Gospel & Culture blog
Some pastors and even theologians preach that "ethne" in “from every nation, tribe, people and language” (Matt 24:14; Rev 7:refers to "ethnic people groups" or nations . The excerpt below, from my book God's image and Global Cultures, addresses this issue:
This implies that there is ethno-cultural continuity between earthly cultures and eternity. The “nations” are apparently represented in heaven, in these verses. An interpretive problem immediately presents itself: Which nations? Does this mean only nation-states recognized by the United Nations? What about nations that have gone extinct, like the Ottoman Empire and Babylon, or nations that have reinvented themselves like Egypt and Greece? What about nations that are yet to be born? It is quite problematic to link ethne
1 Holmes, S. (2006). Trinitarian Missiology: Towards a Theology of God as Missionary. International Journal of Systematic Theology, 8(1), 72-90.
2 Kostenberger and O’Brien, Salvation to the Ends of the Earth. Grand Rapids, MI: IVP. p. 41, 42, 50
3 Verkuyl, Johannes says the “God of all the peoples” . Perspectives, “The Biblical Foundation for the Worldwide Mission Mandate” pp 27-33
The 20 foot mural depicting Jesus has been an emotive art piece for decades- some find inspiration, some mock it (leaving cookies at his feet as they would for Santa Claus) and some find it controversial (why is His skin so light? And should we depict Jesus in human form at all?)
This week, students covered up the mural to make another point. It's missions conference week, and the mural asks, "What if you had never heard?"
What if I had never heard of Jesus? I would think the purpose in life was to amass as much wealth, toys, power, and pleasure as possible, at the cost of others around me. I would be narcissistic and nihilistic. On the other hand, in the midst of climbing the corporate ladder and trying to get people to like me, I'd
Kenneth Nehrbass, Ph.D.
Associate Professor at Biola University, Author, Pastor