Monday, March 29, 2010

The Lost Message of Jesus - Steve Chalke

The Masai

Chalke tells a story of Vincent Donovan, a Christian missionary working with the Masai in Tanzania, East Africa. It seems that the Masai believed in a god and that this god favored their tribe above all others. Donovan told them there was a High God above all others and that the Masai should consider leaving their tribe in order to search for this High God. After some time, a Masai elder broke the silence. He asked a very pointed question: Has your tribe found the High God? Have you known him? What an opportunity for Donovan to share the gospel of Jesus Christ! But is that what he did? Did he launch into a sermon similar to the one Paul preached to the Greek philsoophers at Mars Hill? Here is Donovan's answer:
"No, we have not found the High God. My tribe has not known him.For us, too, he is the unknown God. But we are searching for him...Let us search for him together. Maybe together we will find him." [Steve Chalke - The Lost Message of Jesus, pg. 23-24]
Chakle praises this response and claims that Donovan was freeing these people from their tribal view of their god. But in freeing them of this view, what did he provide them in exchange? Nothing! He addmitedly had nothing to offer them. For he too had not found God. Is this the message that Christ sends us out to proclaim? We are to go into all the world and release people from their tribal view of God? In the end, isn't it just as true that Donovon would have free the Masai from their tribal view of God by providing them with the biblical one? Rather than his agnostic approach, the exclusive gospel of Christ would have also moved them from their tribal view of God just the same. But Chalke doesn't seem to take that into account.

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