Subscribe via RSS Feed

Communicating and Ministering the Power of the Gospel Cross-culturally: The Power of God for Christians Who Ride Two Horses

Marguerite Kraft

When Jesus came to earth, He came to people whose expectations were very much like those of the majority of nonwestern peoples today. First century Jews were people who looked for power demonstrations, not simply intellectual arguments, to prove God’s presence. Knowing this, Jesus provided power proof (e.g., Mat. 9:6-8; Mk. 2:10-12; Lk. 5:24-26). And He did this in spite of the risks involved—risks that people would be more interested in power than in the relationship with God He advocated and demonstrated. He was not swayed by the armchair theologians and biblical scholars of His day who, because they refused to believe that God was still doing miracles, even went to the extent of trying to talk a former blind man out of his healing (Jn. 9:13-34)! They, like their successors today, believed that God had worked in the past but that somehow He had changed and no longer did things like that today. So they asserted to the very person who had been healed:

We know that God spoke to Moses; as for that fellow, however, we do not even know where he comes from! (Jn. 9:29, GNB).

Jesus presented a whole Gospel. This involved good news concerning salvation from sin. And through salvation from sin it also involved good news concerning God’s ability and willingness to release people from present problems (cf. Mat. 9:2, 6; Mk. 2:5, 10-11; Lk. 5:20, 24; Jas. 5:15-16; see Peter H. David’s chapter in this book). Prominent among these problems are the need for physical and emotional healing plus the need to be released from demons. Much of the world is still looking for a God who is concerned about all of these needs, a God who keeps Jesus’ promise to set captives completely free (Lk. 4:18).


Our Testimony

A Christianity that talks about and promises spiritual power but leaves out the experiencing is a great disappointment to many. Such Christianity leaves itself open to the problem of dual allegiance.

We went to Nigeria as missionaries 35 years ago with all the good news an evangelical background could provide. And many Nigerians responded to the Lord. But, except for recommending the cursory kind of praying over current needs that we practiced ourselves, we and our colleagues could only offer secular means to deal with their physical ills. The people we worked with could read the Scriptures about a wonderful Miracle Worker who used to live and used to do powerful things under the anointing of God. But that was all in the past. We, and presumably He, offered nothing like that now. If they needed healing, they had two choices: the medicine man/woman or the western clinic/hospital.

Pin It
Page 2 of 912345...Last »

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Category: Ministry, Spring 2009

About the Author: Charles H. Kraft, Ph.D. (Hartford Seminary Foundation), is Professor Emeritus of Anthropology and Intercultural Communication, Fuller Theological Seminary (Pasadena, California). He has served as a missionary in Nigeria, and professor of African languages at Michigan State University and UCLA. He has published widely both in missiology and in African linguistics, and his books include Christianity in Culture (1979 and revised 2005), Worldview for Christian Witness (2008), and The Evangelical's Guide to Spiritual Warfare: Scriptural Insights and Practical Instruction on Facing the Enemy (Chosen, Feb 2015). His ministry website is

  • Connect with

    Subscribe via Twitter 1332 Followers   Subscribe via Facebook Fans
  • Recent Comments

  • Featured Authors

    Amos Yong is Professor of Theology & Mission and director of the Center for Missiological Research at Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena. His graduate education includes degree...

    Jelle Creemers: Theological Dialogue with Classical Pentecostals

    Antipas L. Harris, D.Min. (Boston University), S.T.M. (Yale University Divinity School), M.Div. (Emory University), is the president-dean of Jakes Divinity School and associate pasto...

    Then, Now, and Later

    Craig S. Keener, Ph.D. (Duke University), is F. M. and Ada Thompson Professor of Biblical Studies at Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Kentucky. He is author of many books<...

    A Keener Understanding of the Bible: The Jewish Context for the Book of Revelation

    William L. De Arteaga, Ph.D., is known internationally as a Christian historian and expert on revivals and the rebirth and renewal of the Christian healing movement. His major w...

    Trump: Satan’s Manchurian Candidate?