2010 Missions Conference
Culture Clash: When World Views Collide
Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary’s 49th Annual Missions Conference
“No other Southern Baptist seminary is as open to missions as Golden Gate Seminary,” said keynote speaker Ergun Caner, addressing attendees at Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary’s 49th Annual Missions Conference. “Culture Clash: When World Views Collide,” was the theme of the three-day conference held on the Seminary’s Northern California Campus February 12-14. College students from western states joined Seminary students from Golden Gate’s Northern and Southern California campuses.
Caner, president and dean of Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary, continued, “I ask my students to get out of their comfort zone.” He explained that he was impressed with the way
Golden Gate students are being trained to approach the unsaved of different cultures from the mindset of those cultures.
He instructed his listeners “the way to reach another people group is to study the language, and the culture, and to speak to the people from their experience. We should present the Gospel from their perspective. You need to know how to approach unsaved people based on their assumptions, not yours; based on their culture, not yours.”
In addition to Caner’s four lectures, the conference included eight breakout seminars on topics such as “Missions at Our Doorstep,” “Beyond Worldview Differences,” “Doing Volunteer Relief and Development Without Making Things Worse,” and “Sharing the Gospel in a Shame-Based Culture.”
One of the highlights of the conference was the Urban Excursion on Saturday afternoon. Attendees, accompanied by Golden Gate students, went to several areas in the city to pray, observe, and engage people.
“I enjoyed the Urban Excursion,” said Golden Gate Seminary student Jeff Malott. “We had a few Chinese girls in our group, who had only been in the U.S. for two weeks. It was easy for them to see that San Francisco is like another country, even in the States, and that each neighborhood has its own culture.”
“Having a former Muslim as the speaker is better than anything,” said Josiah Metzger, a senior from University of Utah who travelled with 18 of his fellow-students from Utah. “The different perspective Caner brought about reaching unbelievers in various people groups was eye-opening. I also enjoyed the different styles of worship that were represented at the conference.”
“This year’s missions conference focused on culture clash and a collision of worldviews,” noted Dr. Eddie Pate, Golden Gate Seminary’s Chair of the Intercultural Studies Department and Director of The Kim School of Global Missions. “Dr. Caner did a tremendous job preaching the theme and bringing warmth, enthusiasm, and challenge to the sessions through both his content and personal style. There has been an interesting buzz around the campus following the conference as students continue to discuss areas where we face cultural clash here in the west.”
Listen to three of Dr. Caner's talks: