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Liberating News

A Theology of Contextual Evangelization

by Orlando E. Costas

Imprint: Wipf and Stock

196 Pages, 5.88 x 8.75 x 8.00 in

  • Paperback
  • 9781579109387
  • Published: April 2002

$25.00 / £19.00

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This book approaches the topic of contextual evangelization from the standpoint of "the poor, the powerless, and the opressed." It is, as Orlando Costas explains, "written against the backdrop of the radical evangellical tradition in dialogue with other streams of the larger ecumenical church." Costas begins by exploring the biblical roots of contextual evangelization, focusing on two models. The Old Testament model is illustrated by believers like Esther, who, in her heroic liberation of her people in politically difficult circumstances, showed us how to come to the aid of those who live on the margins of society. The New Testament model is illustrated first and foremost by Christ, who showed us how to minister to the maginalized by operating from "the Galilean periphery." On what does one base contextual evangelization? On the Trinity, which Costas defines as community, the foundation for evangelization as a "communal event." The substance of evangelization is "the apostolic message of the cross," which announces God's gift of life through the suffering and death of Christ. If we believe that message, we look foreward to life in God's kingdom even as we work and pray for justice and peace. Costas accordingly views conversion not as a single event but rather as a continual transformative process that involves a passage from self-absorption to active communal commitment. Costas's creative, sound blend of evangelical commitment and enlightened social thinking recommends this book to well-informed laypeople as well as pastors, theologians, and scholars.
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