Monday, February 13, 2012

(Nearly) Free Download: Contextualization in the New Testament: Patterns for Theology and Mission

Here's a link to a great free download, which I highly recommend: Contextualization in the New Testament: Patterns for Theology and Mission by Dean E. Flemming. It won the 2006 Christianity Today Book Award and was honored as one of the "Fifteen Outstanding Books of 2005 for Mission Studies" by International Bulletin of Missionary Research. From Amazon:

Few have considered in depth how the early church contextualized the gospel. And yet the New Testament provides numerous examples. As both a crosscultural missionary and a New Testament scholar, Dean Flemming is well equipped to examine how the early church contextualized the gospel and to draw out lessons for today. By carefully sifting the New Testament evidence, Flemming uncovers the patterns and parameters of a Paul or Mark or John as they spoke the Word on target, and he brings these to bear on our contemporary missiological task.

Although it doesn't deal with the arts specifically, it has a lot of good information on principals relating to contextualization in general. There were a few points (mainly in the last chapter) with which I disagreed, specifically whether or not there is a "supracultural" gospel that applies to all cultures at all times (Fleming seems to play both sides of the issue, or I'm misunderstand him). He also makes it clear on p. 108 that he is not reformed, for those of you who care about such things. Overall, definitely worth a read. It's been over two years since I read it.

Dean Flemming is professor of New Testament and Missions at MidAmerica Nazarene University, Olathe, KS. He served as a theological educator in Asia and Europe for more than 20 years. His research and writing specializes in Paul's letters, the New Testament and mission, and biblical precedents for contextualization. He also has a strong interest in the book of Revelation.

Right now, the website charges $1.95 "promotional membership" in order to download the book.


  1. Is this download still available...i could not get it downloaded ...could you send the right link once more please

  2. I can't find the link anymore either. But you can read large portions of the book here: