CROSSING BOUNDARIES–Advancing the Gospel series helps you understand about ~ GOD’S GREAT PURPOSE
What does it mean to advance the gospel among your neighbours?
Advancing the gospel is not necessarily a lofty concept reserved for evangelists or missionaries but rather it is a day-to-day ministry pattern for individual believers.
Ministry has to be understood in the light of God’s great purpose in the world. Or else it can become a narrow religious enterprise measured by the world’s standards.
David Bok has been with the Navigators all his adult life; the last twenty five years practising the gospel in cross-cultural and inter-religious contexts. He is active in the heritage preservation of his peranakan Indian community in Singapore and Malaysia. He is also a professional storyteller telling religious, humorous, personal and dramatic stories to adult audiences.
The Crossing Boundaries Series
This three volume series of Bible studies seeks to break entrenched paradigms that prevent followers of Jesus from engaging the major Asian cultures and religions. The theme is crossing boundaries. When bringing the gospel into another religion, you have to cross major boundaries of thought, culture, and worldview. If you don’t do it right people become very cross and it creates social, cultural, and political grief. And what you bring is not the cross–the gospel of Jesus and his kingdom, but another competing neo-colonialist religion.
Long before I studied the Bible for myself, I was always unsure if I was Malay- sian first or Christian first. This affected which core values I used to decide matters of truth in life. That question drove me to undertake a study of the gospel and culture, for which I wrote a paper in 1980. I wish David’s studies were available then. They would have answered many of my basic questions about my faith and practice. The most troubling question: Why do only Christians wear shoes into their place of worship in Malaysia, when no other religion does? So I recommend these studies for anyone who wants to understand from the scriptures, the gospel as it was intended to be - Good News for the whole world.
David has worked with those who have a passion for seeing others enter the Kingdom of God, especially those outside the scope of influence of local churches. Often the well-meaning methods of missionaries incorporate many home country traditions. Fresh approaches are needed to stick to gospel basics. Paul faced this challenge in taking the gospel to the Gentiles. The series Crossing Boundaries is the distillation of decades of work by many in this challenge. My prayer is that God would use this series so many un-churched will come to understand the message of Jesus.
The three volumes of Crossing Boundaries are well put together and are very useful in preparing believers to share the gospel with people from different cultures and beliefs. The carefully crafted questions focus on the issues presented. Before answering the questions, we have to dig deep into the word of God and discover how Jesus himself dealt with people in his time with his mission to reveal who God was and his purpose for mankind. I found the studies liberating and inspiring. They have helped me re-evaluate my own stance and approaches in explaining the gospel.
The series helps our missions team understand the issues individuals faced before and during mission deployment. It helps potential missions candidates preview what possible obstacles are and to develop strategies to overcome them. I am glad that the series was written with thoughtfulness and with great sensitivity