Kingdom Noise Apprenticeship

Module 3 || Stage 1 by Jeremiah
October 20, 2008, 2:52 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

In your own words, describe ethnolinguistics.

How does language impact how we share the Gospel locally?
How is it different cross culturally?

Is “church planting” the same or is it changing?


3 Comments so far
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When we talked about Ethnolinguistics in our Monday meeting, it made me think about the perspective of another culture’s language and understanding it from their point of view. So many times we often think of only ourselves and our understanding of everything. But it helps to look at another language from how they learn, understand, and communicate it so we as christians are able to connect more with others around the world.

Locally, I think many times we are interacting with people who have a cross cultural experience and focus, so it seems as though we are dealing with language cross culturally all the time whether we realize it or not. I remember a very vivid story of when I was in Germany my second summer. Through a series of miscommunication I found out I was going to speak at a school outreach and had no idea what I was going to talk about ten minutes before I got on stage. What I found out I was doing through my short talk was being as simple as possible with my words and phrases so the students could hopefully understand and take away something that I had said as well as hoping they understood through the language barrier. Being very basic and simple with words and actions in a cross cultural sense can be very impactful. With my experience in Egypt, some of the time language was not the focus at all but it was to love on students at camp by using actions such as hugs or high-fives.

I believe church planting is changing. Communities are really being benefitted by figuring out what they already have and what can be built upon rather than what can we bring to those communities. I feel that more people are realizing that they are the church everywhere, everyday and that it is their mission to do what they can to help others understand that as well. For many, it isn’t about a building anymore, but a group of people who have a common language and goal, and who love the Lord, and want to reach others in their community.

Comment by laurenmclaughlin0

Ethnolinguistic in my own words:
Etnolinguistics trys to translate words/meanings in another language, where they then still have the same meaning. A Missionary once told me that while he was in Papua-Newginea he was helping translating the bibel. They had the problem that there didn´t excist the word rock. So they had to find another description for “Jesus is my Rock”.
Even thou I think that my English is very well, do I still have language barriers. There are things that sometimes just can´t be described by words, you have to be from that culture to understand the real meaning. In the book he uses the phrase Euroamerican culture. Yes it´s somehow related, but it´s different. I think we have to be carefull here to, to what we are communicating. I don´t remember a story right now, but there are lot of story´s Christine, Thomas and I can tell you about misscommunication. Now I remember! I once mentioned to Bruce Earnest that I really liked the first Battle of the Bands we did in Germany. I ended up organizing the second because Bruce concluded that I want to do it. But I just loved being there. Lauren also commented about something like this happening to her in Germany too. Now think about the difference between Africa-USA versus Germany-USA. The cultural difference to Africa is huge compared to Germany. So there are more cross-cultural differences. I agree with Lauren that the gospel is also spread with a hug, some help or a high five. But when it comes to understanding the gospel with heart soul and mind we need to know the language of one´s heart, soul and mind. Therefore we need people like at Wicliff who translate the Bibel proper in everyones language.
Now to church planting. I think our Jumpstart is a really good example of how it has changed. It is not about a building, like Lauren said, it´s not about an institution(thou we´re going to start one to help Jumpstart excist), and it´s not about denominations. I think this is the way it should be, to try to work together wherever possible. One Lord, one body. But there´s also a need for people to worship in their heartlanguage. People like the awesome American Worship music. But they don´t focus so much on the words. But when we sing a good song in German it speaks to their heart.

Comment by andibinder

Ethnolinguistics is intriguing to me because of the way it integrates language, thought, and culture. I believe we have a lot to learn from what we take for granted in assumptions we make.

The example in the book was helpful in relating the Nigerian concept of a shepherd. Their view is that shepherds, in their society, are “only young boys or the mentally incompetent who tend sheep.” This obviously has problematic implications for communicating Jesus as the good shepherd.

It makes me wonder how else do we use biblical terminology and analogies in our own culture that do not communicate well.

Comment by Sean

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