English Articles

Mitsuo Fukuda : Rethinking Authentic Christianity Network「RAC Network」

 

Incarnational Approaches to the Japanese People using House Church Strategies

In order to help catalyze house church multiplication in Japan by providing resources for and networking house church planters, I founded the RAC Network. Though the acronym remained the same, the name of the network was changed in April 2002, from the Research Association for Contextualization to the Rethinking Authentic Christianity Network in order to reflect a new focus. Prior to 2002 our main activities were publishing missiological periodicals. Our vision was to see a contextualized Japanese Christianity.

 

Sermon Topics Contextualized for Japan

Contextualization is the methodology of facilitating the disclosure of God to a particular social group within the context of their own unique cultural forms. Contextualization is an inevitable and necessary process in order for the targeted group (hereafter referred to as the receptors to understand the message. The message embraces the concept that the Bible is the source of fundamental solutions to questions the receptors ask when they encounter problems in life. The goal of contextualization is for the receptors to accept the fundamental principles of the gospel as support in their everyday lives, to establish biblical churches that are rooted in the receptors culture, and finally, that worship, which is the most natural and most heart-felt expression of the receptor, can be offered to the one and only God.

 

The goal of this essay is to offer the reader an understanding of what it means to promote contextualization in the cultural context of Japan. This is achieved by focusing on the sermon, as it holds a central place of communication in services of many modern Japanese churches.

 

Witnessing approaches adapted to the needs of the Japanese people

These words are not to be practiced only by so-called “clergy.” The key to the opening of this country for the Gospel will be when every part of Christユs body begins to boldly and joyfully share their faith “for the hope that you have.” We need to have approaches that meet the varied needs of those who hear the Good News from us. As an example, Paul became aware of a graven altar “to an unknown God” in Athens. He was able to discern the needs of the people there who feared retribution if they omitted a god from their “worship list.” Paul proclaimed that this “unknown God” was the Creator God Himself, who wouldnユt drop them from His “list.” Instead, He made them His own ancestors.

 

A Mission Movement Among Japanese Businessmen

The growth of the International VIP Club is a phenomenon of the Japanese mission field today. It is a mission movement among Japanese businessmenwho are commuting to big cities like Tokyo, Osaka, and Nagoya. This paper presents an overview of the movement and investigates the background of its growth. Next, the characteristics of this movement are analyzed. Finally the meaning and the future of the movement are examined in terms of existing church authorities and functional mission movements.