Herb

The Old and the New

Throughout the history of Christian missions in India, there has been a debate as to what to do with the Old Testament. It is an old history that has nothing to do with India. It contains events and words that are violent and perhaps sub-Christian. It conveys an impression of an angry and demanding God,…

Religion and Fun

I recall one Hindu who was considering to join a church lamenting, “But I don’t want to lose all the festivals.” Indeed, post-Reformation Protestantism has been denuded of culture and fun. Major festivities take place primarily inside the church building, where activities must be more somber and organized. Participation, then, is primarily by church members….

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…