Intercultural Competence : Cultural Intelligence, Pastoral Leadership and the Chinese Church

 

Michael Chu

Vice President
Assistant Professor (Practical Studies)

Macquarie Park, NSW: Morling Press, 2019.

 

“Extensive research, coupled with years of experience in applying the gospel of reconciliation to the complexities of cross-cultural and cross-generational ministry, makes Intercultural Competence a rich and valuable contribution to all engaged in God’s ongoing mission, ‘Salvation to the ends of the earth’. Michael presents deep insights applicable to a much broader ministry context, whether pastoral ministry or theological and ministry training, equipping workers for a world in which the need for gospel-shaped cultural intelligence is hopefully becoming increasingly obvious. Having benefitted greatly through serving as Michael’s ‘fellow-worker’ in pastoral ministry, and being lifelong ‘cross-cultural’ brothers and friends, it gives me great pleasure to recommend this work to all who are passionate for gospel growth and the greater praise of God’s glory in and through his church.”

John Dickson

Co-Chairman of Pioneers International Foundation, Thailand

 

“Within this study, one finds a rigorous examination of the crosscultural competence of intergenerational leaders of the Chinese churches in Sydney. Beyond being a detailed empirical study that leads to concrete recommendations for pastors, churches, theological colleges and mission agencies, this study also provides an illuminating history of Chinese immigrants and their churches, a helpful introduction to the relevance of Cultural Intelligence in the study of intergenerational group dynamics, a theological reflection on the value of multicultural ministries, a pastoral analysis on the role of personal relationships within ministerial settings and a testimonial that gives voice to an immigrant community that has played an important part in the history and culture of modern Australian society. Privileging neither the first nor the second/third-generation leaders, Dr Chu’s work provides a framework within which a fruitful dialogue between the two groups is made possible. As such, it should find itself in the hands of both practitioners and theoreticians involved in this area of ministry and research.”

David W. Pao

Professor of New Testament and Chair of the New Testament Department, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, USA

 

Bonds and Boundaries among the Early Churches: Community Maintenance in the Letter of James and the Didache

 

Chun-Ling Yu

Assistant Professor (Biblical Studies)
Director of Theological Education by Extension
Brepols Publishers n. v., Turnhout, Belgium, 2018.

 

“The growth and spread of early Christianity depended on the survival of small fledgling communities of followers of Jesus. This volume focuses on two such nascent communities – those addressed in the Epistle of James and in the early writing known as the Didache. It seeks to explore the group maintenance strategies adopted by the authors of these two documents, which were employed to preserve these communities in the face of tensions and possible divisions in the groups.

In this innovative study Chun Ling Yu breaks fresh ground in the application of recent insights from the social sciences as a means of probing the rhetorical strategies for group maintenance in both the Epistle of James and the Didache. The survival, the sustaining and the spread of the early Jesus movement and its development into a more unified and far-reaching religious phenomenon was due to a number of factors. Here one of the key factors is elucidated with deep insight. Individual groups of Jesus followers continued in their adherence to small communities because of a strong sense of group identity, the sense that they were different from those outside the group, through regular and meaningful ritual practices, by making the group an attractive entity often through the mechanism of fictive kinship, and by authority claims that linked the groups’ teachings with the foundational figure of Jesus. In this study, Yu offers new ways of conceptualising group maintenance strategies, and thus he offers a new framework for understanding the spread and growth of early Christianity from a network of liminal groups to that of an Empire-wide movement with strong identity claims that was able to withstand external pressures. These deep and wide-ranging insights will be applied with profit to many other early Christian writings.”

Paul Foster

Professor in New Testament Language, Literature & Theology, University of Edinburgh

 

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