Text and Context in Dialogue

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Letters to the Editor

Dear Mark,

You misunderstood my interpretation of Luke 14:26. In fact, I agree with your analysis of that text, when you wrote, "Loving Jesus is costly. It demands a commitment that makes loving your father and mother seem like hatred in comparison." I would add that part of loving Jesus to that degree, in the Nepali context, involves forsaking idolatrous practices. And if doing such a thing upsets their parents or community, it doesn't matter because they love Jesus so much more in comparison.

Triston Dyer

In fact we agree with the statement above. The issue to us is not "forsaking idolatrous practices". The issue is the understanding of what constitutes an idolatrous practice. This requires two things: a careful interpretation of scripture and a careful interpretation of the Hindu tradition. If we neglect the former we will be "blown about by every wind of doctrine". If we neglect the latter we will allow our simplistic prejudgements about that tradition control our participation or otherwise. So we advise new believers to forsake idolatry. But then we help them identify what that means in practice. [Ed.]

bhakti. bhakti, nom. devotion, love, loyalty