The author approaches the subject with biasedness, in that only the Bible is used to make reference. As the title suggest, it is aimed at ministries, which are mainly associated with Christianity. Therefore, it is more biased towards Christianity as opposed to other religions, and the conclusions reached are more leaned towards Christian ministering. The author uses Muslim examples as a demonstration, but the book is written from a Christian ministering perspective.
The contributions of the book, are that it helps in understanding the effects of acculturation to communication or how a person relates to others. The author also attempts to show how one becomes acculturate; which most of the time occurs in childhood. A person should read the book by Lingenfelter et.al so as to be able them to accommodate others, properly communicate or relate with other people. Such accommodative behavior reduces conflicts and promotes effective communication. The authors adequately support the thesis using different examples, stories, and excerpts from scripture reading. The book is relevant to contemporary culture regarding conflict resolution and understanding other peoples culture so as to avoid conflict.
The central thesis of the book asserts that the Bible speaks to all populations of all cultures and Jesus is the only true example of interpersonal relationships. The argument is flawed because the people of other religious beliefs would assert that their Jesus. Like Buddha in the case of Indians and Mohammed in the case of Muslims is an example of a true example of interpersonal relationships. Therefore the thesis would not be flawed if the author replaced Jesus being the only example, with him being one example of a faithful example. Therefore, the using Jesus as the only example cannot be proven.
In conclusion, the book seems to be limited to the application in the ministry context; this book is essential in resolving conflicts for pastors, laypersons or missionaries when they experience conflict when they encounter people from different backgrounds. The book majorly targets individuals engaging in cross-cultural ministries. Cross- cultural ministries are interpreted as those which a person interacts with and is different from ones own learning values and lifestyle. However, this book can be beneficial on a general outlook, because anyone can apply the principles put forth in any situation.
Christianity Confronts Culture: A Strategy for Crosscultural Evangelism by Marvin K mayers is similar to this book as it also talks about cross- cultural conversion and paradigm shift. This book, however, involves change through experiences and practicals. On the other hand, Transforming Culture, a Christian Mission, by Lingenfelter Sherwood, talks about cultural transformation and conflict resolution. However, it gives a general perspective as opposed to the literature.
Lingenfelter, Sherwood G., and Marvin K. Mayers. Ministering cross-culturally: Anincarnational model for personal relationships. Baker Academic, 2003.
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