where people who are in right relationship with God and one another (relationship) are responsibly managing the resources entrusted by Him (stewardship) in ways that show that those resources belong to God (ownership). Understanding the meaning of biblical holism is essential to the fulfillment of the Great Commission.

As a person serving in mobilizing missions, I find this insight very useful for dealing with the ambiguities of different cultural, economic, environmental, and religious paractices in various mission fields (which of course go beyond Western culture).


Godwyn Lim said...

wow Kitty, it sounds quite in depth. Interesting post!

Have a good week ahead! May the Lord Keep you & Bless you:-)

audrey` said...

Oh yes, bro Godwyn :)
Our dear sis Kitty is a very deep and smart thinker as well as writer.
Her posts are always very interesting and thought-provoking.
Kitty is a very intelligent lady :)
Keep it up, dearest Kitty ;)

Kitty Cheng said...

Godwyn, yes "Biblical Holism" is really a deep subject, and so much to learn too. Thanks you have a good week in the Lord too :)

Kitty Cheng said...

Audrey,thanks for your compliment. I feel so humbled by your encouragement. I'm in fact very inadequate...the more I learn, the more I feel I don't know!