Can the Indigenous Principle Be Practically Applied? -- By: Jacob P. Kliever

Journal: Grace Journal
Volume: GJ 07:2 (Spring 1966)
Article: Can the Indigenous Principle Be Practically Applied?
Author: Jacob P. Kliever

Can the Indigenous Principle Be Practically Applied?

Jacob P. Kliever

[Rev. Jacob P. Kliever is presently Field Director of the Foreign Missionary Society of the Brethren Church in the Central African Republic. He has served as a missionary since 1938.]

The simple phrase, “indigenous principle” has become a complex and a controversial expression that creates a variety of definitions in the minds of the readers. Since this phrase is under such a fog of definitions, the statement of a few New Testament principles of missions should give us a common point of departure for this discussion.

Principle 1—The Gospel is intended for the whole world. Matt 28:19–20

Principle 2—The Gospel is to be preached to the whole world. Matt 28:19–20

Principle 3—The Gospel is God’s power unto salvation to anyone that believes. Rom 1:16

Principle 4—Those who believe become new creatures in Christ. 2 Cor 5:17

Principle 5—Believers are being created in Christ unto good works that have been programmed by God. Eph 2:10

Principle 6—It is God himself that works in the believers to will and to do of his good pleasure. Phil 2:13

Principle 7—All believers are endowed with the same spiritual potential for witnessing. 1 Cor 12:11–13

Principle 8—These believers are now “One Body” being fitted together and built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit. Eph 2:16–22

Principle 9—These believers have equal competence as they gather into a group of believers to effect local churches of equal ability, quality and testimony irrespective of their racial, linguistic, geographical or cultural origin. Eph 2:17–22

Principle 10—Believers are to be trained and equipped for the work of the service of the Church. Eph 2:12

We conclude then that it is God’s will that the Gospel produce a Church that is indigenous in any part of the world where it is accepted. This is a challenge to missionary faith, the faith that knows that the Gospel is God’s power, well able to accomplish the same quality of work in all peoples in al...

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