Analysis of the significant cultural and theological issues and challenges that frequently complicate the effective communication of the gospel in Buddhist contexts. Students will identify potential bridges for effective missional dialogue and assess evangelism models with regard to their biblical consistency and cultural relevancy. Prerequisite: History of Buddhism
Students need to understand the fundamental worldview differences between Buddhism and Christianity. By identifying the similarities that can be used to build bridges, and by knowing the stories from Scripture that relate to the core tenets of the Buddhist worldview, students can engage in effective missional dialogue.
Fundamental worldview differences between Buddhists and Christians make it difficult to communicate the Gospel to Buddhist friends. By identifying the similarities and differences between Buddhist teachings and Christian doctrines, students will be equipped to share their faith in ways that are appropriate in Buddhist culture and meaningful to the Buddhist worldview.
Students will start with a basic understanding of the biblical teaching on the Great Commission. From that foundation, they will compare and contrast biblical passages and concepts with Buddhist doctrines. Students will identify relevant passages from Scripture that address the core tenets of the Buddhist worldview and teaching.
As Christians, we are called to embody Christ in our interactions with people of other faiths. Students will assess evangelism models and methods with respect to their effectiveness in building relationships and engaging Buddhist friends, neighbors, and acquaintances.
Students will examine sociocultural contexts found in various Buddhist environments in order to develop culturally-appropriate methods for missional outreach.
Students will research demographic, sociographic, and geographic data for Buddhist cultures in India, Tibet, Europe, North America, and other locations.
Students will explore the essential history, core beliefs, and common practices of Buddhism's three major schools of religious thought.
In course assignments and activities, students will have opportunities to develop strategies for dealing with the challenges of communicating the Gospel with Buddhist friends.