« india photos | Main | india talkie 4: kerygma coffee house bangalore »



Jonny have you come across the Mar Thoma yet? It's the version of Christian faith that has been in India for nearly 2,000 years -if the founding story is true. Might be interesting to do some compare and contrast...

Existential Punk

Western missionaries going into foreign lands and imposing western Christianity is akin to Imperialism. It's so wrong.


"Is akin to imperialism"? --- more like part and parcel of imperialism.

I keep wondering why we would be/still are engaged in proselytising and conversion rather than interfaith dialogue.

Steve Kirkeby

I was in India about 3 years ago to teach at a college our church supports. It is run by nationals and has a large variety of students from about every state in India. Some of my observations were as follows.

The people in general still have a very large interest in anything western. They have a desire to learn all the latest worship songs that we in the states are singing and for the most part have adopted a western style in the way they conduct their services and even go so far to have seperate English and native language services.

They do not have anything against doing worship in their own style and traditions but for the most part it is a lot more complicated than the traditional western style.

When we challenged them to think about how they could bring the gospel in their native language and traditions, they were very open to that way of thinking and have started preparing more worship and ministry efforts that way. I guess you could say they are making the gospel revelant to the ones they are serving.

I believe that we must be willing to think outside our traditions and experience and be led by the Holy Spirit in areas of ministry. When I read the New Testament it is just filled with new and creative ideas that expanded the gospel.

Fernando Gros

i haven't encountered anything like alt worship in delhi (though for sure in a city this big my slice of experience is tiny). it would be cool for someone to be doing banghra-pop influced worship music and visuals, but the means for that would only be available to the few and wealthy. what I have seen a LOT of is church musicans trying to emulate either the hillsong style or the hosanna/integrity style of worship (right down to harmonies, mic technique and dress sense). i remember speaking to a worship pastor who was sating that if only his church could afford an overhead projector they could get to the 'next level of worship.'

if someone wanted to go in search of a "creative underground" my guess would be that it lurks in the rock and hard rock scene that is growing amongst college and university students.


cool to see your musings ... on india.. I live in india and work with media and reaching indeginous people groups through media. I am very interested in the alternative worships and the creative worships..and have visited your site regularly.. its true about what the guy said about western music.. but i also think its time to contextualize worships for this is the heart beat of the people! i also believe in fusion music as its a higher level of developed music that can even become global.


Phillip Tovey has wriiten an interesting book called "Inculturation of Christian Worship, exploring the Eucharist" which although it's focus is on the African Churches sets a Global context... from the back cover; "Looking at the relationship of worship and culture requires insights from both theology and anthropology; Tovey develops the tools to interconnect perspectives into an interdisciplinary exploration of different models of inculturation".. it isn't a "trendy/emergent/po-mo" type of book, Phillip is a Training Officer in the Oxford Diocese, but is quite academic and references ectremely widely.


interesting stuff... check out christianity rediscovered by vincent donovan... he had a similar experience with the maasai people in tanzania...also love to martin m who i think is also on your team!


Sounds like you're having some great conversations and meeting interesting people through the conference, cells, workshops etc. Look forward to hearing more next week! Hope the rest of your time goes well in Kerala. Greetings to the rest of the team!


For some great Indian Christian worship tunes- check out my good friends Aradhna, who are doing traditional indian music styles with christian worship lyrics in local languages. Very cool music! You can download full tracks from their website. They will be at Greenbelt this year if you want to check them out...

Timothy Wright

Of course Christianity is a foreign religion. It comes from the Heart of God, not UK, USA, France, etc...



I am an Indian hindu, have been educated in christian missionary schools, familiarised with christain ideals and christ has been presented as the saviour lord to me.
I beleive in the good will of christ and his life and accept him and the message of his life as divine.I have many other ideals in my relegion which has a 5000 years atleast of history in this land and has seen many saints and messengers. My relegion could not be defined untill the monotheistic relegions arrived in this civilisation.
Now some one there would be sure interested in telling me why should I acccept in one god only when we have experienced that faith and beleifs have always evovled for good . Why cant we just include his ideas in our own set of beliefs and be in the process of evolution.
If you agree that there is no relevance for such an action , then why should we have conversion by social coercion, why should there be projects,, missions towards prolytesing the monothestic relegion.
Why should a secular government allow such activities in india.
Why cant the christians just convicne me and people like me through word of mouth and action.
Why does it have to in numbers , when we know that numbers are nothing but means to political end,especially in a monothestic society.
Especially,in a country like india where christians dominate education, press and other fields of importance, why should there be a strive to increase the numbers.
Cant the christians be a powerful minority, like the jews in america, contributing to the indian society.

Mathews George

Hey Johny,
I am a Mar Thomite and our church has existed since AD 52 from the timje St. Thomas came down to Kerala! that's hundreds of years even before England even heard about Jesus... Christianity is thriving though it is a minority religion here in India. In fact, Mizoram, a north eatern state is nearly 10% Christian

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)


  • jonny profile pic

    i have been blogging for twenty years in fairly eclectic fashion. i am an advocate for pioneers, lover of all things creative, an explorer of faith in relation to contemporary culture, a photographer and writer. explore the presences section below to find me in other spaces

    about me | profile


  • instagram facebook twitter flickr vimeo links e-mail me


  • pioneer practice

    the latest book is a full colour coffee table type book which is the first published by new venture GETsidetracked - pioneer practice

    jonny baker book covers

    follow this link to other books, chapters, articles and music i have published.

worship tricks

  • series 1series 2series 3series 4


  • typepad monthly archivesmy first blog