Conversion, Culture and Cognitive Categories – 1

How much must Papayya ‘know’ about the Gospel to be converted?

by Paul G. Hiebert

Can an illiterate peasant become a Christian after hearing the Gospel only once? And, if so, what do we mean by conversion?

Imagine, for a moment, Papayya, an Indian peasant, returning to his village after a hard day’s work in the fields. His wife is still preparing the evening meal, so, to pass the time, he wanders over to the village square. There he notices a stranger surrounded by a few curiosity seekers. Tired and hungry, he sits down to hear what the man is saying. For an hour he listens to a message of a new God, and something which he hears moves him deeply. Later he asks the stranger about the New Way, and then, almost as if by impulse, he bows his head and prays to this God who is said to have appeared to humans in the form of Jesus. Continue reading “Conversion, Culture and Cognitive Categories – 1”