Monday, December 22, 2008

Every Tribe and Tongue

A new ministry is building an online community to expedite Jesus' goal of making disciples from every tribe and tongue.

Using open-source wiki technology and an army of volunteer translators, Gospel Translations is looking to provide online access to Gospel-focused books and articles in a variety of languages.

Wiki is a code framework used for collaborative Web sites like Wikipedia, the popular online encyclopedia where registered users can contribute and edit articles.

Gospel Translations builds its English library by partnering with ministries that allow the use of their copyrighted content (See list here). Then, volunteer translators convert the resources into other languages on the site.

The goal is to quickly and efficiently provide a knowledge base for Christian leaders in parts of the world where there is a dearth of suitable theological materials or where traditional print distribution hasn't kept up with the demands of the rapidly growing church.

The leaders of the effort say the Christian center of the world is shifting away from its traditional seat in the West as the evangelical populations of Africa, Asia and Latin America multiply exponentially.

In some of these areas, the Bible is the only Christian literature available. In places like China, many resources are published, but they're regulated by complex rules.

The emotional fervor of Christianity can spread like wildfire, but if a spiritual movement is not based on true discipleship, it's ultimately an exercise in fanaticism. Yes, God's Word has everything we need for the process of discipleship, but a broader base of knowledge provides protection against heresy and a check against the temptation to interpret difficult passages based on presupposition rather than truth.

The one spiritual commodity the West has available for export is biblical knowledge. What would my spiritual intellect be without the insight of C.S. Lewis' Mere Christianity? How would I have started to understand the supremacy of God in day-to-day life without John Piper's Don't Waste Your Life? If not for Donald Miller's Searching for God Knows What, who would have colorfully explained the mystery and wonder of finding identity in the person of Jesus?

Resources like these need to escape the stuffy libraries of ungrateful and complacent hoarders like me. This new platform gives them a chance - through telephone lines, underground wires and fiber optic cables - to really spread their wings.

Projects have already begun in Arabic, Russian, Bahasa Indonesian and other languages, including an entire portal in Spanish. See the complete list of languages on the homepage.

Click here to become a translator.

Watch Gospel Translation's intro video below. It is an initiative of OpenSource Mission:

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