Dr. Larry Dinkins (recently installed as the the Chairman of the Board of the Chiang Mai Theological Seminary) has written a number inspiring and helpful articles relating to Bible story telling in Thailand over of the past nearly 20 years. In an attempt to make Larry’s writings available to a wider audience, we’re trying to catalog Larry’s articles and blog posts here on the Chiang Mai Orality Network web site. What follows is the quick introduction to the latest entries in that catalog. The current version of the full catalog can be found here.
1. Orality Praxis in Discipleship and Church Planting
Dr. Larry Dinkins published an article entitled “Orality Praxis in Discipleship and Church Planting” in the January, 2016 issue of OMF Mission Round Table magazine.
The article starts out : In 1993, after a dozen years of church planting and seminary teaching in Thailand, OMF leadership encouraged me to pursue a doctorate in inter-cultural education in order to advance my skills and give more credibility to the seminary program. The academic challenge was stimulating, yet my main desire was to use this opportunity to gain answers to recurring questions I had about the slow growth of the church. After 175 years of missionary presence in the country, Christians still made up less than 1% of the population. Seven years and more than 200 pages later I turned in my dissertation. I had hoped that my goal of adapting a Western teaching tool to the Thai context would be confirmed and adopted by the Thai. That dream never materialized. Even so, I gained a major insight into the learning style of my target people group — at their core the Thai were preferred oral learners.
The entire January, 2016 issue of OMF Mission Round Table which contains the full text of Larry’s article can be downloaded here.
2. Towards Contextualized Creeds: A Perspective from Buddhist Thailand
This article was published as guest post for Karl Dahlfred’s Blog on May 2, 2014. The original article was written for the January – March, 2010 issue IJFM – International Journal of Frontier Missions
Larry’s article starts off : One of the first things our supervisor instructed us to do as church planters in Central Thailand was to glue a card with the Apostles’ Creed into the cover of every hymnal. Every Sunday we would have our small congregation of mainly leprosy believers memorize the creed and recite it in unison. Our congregation had no real appreciation of the historic development and impact of this creed, but as preferred oral learners in a group culture, they enjoyed saying the creed out loud together and in the process gained a major dose of scriptural truth. Ancient statements of faith, like the Apostles’ Creed, have been translated and used for centuries in a variety of cultures. Much ink has been spilt analyzing the contribution and content of the historic creeds, but less has been said about how to contextualize them for non-western contexts. To contextualize a creed, one must be aware of the nature of creeds historically as well as the benefits and potential pitfalls inherent in the development process.
A .pdf file of the entire article can be downloaded here.
3. Simply the Story (เล่าเรื่องเจาะใจ) at the Bangkok Bible Seminary
Video Posted on Feb 6, 2013 – Dr. Larry Dinkins gives in Thai an introduction to Simply the Story (เล่าเรื่องเจาะใจ) at the Bangkok Bible Seminary.
You can watch the full video by following this link.
4. Voting for a Sermon
This an guest post that Dr. Larry Dinkins wrote the January 28, 2013 issue for Karl Dahlfred’s Blog,
The guest post starts with : I tried an experiment in a Thai church I was asked to preach at recently. As a Dallas Theological Seminary graduate I always try to prepare my expositional messages well ahead of time and end up spending many hours in preparation. Yet I departed from my usual regimen on this occasion and found myself standing in the pulpit on this particular Sunday saying something I had never said in 40 years of preaching, “Congregation, I have to be honest and tell you that I’m not sure what I’ll be preaching on today.”
Read the rest of the story here.
5. Four Encounters – Four Stories
A guest post that Dr. Larry Dinkins wrote for August 23, 2012 issue of Karl Dahlfred’s Blog
The article starts with : Before I came to Thailand I had been trained in a number of evangelistic approaches such as 4 Laws, EE, Romans Road, etc. I added to my repertoire methods that missionaries had devised, most of them tract or poster based. Most of them were rather “canned” and what I noticed was the Thai immediately equated my presentation with selling a religious “product” and invariably responded with, “All religions are the same, they teach you to be a good person.”
The rest of the story can be found here .
