Dissertation Projects

Date of Award

2000

Document Type

Project Report

Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry

School

Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary

Program

Doctor of Ministry DMin

First Advisor

Nancy J. Vyhmeister

Second Advisor

Gordon E. Christo

Third Advisor

Werner K. Vyhmeister

Abstract

The Problem

The Christian presence has been in India for the last 2000 years and the Adventist presence has been in India for the last 105 years. Yet, the Christian population is only between 2-4 percent in a total population of about one billion in India. Most of the Christian converts are from the low caste and the tribals. Christians are accused of targeting only Dalits (untouchables) and tribals. Mahatma Gandhi, the father of the nation, advised Christians to direct conversion to those who can understand their message and not to the illiterate and downtrodden.

The Task

The task of this dissertation was to develop a culturally contextual approach to Philosophical Hindus.

The Method

The Method is to use bhakti as a bridge to Philosophical Hindus. The bhakti path to salvation is the most familiar path and is centered in monotheism. The worship is centered in the incarnate god. There is no need of sacrifices or rituals. Bhakti is open to all the castes, irrespective of gender, age, and language. Unlike the other paths, bhakti provides liberation in this life. Bhakti literature and the Hindu scriptures mention Christ and exalt Him. Hence, bhakti is chosen as a bridge to lead Philosophical Hindus from what they know about Christ in their scriptures to the Bible, which tells more fully about Jesus.

Subject Area

Jesus Christ--Hindu interpretations; Hinduism--Relations--Christianity; Christianity and other religions--Hinduism; Bhakti

DOI

https://dx.doi.org/10.32597/dmin/661

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