Herb

Trust in Him

“What must I believe in order to be saved?” “That Jesus died for your sins.” Those are the usual evangelistic questions and answers. Both are sub-biblical. Let’s look at one evangelistic encounter that is close to this question and answer, in Acts 16:31-32. (The jailer in Philippi brought out Paul and Silas) “and said, ‘Men…

Orthodox Church Theology for India

Central Kerala is the one place in India that there has been a lasting mass movement to Christianity among a high caste group. The Syrian Orthodox Church and its evangelical offspring, the Mar Thoma Church, trace their origins to the apostle Thomas. The group came under the influence of the Eastern Orthodox Church and from…

23 Characteristics of Jesu Bhaktas

The term ‘bhakta’ means ‘devotee.’ I use the term ‘Jesu Bhakta’ to refer to a devotee of Jesus who follows Jesus on a path in accordance with traditional Hindu beliefs and practices. There are many statistical and sociological research studies of this phenomenon.1 Some estimates say there are around ten million nationally. Jesu Bhaktas primarily…

Rooted or Uprooted?

This is a summary of Herbert Hoefer’s article entitled “Rooted or Uprooted:  The Necessity of Contextualization in Missions” (Int’l. Journal of Frontier Missions, July-Sept. 2007).   In a previous article, I discussed the authorization the first church council gave for contextualization. Yet, we see in the biblical account that this decision did not settle the matter…

Is Maha Prasad the Same as The Lord’s Supper?

Many in the traditional churches of India and the West have been offended by the celebration of the Maha Prasad among Jesu Bhaktas. This criticism has arisen because of a fundamental misunderstanding of what the Maha Prasad is. It is not a celebration of the Lord’s Supper; it is its own thing.   Christian Views…

The Story of Naaman: Life Among Other Gods

Can you live as a bhakta of Jesus as part of a group that worships other gods? Does your very presence in these worship contexts compromise your devotion? Can you participate in family and community religious functions even when others know you don’t believe as they do? Is it better to feign participation to avoid…

But God Commanded It (Acts 15)

What Commands to Obey? The Bible is full of God-given commands. There are 613 commands in the Pentateuch, all of which are taken seriously by pious Jews. But Christians have tended to dismiss the ceremonial and civil laws, with only the moral Old Testament laws accepted. “Christ is the end of the law” (Rom 10:4)…