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Missiological Reflections on Difference: Foundations in the Gospel of Luke

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This paper explores missiological reflections on the Gospel of Luke for valuing differences in order to develop an understanding of human identity. Our identity in Jesus Christ supersedes racial, ethnic, and social identity and is based on an understanding of difference that affirms the uniqueness of each individual.

A perspective that values human dignity and the dignity of difference, as per Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, stands in sharp contrast to the biblical images of Pharisees who separated themselves from the sinners, tax-collectors, and others. Likewise, Jesus, himself, in the Gospel of Luke, sets his message of the Kingdom of God over against the perspective of differences that established divisions as taught and practiced by the Pharisees. Andrew Walls and Paul Hiebert expound the need to value the contributions of other cultures to the understanding of God which will enrich the entire Body of Christ. Together these perspectives provide a foundation for exploring biblical passages for missiological reflections on difference.

Missiological implications of difference that value human dignity are drawn and applied to relationships within the body, crossing cultural barriers with the message of Jesus Christ, and interfaith dialogue.

Affiliations: 1: Director of Doctoral Studies and Assistant Professor of Leadership, Fuller Theological Seminary, School of Intercultural Studies, Pasadena, CA, USA


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