"Shrewd is almost flawless. Rick Lawrence explores Jesus' mysterious command to be 'as wise as a serpent, as innocent as a dove' from every angle. You're hooked into a mesmerizing journey, following the 'Sensei of Shrewd.'"
--Leonard Sweet, best-selling author, professor at Drew University, and chief contributor to Sermons.com
"This book is flat-out brilliant! Ten pages in and my friends and I were already asking ourselves in meetings, 'How can we be shrewd in this situation?' I loved this book!"--Jon Acuff, Wall Street Journal bestselling author of Quitter and Stuff Christians Like
"Most of my life, I've felt guilty about dealing shrewdly with the world--particularly in the ultra-complex Middle East where I serve. This book has not only given me permission to be shrewd but has provided the biblical framework for it."--Carl Medearis, author of Speaking of Jesus and Muslims, Christians and Jesus
"Rick has an astonishing way of taking the truth of Christ's teachings and translating them, simply, into the practice of daily living. He has taken a verse on which I have always stood and given it life and application to even my routine activities."
-Teresa Weesner, Director of Development for The Providence Network
"It has been some time since a book has changed how I think in everyday ministry situations. Shrewd
has done just that. Shrewd
gets better with each turn of the page--a rare feat--and it
will be on the reading list for my leadership classes."
, Ph.D., Chair, Department of Religion and Philosophy, Bethel College-Indiana
From the Author
Shrewdness is a weapons-grade relational tactic--a way of thinking and acting--that Jesus long ago urged His followers to use in their uprising against the powers and 'spiritual forces of wickedness' of this world. Shrewd people (and Jesus is the Exemplar) first study how things work, and then leverage that knowledge to tip the balance in a favored direction. Shrewdness is the expert application of the right force at the right time in the right place. Most Christians have a negative reaction to the word "shrewd," but Jesus not only exemplified this way of relating to others in His redemptive mission on earth, He gave us a mandate to grow much, much more adept in our practice of it. The point of His "Parable of the Shrewd Manager" (Luke 16:1-8) is specifically to highlight the behavior of a lazy, lying, good-for-nothing servant who has no qualities we'd want to emulate except for one: his shrewd way of saving himself from the consequences of his terrible behavior. Jesus highlights this anti-role-model for one purpose: "The people of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own kind than are the people of the light." Later, in preparation for sending out His disciples on their first ministry journey without Him, He tells them to take nothing with them (no clothing, money, or "insurance" of any kind)--instead, He tells them they need just two things: 1. Be as shrewd as a serpent, and 2. Be as innocent as a dove. The word He uses here for "serpent" is the same one He uses for Satan. And the word He uses here for "dove" is the same the Bible uses to describe the Holy Spirit. He's telling His disciples to be as shrewd as Satan is, but as innocent as the Holy Spirit is. Shrewdness, then, is a way of living and relating that Jesus first modeled for us, then commanded us to do likewise.