Going to the mission field as a newly appointed missionary, finally arriving in a new country as a “real live missionary,” is the thrill of a lifetime. At least it is until the confusing onslaught of cultural changes crashes in. New sights, smells, sounds, and customs hold it off for bit. Very soon though, the […]

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Learning a language as an adult, even one that linguists list as an “easy” language, is one of the most difficult things you will ever do. When you are already suffering culture shock, the last thing you want to do is have people tilt their head and look at you like you’re from outer space, […]

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In their Introduction to Global Missions, Zane Pratt, David Sills, and Jeff Walters define a missionary as “someone who intentionally crosses boundaries for the purpose of communicating the gospel.”[i] Those boundaries come in many forms—culture, geography, language, religion, socioeconomics, etc.—but fundamental to being a missionary is crossing these kinds of boundaries, or barriers, to carry […]

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Who is the most godly Christian you know? Do you know anyone whom the New Testament would commend as an example for twenty-first century Christians? Is it one of those we consider to be the Christian superstars? Nope, not for me either. Although we are told to imitate Christ, it seems that some modern Evangelicals […]

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New missionaries often struggle to communicate God’s Word faithfully to other cultures—or at least they should. Some cultures have seven primary colors, others recognize only four, and some only have the ideas of shiny and dull. Given these realities, how would you translate Isaiah 1:18, “Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord: though your sins are […]

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What’s in a name? New words and terminologies arise with increasing frequency these days. Five years ago, the word blog was a typo. Words, especially new words, are necessary tools of communication in a changing world. Every discipline must have a taxonomy that it uses to share ideas. The field of law is filled with […]

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As I teach Cultural Anthropology and Intercultural Communication to students, missionaries, and missionary candidates, I always stress the interface of the discipline with the Great Commission. Along the pathway of learning about other cultures and worldviews, students learn a lot about their own home culture. I repeatedly remind them to consider the “in-group” they belong […]

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