"Behind the words that make up language is a complex system of values, assumptions and habits of mind that reveal themselves in the words we use and leave unsaid. When we cross a culture, as when we read the Bible, we often assume that what goes without being said in our culture and language also goes without being said in other cultures and languages. This can lead to profound misunderstanding." (pg. 70)
1. What are some words that we, as westerners, assume mean one thing to all people, but in actuality, do not mean what they we think they do to everyone? e.g. Love, Family
"Western readers typically believe that if something is important, then we’ll have a word for it. And the more important something is in our culture, the more likely we are to develop specialized language to describe it." (pg. 72)
2. This may be a new concept for you; take a moment to discuss whether or not you agree with the authors. Remember, always remain FAT (faithful, available, teachable) in your discipleship journey.
3. If there is not a western "word" for something, how can we ever fully understand the concepts of other cultures?
"Westerners are wired, by virtue of our worldview, to seek cause-and-effect connections in everything. We instinctively ask, “Why did this happen?” When we read the story of Job, for example, we tend to emphasize why these things happened to Job. We may be emphasizing the wrong point. Job never does know why those things happened. How might Job’s experience help us face life, since we also are rarely told by God why things happen?" (pg. 90)
1. Read Luke 11:1-13. Pray together as a group through this teaching by Jesus in light of our conversation today.
Teaching about Prayer
Once Jesus was in a certain place praying. As he finished, one of his disciples came to him and said, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.”
2 Jesus said, “This is how you should pray:
“Father, may your name be kept holy.
May your Kingdom come soon.
3 Give us each day the food we need,
4 and forgive us our sins,
as we forgive those who sin against us.
And don’t let us yield to temptation.”
5 Then, teaching them more about prayer, he used this story: “Suppose you went to a friend’s house at midnight, wanting to borrow three loaves of bread. You say to him, 6 ‘A friend of mine has just arrived for a visit, and I have nothing for him to eat.’ 7 And suppose he calls out from his bedroom, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is locked for the night, and my family and I are all in bed. I can’t help you.’ 8 But I tell you this—though he won’t do it for friendship’s sake, if you keep knocking long enough, he will get up and give you whatever you need because of your shameless persistence.
9 “And so I tell you, keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.
11 “You fathers—if your children ask for a fish, do you give them a snake instead? 12 Or if they ask for an egg, do you give them a scorpion? Of course not! 13 So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him.”