The latest issue of Lausanne World Pulse features an article titled, ‘International Orality Network’s Declaration on Making Disciples of the World’s Oral Learners through Audio Scripture Engagement’.

It it they make the point that

There are 4.35 billion people in our world who are oral learners. They are found in many cultural groups in the villages and in global cities around the world. We recognize that sixty percent of the world’s population can’t, won’t, or don’t hear the gospel when we share it simply because it’s often coming through literate means they don’t understand and to which they do not relate.

The word of God is unchangeable, but the manner or method in which it is communicated does change. We celebrate that God has worked intentionally throughout history to bring his word to the peoples of the world utilizing various media formats, including oral communication, scribe and hand written text, the printed page, and digital means.

The Gutenberg Press enabled a print revolution and unprecedented spread of the word of God. Oral means were available prior to Gutenberg, but a scripture literacy revolution was empowered by means of making the full Bible available to every person who could read. We stand today at another seminal point in history in which digital technology makes it possible for every oral learner to engage with God’s word in audio and audio/visual formats.

The International Orality Network aim

to influence the Body of Christ to make disciples of all oral learners. We believe that the foundation of discipleship is the shaping by, and obedience to, the word of God. It is the inalienable right and privilege of every person to have access to the word of God in his or her own heart language and in a media format he or she understands.

They then issue a number of challenges:

We call upon the Body of Christ to expand the reach of this revolution by making the entire word of God available to every person who can hear.

We call upon the Church to embrace engagement of the audio scripture among oral learners with great urgency.

We call upon the Church to engage all unengaged, unreached people groups and to place into their hands any and every available audio portion of God’s word in their heart language.

We call upon the Body of Christ to devote energies, strategies, and resources to provide access for all oral learners to engage the entire word of God through audio/digital means, so that every tribe, tongue, and people group may hear, understand, and have the opportunity to respond!

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