Monday, May 15, 2017

Book Review: Cultural Intelligence 1

1. I'm trying to skim/read David Livermore's book on Cultural Intelligence this week in preparation for my Sunday post. Today is the first two chapters.

Chapter 1: Twenty-First Century CQ
2. "CQ" stands for "cultural intelligence." I thought this quote about short term missions was worth reproducing:
  • "The questionable motivation behind many trips, the paternalistic interactions that often occur, and the increasing amounts of money spent are reasons for concern. Many studies raise questions about whether anything positive results from these trips for the local communities that receive the missionaries. Many receiving communities view short-term missions groups as primarily being a way to enlist needed funds" (26).
Chapter 2: First Century CQ: God Speaks "Jesus"
3. Here are some key points from this chapter:
  • "There is no one right way for the gospel to be expressed" (33).
  • "At the same time, clearly not all expressions of the gospel are equally valid" (33).
Livermore sets up an axis between word and deed, on the one hand, and the kingdom and culture, on the other.

An incarnational ministry should thus balance proclamation and presence. The kingdom is of course where God is taking history in the end, a destination that is always in a tension between "now" and "not yet." Culture meanwhile has both elements that can be assimilated and others that need to be rejected.

4. He looks at how Jesus engaged temple, land, Torah, and Jewish ethnicity. What was the tension between his embracing and protesting?

[Ken: The dangers here (from a scholarly perspective) are that we are not getting straight Jesus in the Gospels and a lot of our apprehensions even then are heavily caked with modern church history filters. Reading the Gospels in context is a cross-cultural experience in itself. Doing serious historical Jesus research is also a skill beyond the training of most pastors and even ministry professors.

We never see the kingdom as it is. Our sense of the underlying principles in Scripture and our sense of the trajectory of the kingdom are always colored by where we sit. The goal is worth steering by, but we should not think that the "principles" we identify in Scripture are God's unfiltered thoughts. They are still our thoughts.]

5. The balance between telling and showing is always hard to achieve. We tend to side toward the one or the other not only as individuals but as church traditions.

No comments: