Thursday, June 11, 2009
I was talking yesterday with a man who has let an extensive research project on the nature of churches in SE Asia that are seeing spontaneous conversion growth. I asked him "How do you define the nature of conversion?" He responded, "That is an important question in the Western church but when Muslim person gets baptized there choice is a crossing of a line that is clear and obvious to all." The implication: it is impossible to do "mental ascent" Christianity in these contexts. This raises all kinds of questions about the nature of conversion in the West. We know what it means theologically but because of the nature of cultural Christianity, there is no real line to cross except for the cases where the culture looks down on certain lifestyles ie immorality, drug abuse, etc. In most cases those who are converted repent to the extent that they become moral citizens of the broader culture. Is this all there is?