Before missional was the buzzword that followed pomo which followed "doing life" there was a man named Lesslie. He was pushing missional by being missional. As a missionary pastor to India he was engaging the Hindu culture around as well as engaging the assumptions that he brought to the endeavour. Every experience of the Gospel's message comes through language and with that language comes culture. Incidentally, that is why pastors are urged to go to seminary because they have to be a tour-guide, or match-maker, "between two worlds" (Stott), the biblical and the postmodern one, translating and allowing for both language and culture. When we pastor and preach in the west we are preaching to "our culture." But now in the West we are preaching to the toughest kind of culture: one that has received, rejected, and forgotten a vital Christian witness.
And now for the quote of the week (or if you're nice you might get more than one a week):
"[W.E. Gladstone said] 'Should the Christian faith ever become but one among many co-equal pensioners of a government, it will be a proof that subjective religion has again lost its God-given hold upon objective reality, or when under the thin shelter of its name, a multitude of discordant schemes shall have been put upon a footing of essential parity, and shall together receive the bounty of the legistlature, this will prove that we are once more in a transition state- that we are travelling back again from the region to which the Gospel brought us, towards that in which it found us.'
What Gladstone foretold is essentially what has been happening during the 140 years since he wrote those words. The result is not, as we once imagined, a secular society. It is a pagan society, and its paganism, having been borne out of the rejection of Christianity, is far more resistant to the gospel than the Pre-Christian paganism with which cross-cultural missions have been familiar. Here, surely, is the most challenging missionary frontier of our time." Foolishness to the Greeks, p. 20