The Use of Signs and Symbols
The class I am taking is dealing with cross-cultural discipleship with an emphasis on contextualization. For those of you not familiar with that word it simply means making the Gospel understandable to someone from another culture. One of the areas that we spent quite a bit of time on today is the use of signs and symbols. But my question is this. How far is too far when it comes to the use of icons and rituals? For example, should we take rituals already in that culture and try to Christianize them in hopes that it will help them to understand the Gospel better?
Another question is what about the use of symbols and icons in communicating God special revelation and worship. Is there a difference in the communication of God's truth through them and the verbal communication of God's word? I ask this because some in the class seem to see them as equally valid. I will not have time to respond to your answers if you choose to leave one, but I will certainly read them.
P.S. If anyone has some insight into the icon controversy that took place in church history that would help also.