Thoughts on Dave Garner’s “Insider Movements: Why Should I Care?”

Doug Coleman Insider Movement 2 Comments

If you follow the Insider Movement discussion/debate, you know that the PCA has addressed the issue at its recent annual meetings. Popular blogger, author and Presbyterian pastor Kevin DeYoung has mentioned IM several times on his blog. DeYoung recently shared a guest post from Dave Garner, Associate Professor of Systematic Theology at Westminster Theological Seminary. (Garner previously wrote an extensive article on IM and hermeneutics here.)

While I appreciate Garner’s efforts, and I’m generally sympathetic to much of his content, I think he oversimplifies at points. This could very well be due to the limits of the blogging medium, but I think the oversimplifications may create some problems or barriers in the discussion. At a minimum, I think they contribute to the ongoing accusations—by both sides—that they are misunderstood or misrepresented. In light of this, I would like to offer a few thoughts on certain aspects of Garner’s post. Continue Reading

Doug ColemanThoughts on Dave Garner’s “Insider Movements: Why Should I Care?”

Decision Making in Cross Cultural Ministry

Doug Coleman Cross Cultural Ministry Leave a Comment

decision-makingCross-cultural ministry is hard, perhaps especially so in pioneer contexts. Virtually EVERYTHING has significant potential to become a precedent. Decisions we make today can affect multiple generations, for good or bad.

The Bible gives us clear commands and principles on some matters while other decisions seem to require godly wisdom. But ministering in a cross-cultural situation brings additional challenges. Even after we know the language fairly well, sometimes the gap between comprehending the words and comprehending the message—verbal and non-verbal—can be great. Furthermore, cultural expectations and assumptions can hide well below the surface, making it difficult to predict how potential courses of action will play out in a given setting. Continue Reading

Doug ColemanDecision Making in Cross Cultural Ministry

What is Culture? A Simple Working Definition

Doug Coleman Anthropology Leave a Comment

What is Culture?Anyone familiar with academic discussions of culture knows there are more than a few definitions floating around. And when the descriptions begin, they quickly become complicated.

For example, note the first definition given here: “Culture refers to the cumulative deposit of knowledge, experience, beliefs, values, attitudes, meanings, hierarchies, religion, notions of time, roles, spatial relations, concepts of the universe, and material objects and possessions acquired by a group of people in the course of generations through individual and group striving.”

Other than a professor of anthropology, who can really remember that? Continue Reading

Doug ColemanWhat is Culture? A Simple Working Definition

Looking at Insider Movements

Doug Coleman Acts 15, Insider Movement Leave a Comment

[Note: This series of posts originally appeared at Between the Times in March 2012. The entire series is posted below for easier access.]

Looking at Insider Movements (1): Introduction

Unless you’re a missionary, missions professor, missions pastor, or spend a lot of time with weirdo’s like us, you’re probably not so familiar with the latest missiological debate: Insider Movements (IM). After a recent book notice at Between the Times and a subsequent post by Dr. Ashford on IM and theological method, I thought it might be helpful to offer a fuller description, along with what I see as some of the key issues and problems. So, Bruce graciously accepted my proposal for a series of posts. Continue Reading

Doug ColemanLooking at Insider Movements