Millard Erickson, in his Christian Theology, speaks of two different approaches to contemporizing the message of Christianity. One is to translate the message, and the other is to transform it.
Translators try to keep the integrity of the biblical message intact but seek to translate it as far as possible to the target audience, separated from the Bible not only by distance and language but also by centuries of cultural change.
Transformers, on the other hand, believe that the message itself must be changed to be applicable to the culture at hand. They believe that the message was so melded to the ancient culture in which it was given, that to merely translate it is to distort it. They believe the message must be “re-imagined,” re-invented, and essentially re-written. This applies to worship, the roles of men and women, evangelism—indeed, the entire Christian faith.
Of course, Christians who obey 2 Timothy 2:2 are translators. To receive the message, faithfully…