The Relationship Between Worship and Culture (the Nairobi Statement)

The Nairobi Statement on Worship and Culture (available for free here), prepared by the Department for Theology and Studies of the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) via Lift Up Your Hearts web site, states,

The reality that Christian worship is always celebrated in a given local cultural setting draws our attention to the dynamics between worship and the world’s many local cultures.
The Nairobi Statement helpfully organizes the dynamic relationship between worship and culture in terms of four dimensions:

  1. Transcultural – Having the same substance for everyone everywhere, beyond culture.
  2. Contextual – Varying according to the local situation.
  3. Counter-cultural – Challenging what is contrary to the Gospel in a given culture.
  4. Cross-cultural – Sharing elements across cultures.

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