I have always been interested in mission to Western culture. The fact that God providentially sent us to Korea as missionaries actually helped me to understand the necessity of contextualizing the gospel and my teaching to the culture (without losing the universality of the gospel and truth). I actually wrote a book about that title Developing an Asian Evangelical Theology, which became a textbook in some theological schools in Asia. After serving in Asia for many years, we returned home and later went to Europe to teach. There I worked on a doctor’s degree at the University of Manchester, England. I had read books by Lesslie Newbigin (Foolishness to the Greeks: The Gospel and Western Culture, and many other books by him). I began an in-depth study of Newbigin’s writings and found in him an approach to winning Western culture to Christ. While winning individuals is essential, there is another work that needs to be done that few are aware of or attempt. That is to meet the minds at the center of the culture and share the gospel with them in ways that would sway Western culture back to its Christian heritage. It is serious intellectual work.
Lesslie Newbigin was not an academician, but was a street evangelist in India and then became the Bishop of the Church of South India. He combined genuine intellectual acumen with very practical and difficult ministry in the streets. That is what I like about him most and I think this is what makes his writing credible.