Glean fresh insight for meaningful interaction with people entrenched in our post-modern culture; those who embrace openness, flexibility and diversity. Author Matthew Raley takes us into the world of a young woman embracing this culture and brings us face-to-face with the questions we must ask in order to reach her. Refreshing and provocative reading!
The Diversity Culture by Matthew Raley is a paradigm changing book about how evangelicals need to address the world. Raley frames the book between two encounters: Jesus and the Samaritan woman at the well and a anti-Christian Buddhist career woman and a Baptist look-a-like with a Chuck Colson book at a neighborhood coffee house. Raley does an excellent job of describing how today's culture has changed remarkably in the last 50 years. It's nearly impossible to stereotype people strictly by their clothing, because Americans take delight in not fitting into neat boxes. Evangelical Christians have for the most part rejected this diversity as frightening and the enemy. The bookshelves at religious stores are heavy with books about how to answer questions from non-believers and defend against verbal attacks, but Raley turns the concept upside down by carefully breaking down the conversation between Jesus and the woman at the well. She came from a culture that was opposed to the Jews and had a history that made her bitter and angry at most religion. Jesus didn't reject or accept her views, but created a relationship with her that allowed him to confront her on a much deeper level. Both Christians and atheists/agnostics have become bunkered down in a fear mentality of us vs them. Raley gives essential keys to breaking through the walls that divide us without ever surrendering our faith.
Matthew Raley has penned a brief, though provoking, volume. In it he explores a Christ-centered model Christians can use to interact with the growing numbers of postmodernists at large in our culture. Integrating examples from modern media that exemplify the thought processes of the diversity culture, examples from Jesus life as related to us in scripture as he reached out to the Samaritan woman at the well, and a fictional interaction between a woman who represents the collective concerns of modern un-believers and a Christian seeking to move into relational conversation with this woman, Raley explores his premise at a brisk pace.Raleys lively writing brings the cultural backdrop of New Testament times into sharp focus and brings the scriptural narrative of Jesus encounters with unbelievers into sharp focus. Diving for pearls he seeks out principles for relational communication and the techniques that Jesus used to pierce the hardened hearts of his listeners. Of course, Jesus had a distinct advantage that we do not He is God and knew just what to say but as always we can learn from Him in all that He does. In his segments exploring hot topics for folks hailing from the diversity culture, Raley delves into a variety of topics that typically and invariably make evangelicals either tremble or rage: transgendered toddlers, same-sex marriage, and so on, encouraging believers to offer real help and guidance from scripture rather than drawing battle lines.With post-modernity sweeping across all of Western culture and Christians finding themselves increasingly alone in their worldview, this title is incredibly timely and relevant for believers.I greatly enjoyed The Diversity Culture and fairly blew through it. Im keeping it up on my shelf for another read through.