6. The Power of Oral Bible Story Telling
A guest post that Dr. Larry Dinkins wrote for March 23, 2012 issue of Karl Dahlfred’s Blog
The guest post starts off : On Saturday I reconnected with a former student of mine who has been a pastor for over 10 years. I shared with him what I had been learning about oral communication among Thai and tribals. He readily admitted that he did not know how to preach a narrative type sermon from the pulpit. I immediately reminded him of the times I’ve seen him sharing a story from a popular poster set that we use here in Thailand. In such settings I’ve seen him break into the northern dialect and banter in a winsome and natural way with seekers and others (and without notes). My plea was to focus more on the stories of the Bible and try to capture more of that natural ethos in his communication. My friend didn’t seem that convinced, yet was as always very polite and deferring to his “older” mentor.
The rest of the story can be found here.
7. The Surprising Power of Bible Narrative with Thai & Tribals
A guest post that Dr. Larry Dinkins wrote for February 29, 2012 issue of Karl Dahlfred’s Blog
The first part of the guest post reads as follows : I have just finished four orality (Simply the Story) workshops in the Thai language in Khon Kaen, Bangkok, and with Thai/tribals in the Chiang Mai area. This is the fourth year that we have done such training with the Thai and these patterns continue to emerge:
Thai at their core are oral learners and although education is widespread, the majority after school do not use what they have learned and often end up semi-literate or even functionally non-literate. It may be true that most all who come to Christ have been influenced at some point by printed material or tracts, but it is the relational dimension of hearing personal testimonies/witnessing that influences them the most.
The rest of the story can be found here.
8. Preaching for Life Change
A guest post that Dr. Larry Dinkins wrote for August 8, 2011 issue of Karl Dahlfred’s Blog
The article starts off : At the U.S. Center for World Missions a group of us mission trainers were asked to brain storm concerning our understanding of an “ideal” cross-cultural church planter. They encouraged us to go ahead and dream, so we listed most all of the skills, character traits and qualities that would make for a successful church planter. Only when this target was clearly defined did we take on the task of designing a training program to ensure our desired result. Recently I’ve been reflecting on how this same process can be applied to preaching.
The rest of the story can be found here.
9. Book Review: “From Buddha to Jesus” by Steve Cioccolanti
A guest post that Dr. Larry Dinkins wrote for October 20, 2009 issue of Karl Dahlfred’s Blog
The guest post starts off : You wouldn’t expect a pastor of an International Church in Melbourne, Australia with a name like “Cioccolanti” (Italian for “chocolate”) to claim an inside track to the mind and worldview of Buddhists. However, his claim to an insider’s view of Buddhism is substantiated by his Thai upbringing and exposure to a very religiously diverse extended family. Besides his Thai Buddhist roots, Steve has added to that a broad education in America and Europe which allows him to address Buddhist issues from both an oriental and occidental viewpoint.
The rest of the book review can be found here.
10. If I Had It To Do All Over Again
Written by Larry Dinkins on July, 15, 2009 and later prefaced with an introduction by Karl Dhalfred
Karl starts off the post writing : As a young missionary, I (Karl) like talking to veteran missionaries to get their perspective on things. At our recent OMF Thailand annual conference, our guest speaker Larry Dinkins spoke on cross cultural evangelism and overcoming barriers in communicating the Gospel to Buddhists. Larry & his wife Paula came to Thailand as new missionaries in 1981 where they did church planting and theological education until 2002 when they needed to go back to the U.S. for Paula to receive treatment for cancer in her bone marrow. The treatment for Paula’s cancer has been successful and she is in remission. As a result Larry and Paula have been acting as mobilizers and recruiters for OMF in Southern California as well as the Midwest. They are involved in Thai churches in the U.S. and have made numerous trips back to Thailand as well.
Larry’s post starts off as follows : Soon we will celebrate 30 years of ministry to Thai people with OMF. I was asked what I might have done differently if I knew what I knew today and as I reflected, I came up with the following items. Looking back, all of our mission experience has been by God’s grace and it has been a tremendous privilege to serve Him.
Follow this link to read the entire blog post.
11. Walk-Thru the Bible: A Cross-cultural Tool? – Dr. Larry Dinkins
Dr. Larry Dinkins wrote this article for October, 2000 issue of the Evangelical Missions Quarterly. The article gives a brief history of the Walk Thru the Bible method followed by a detailed description of the method and it’s applicability to modern missions in Thailand.
Larry’s full article can be found here.