Using henna to communicate the Gospel

Henna Stories websiteA couple of years ago I posted on a fantastic example of how the art of henna might be used in Bible engagement (you can read that post here: Henna storying the Bible). People still come across that post most days, which suggests the concept intrigues and resonates with them. I’ve also had the privilege of seeing a student submit some henna designs for an assignment on the Psalms here at Redcliffe.

Revisiting the topic I notice that there are now quite a few links out there on the subject. The Henna stories website is a good place to start, as is the section on Henna in the AfricaStories website. Two interesting articles can be found on the Indigenous Jesus blog: Contextualized Henna Art and Mehndi Gospel Paintings.

You may also like to check out a couple of videos: Creation to Christ and Henna and the Gospel.

What about your own context? What expressions of creativity are prized in your culture and how might they be used to convey the message of the Gospel?

Understanding and using the Bible in different contexts

SPCK sent through a review copy today of a very interesting looking book called Understanding and Using the Bible, edited by Chris Wright and Jonathan Lamb (both of Langham Partnership International). It is part of the SPCK International Study Guide Series.

About the series, Rene Padilla comments:

‘To be relevant to life, theology must be contextual. The International Study Guides are a tremendous help to people. They broaden their concept of the mission of the Church and their Christian responsibility.’

The contributors to Understanding and Using the Bible represent a variety of cultural contexts including the UK, Latin America, South and South East Asia, and Africa. Here are the blurb and contents:

The Bible claims to be, and the Church confesses it to be, the word of God, but what does this mean? Understanding and Using the Bible encourages you to take the Bible seriously, whether you are a student, pastor, lay leader or just an ‘ordinary’ believer. Packed with wisdom and examples from around the world, this helpful book shows how the Bible is being used creatively to transform lives – and how simple techniques of Bible study and exploration can be employed across countries and cultures.

The book is in two parts. Part One explores key Christian belief about the Bible and why it matters; encourages effective use and application of the Bible in different cultural and social contexts; teaches on right and wrong use of the Bible; models different possible ways of approaching and using the Bible with integrity; encourages readers to take the Bible as a whole and build a biblical worldview.

Part Two, Using the Bible, illustrates examples of applied Bible use in different contexts with contributions from a variety of authors.

Table of contents:

Part 1  Understanding the Bible
1. Understanding the Bible as the word of God – Christopher J.H. Wright
2. Understanding the Bible as the words of human authors – Christopher J.H. Wright
3. Understanding the Bible as a whole – Christopher J.H. Wright
Selected reading

Part 2  Using the Bible
4. Using the Bible devotionally for life – Jonathan Lamb
5. Using the Bible in evangelism – Ajith Fernando
6. Using the Bible in groups – Catherine Padilla
7. Using the Bible in the context of Islam – Ida Glaser
8. Using the Bible in oral cultures – Steve Evans
9. Using the Bible with women – Emily Onyango
10. Using the Bible in the family as a guide for life – Anthony and King Lang Loke
11. Using the Bible in preaching – Jonathan Lamb