It's what I've always said: the gospel DOESN'T need to be contextualized to be effective; it just needs to be proclaimed! Piper also says the same thing here. Don't let the emerging/emergents - missional experts fool you folks: salvation is of the Lord. Genuine evangelism isn't that complicated nor is it made efficacious by anyone's methodology. Whether you are in Nashville, Seattle (the world's toughest city to minister in), Bangladesh, London, Cairo, LA or NYC - it is the same gospel that must be heralded without compromise. Cultural contextualization doesn't determine the how, why, what, when, where, or who of conversion. That is why I resolutely affirm that:
salvation is solely determined by:
the sovereign electing love of God the Father;
the particular redemptive once for all propitiatory
sacrifice and resurrection of God the Son;
and the regenerating ministry of God the Holy Spirit.
"How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed?
And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard?
And how are they to hear without someone preaching?
And how are they to preach unless they are sent?
As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet
of those who preach the good news!”
But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says,
“Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?”
So faith comes from hearing,
and hearing through the word of Christ."
"And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind." -Ephesians 2:1-3"But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, He saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to His own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by His grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life." -Titus 3:4-7
Professor John Murray spoke out against this trend of relevance, found in his "Collected Writings of John Murray, v1":
"A great deal is being said nowadays about the necessity of relevance, and in certain circles it is being asserted that the scripture as it was understood by Christians in the first century is not relevant to modern man; that, conditioned as he is to the scientific worldview, it is impossible to accept the framework in which the New Testament is cast. It is not to be denied that the gospel proclaimed must be relevant, that it must be presented to men where they are, and meet their needs in the situations in which they find themselves. But one thing must be said. It is only by the proclamation of the whole counsel of God, particularly regarding sin, misery, and the judgment of God, that men will discover where they are and begin to assess their need.
Much of the plea for relevance proceeds on the premise that what men assess as their need, and demand for the satisfaction of this need, is that to which the gospel must be adjusted. The result is that the solution proposed and the message proclaimed are accommodations to humanly conceived and framed demands.
There is the basic fallacy that men apart from the conviction created and conditioned by law and gospel are able to know what their real situation and needs are. It is God's judgment respecting sin and misery that must be brought to bear upon men where they are and where they find themselves. When this priority is not observed, then all presumed relevance is a distortion of the gospel. ...
We must unashamedly and uncompromisingly declare the whole counsel of God, so that men, in conviction, will be made relevant to the gospel. This is the relevance Reformation requires and it is the relevance that Reformation will bring."
HT: Jim at Old Truth.com