Darrow Miller and Friends

Jesus Christ: Messiah for All Peoples

At Christmas we celebrate the birth of God’s Messiah, His gift to Israel and to the world.

As a young Christian interested in missions I came across books authored by a Canadian missionary named Don Richardson. Richardson lived among animistic tribal people in Western New Guinea in the nation of Indonesia. During his years of working with indigenous peoples he came to an intriguing conclusion. He believed that hidden in each tribal religion was what he called a “redemptive analogy,” some understanding, language construct, or practice unique to the culture that God had placed as a bridge to illustrate a truth from the gospels or the larger scriptural narrative. These analogies became the starting point to help bring indigenous peoples to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.

The story of Richardson’s journey into this understanding is recorded his 1970s classic, Peace ChildThis book tells the powerful story of how a cultural practice among a stone-age tribe, the Sawi, strongly echoed God’s gift of His only begotten son. When warring villages wanted to make peace, the one sure method was for a couple from one village to voluntarily give up their baby to a couple in another village. Sometimes only such a costly gift–the offering of a peace child from his own deeply grieving parents–could achieve peace.

Another book, Eternity in Their Hearts: Startling Evidence of Belief in the One True God in Hundreds of Cultures Throughout the World (1981) relates the further progress of Richardson’s pilgrimage, i.e. coming to recognize God’s gift of  common grace that allows all people to know something of God’s existence and His divine nature (Psalm 19:1; Romans 1: 19-20).

Richardson’s idea about redemptive analogies and common grace contributed to the material that I have written on The Transforming Story.

As we approach Christmas, it is fitting that we remember that the Messiah, born of the Jews, was a messiah for all peoples.

Enjoy this chapter from Richardson’s book Eternity in Their Hearts.

– Darrow Miller

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Darrow is co-founder of the Disciple Nations Alliance and a featured author and teacher. For over 30 years, Darrow has been a popular conference speaker on topics that include Christianity and culture, apologetics, worldview, poverty, and the dignity of women. From 1981 to 2007 Darrow served with Food for the Hungry International (now FH association), and from 1994 as Vice President. Before joining FH, Darrow spent three years on staff at L’Abri Fellowship in Switzerland where he was discipled by Francis Schaeffer. He also served as a student pastor at Northern Arizona University and two years as a pastor of Sherman Street Fellowship in urban Denver, CO. In addition to earning his Master’s degree in Adult Education from Arizona State University, Darrow pursued graduate studies in philosophy, theology, Christian apologetics, biblical studies, and missions in the United States, Israel, and Switzerland. Darrow has authored numerous studies, articles, Bible studies and books, including Discipling Nations: The Power of Truth to Transform Culture (YWAM Publishing, 1998), Nurturing the Nations: Reclaiming the Dignity of Women for Building Healthy Cultures (InterVarsity Press, 2008), LifeWork: A Biblical Theology for What You Do Every Day (YWAM, 2009), Rethinking Social Justice: Restoring Biblical Compassion (YWAM, 2015), and more. These resources along with links to free e-books, podcasts, online training programs and more can be found at Disciple Nations Alliance (https://disciplenations.org).