Jesus, the Word, and Contextualization

Reflecting on Creation Regained: Biblical Basics for a Reformational Worldview by Albert M. Wolters and Michael W. Goheen, and wow! What a great read.

They make the following interesting point regarding contextualization in John’s Gospel.

John freely uses the language and thought forms of classical religion and culture that form the world of his hearers—light and darkness, heaven and earth, flesh and spirit, and more. These terms express the pagan worldview that underlies them. Yet John uses these terms and thought-forms in such a way as to confront his hearers with a fundamental question and indeed a contradiction. John begins with the announcement “In the beginning was the logos.” As he continues it becomes apparent that logos is not the impersonal law of rationality that permeates the universe giving it order, but rather the man Jesus Christ. The logos became sarx. John begins by identifying with the classical longing for the source of order expressed in the term logos, but subverts, challenges, and contradicts the idolatrous conception of rationality that had developed in the classical world. In this way John is both relevant and faithful: relevant because the uses familiar categories that express existential struggles, faithful because he challenges with the gospel the worldview that shapes those categories. (page 139)

Great point regarding not only the necessity of contextualization but the Biblical mandate for it regarding John’s understanding of Jesus, the Word made flesh.


About adoption through propitiation

I like theology. And I love my wife Katie. Enjoy my blog. View all posts by adoption through propitiation

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