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Cross-Cultural Conflict: Building Relationships for Effective Ministry Paperback


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Cross-Cultural Conflict: Building Relationships for Effective Ministry + Cross-Cultural Servanthood: Serving the World in Christlike Humility + Cross-Cultural Connections: Stepping Out and Fitting In Around the World
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: IVP Academic (December 21, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0830816577
  • ISBN-13: 978-0830816576
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.4 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #163,987 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"From his wealth of experience at home and abroad, Duane Elmer has created a wondrous tribute to the human capability of learning to relate to people who are different." (Ted Ward, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School)

"This book should be required reading for any person involved in or entering into cross-cultural ministry. It also has enormous value for anyone interested in building healthy relationships to serve God more effectively, wherever they may be." (Luis Bush, formerly international director, AD 2000 & Beyond Movement)

"Every cross-cultural worker and those who live in cross-cultural communities will find this book informative and helpful in adjusting to another culture." (Bong Rin Ro, Overseas Missionary Fellowship)

"Elmer has addressed the basic problem behind 90% of all my frustrations as a mission executive. I highly recommend the book as required reading. . . . Thank you for this most important contribution to world mission." (James E. Plueddemann, SIM International)

More About the Author

Duane H. Elmer (Ph.D., Michigan State U.) is director of the Ph.D. program in educational studies and is the G. W. Aldeen Chair of International Studies at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois. In addition to traveling and teaching in over 75 countries, he has provided cross-cultural training to Fortune 500 companies, relief and development agencies, mission organizations, churches and educational institutions. He has also conducted peace and reconciliation efforts in several countries. Recently, he led faculty development workshops at over 25 European and Middle Eastern schools on the theme of Teaching for Transformation. He has taught at Durban Bible College (Durban, South Africa), Michigan State University and Wheaton College and Graduate School.

His articles have been published in journals such as Moody Monthly, Evangelical Missions Quarterly, Christian Education Journal, Discernment, and Christianity Today. His books include An Analysis of Hebrews: A Programmed Instruction, Building Relationships, With an Eye on the Future: Church and Development in the Twenty-First Century, Cross-Cultural Conflict and Cross-Cultural Connections.

Customer Reviews

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Elmer does a great job of balancing general advice with practical examples.
Amazon Customer
The content of this book is very useful and I recommend as reading for anyone who is considering working in any cross-cultural situation.
A. Sanchez
I had glanced through a copy belonging to someone else before ordering the book.
E. Roby

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 27, 1999
Format: Paperback
The authors have presented an excelent foundation for understanding cross cultural relationships. Perhaps the best of the book is the duscussion which focuses on patient learning of as much of the other culture as possible to understand non-American responses to situations and events. The authors carefully consider what an American response would be, and also give examples of responses from cultures outside American culture. We are finding the book very useful for both our American missionaries, as well as our African counterparts. Both are coming to new levels understanding one another, as well as working together. Great beginning!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By DJ Chuang on September 23, 1997
Format: Paperback
This is the first book I've read that concisely surveys the differences between what the author called "Two Thirds World" cultures in comparison and contrast with Western (American) culture, and finds some leeway in Scripture for various ways of conflict resolution; the author gives a fair presentation and encourages cross cultural dialogue
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Michael P. Clawson on March 12, 2001
Format: Paperback
I found this to be a well written book that introduced some basic concepts in intercultural communication through personal stories and easy to read discussion of the concepts. Elmer shows us the many contrasts between Western Culture and Two-Thirds World cultures and provides concise suggestions on how to navigate the differences successfully. I especially appreciated a chapter he devoted to a study of an episode from the book of Joshua which illustrated a Biblical model of successful conflict resolution. While this book is not comprehensive in its approach it is informative and easy reading.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on December 5, 2005
Format: Paperback
Elmer does a great job of balancing general advice with practical examples. Many books suffer from general advice that one is hard pressed to apply while other books give lots of specific examples that you cannot apply to your particular situation.

The first section of the book deals with understanding conflict and culture. This deals with the subject in a general way. He looks at five popular western ways of approaching a troublesome situation: win-lose, avoidance, giving in, compromise, and carefronting. He suggests that all are western and need to be modified in other cultures. The second section gets to the heart of the matter and provides information on using mediation and mediators; the one-down position and vulnerability; storytelling and proverbs; and inaction, misdirection, silence, and indefinite persons. A number of cultures are used as examples: African, Middle Eastern, and Asian.

The third and final section provides a series of principles which are in wide use such as speak to the problem, not the person. The conclusion consists of ten general rules and eight principles for dealing with cross-cultural conflict. On the whole, a book well worth reading.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By R. Scott Hayden on April 10, 2005
Format: Paperback
Before I moved to Bangkok, Thailand in 1996 to teach at an International School, friends loaned me their copy of this book. It opened my eyes. A few years later, a professor in my graduate studies required that I read it again. I did so gladly. I cited this book favorably in my thesis and highly recommend it to any Westerner who will work with non-Westerners.

Duane Elmer first helps Americans understand their own typical conflict resolution style. Then he surveys conflict resolution styles of non-Western cultures. More than that, he shows how the Bible upholds each of these styles as viable options for conflict resolution.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Brian Fulthorp on March 3, 2006
Format: Paperback
Duane Elmer's book Cross-Cultural Conflict is an important book intended to "clarify issues in intercultural and interracial conflict, to provide insights on different ways people of various cultures handle conflict, and to evaluate these approaches according to Scripture" (pg. 22). Elmer also seeks to "provide practical guidelines for (1) helping people live harmoniously with our cultural differences, (2) developing a positive strategy for dealing with conflict, and (3) communicating the gospel of Jesus Christ more effectively and ministering the nurturing grace of God (pg. 22).

The first section stresses that learning to live harmoniously with people is an issue of learning to accept cultural differences and remembering the importance of unity as taught in the Bible. It is important to remember that God places a high priority on the importance of relationships and if we fail to reflect God's heart in this area we will risk undermining our ability to effectively communicate the gospel.

The second section of the book offers several strategies for positively dealing with conflict. Elmer's approach is for the missionary to utilize the method of dealing with conflict in the particular cultural setting one is in. It is important to realize the there is no necessarily one right way of handling conflict but rather different ways. The missionary needs to place a higher priority on relationships than winning and learn to use culturally appropriate means of conflict resolution.

The final sections give very practical guidelines in the form of principles for managing conflict. Elmer offers ten general rules for dealing with conflict along with eight principles for dealing with cross-cultural resolution. These steps when used together allow for the effective building of relationships and allows for the possibility of the gospel message to bring healing in various cultures around the world.
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