Christena Cleveland Disunity in Christ

ISBN 13: 9780830844036

Disunity in Christ

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9780830844036: Disunity in Christ
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  • Winner of a 2013 Leadership Journal Book Award ("Our Very Short List" in "The Leader's Outer Life" category)
  • 2014 Readers' Choice Awards Honorable Mention
Despite Jesus' prayer that all Christians "be one," divisions have been epidemic in the body of Christ from the beginning to the present. We cluster in theological groups, gender groups, age groups, ethnic groups, educational and economic groups. We criticize freely those who disagree with us, don't look like us, don't act like us and don't even like what we like. Though we may think we know why this happens, Christena Cleveland says we probably don't. In this eye-opening book, learn the hidden reasons behind conflict and divisions. Learn:
  • Why I think all my friends are unique but those in other groups are all the same
  • Why little differences often become big sources of conflict
  • Why categorizing others is often automatic and helpful but can also have sinister side effects
  • Why we are so often victims of groupthink and how we can avoid it
  • Why women think men are judging them more negatively than men actually are, and vice versa
  • Why choices of language can actually affect unity
With a personal touch and the trained eye of a social psychologist, Cleveland brings to bear the latest studies and research on the unseen dynamics at work that tend to separate us from others. Learn why Christians who have a heart for unity have such a hard time actually uniting. The author provides real insight for ministry leaders who have attempted to build bridges across boundaries. Here are the tools we need to understand how we can overcome the hidden forces that divide us.

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Review:

"Cleveland tackles a thorny topic by sharing pieces of her own story. She is appropriately vulnerable and honest about the ways she has sought to grow in her view of other Christians with whom she disagrees. This is a great resource for the pastor or lay leader serious about bridge building in a Christian culture that can sometimes be obsessed with fortifying boundaries and walls."--Andrew E. Stoddard, Leadership Journal, Winter 2014

"Christena Cleveland provides valuable insight into the causes and perpetuation of factors within the body of Jesus Christ that hinder true unity. She examines how obstacles such as race, national origin and personal prejudices can only be overcome when believers are willing to break outside the boundaries of their small cultural/group identities and embrace the larger common identity. Worship leaders will be challenged to encourage worship that merges a diverse congregation into a unified body praising God."--Jeff Friend, Worship Leader Magazine, May/June 2014

"With a personal touch and the trained eye of a social psychologist, Cleveland brings to bear the latest studies and research on the unseen dynamics at work that tend to separate us from others. Learn why Christians who have a heart for unity have such a hard time actually uniting. The author provides real insight for ministry leaders who have attempted to build bridges across boundaries."--Light Magazine, Canada, November 2013

"A well-researched and readable book on the issue of disunity that all of us pastors face but are able to do little about once the wheels are set in motion. Helped to remind me of the importance of dealing with potential problems before they blossom into something more sinister."--Dave McDowell, "The 2014 Leadership Book Awards," Leadership Journal, Winter 2014

"Amidst American culture, in which deep divides over race and sexuality have been driving public conversation in recent years, it is a great work of peacemaking to have a book like this that reflects on why our differences lead to conflict and divisions, and how we can begin to work toward healing."--C. Christopher Smith, Englewood Review of Books, Ordinary Time 2013

"An ideal tool for ministry leaders, this book answers such questions as why choices in language can affect unity, how we can avoid thinking as a group, and why women think men perceive them negatively."--CBA Retailers + Resources, December 2013

"What I love about Christena's work is that it is consistently thoughtful, gracious, and PRACTICAL. Few writers are able to instruct without condescending, question without growing cynical, and challenge without hurting. I am so grateful for Christena's wise perspective."--Rachel Held Evans, July 23, 2013, www.rachelheldevans.com/blog

"This book is a helpful tool for reflection over what are really our blind spots which become great tragedies leading to numerous divisions amongst Christians. This is not a theological tome on Christian unity--rather a Christian psychologist's analysis and resource to help deal with a common problem."--Haddington House Journal, 2016

About the Author:

Christena Cleveland (Ph.D., University of California, Santa Barbara) is a social psychologist who teaches at St. Catherine University. She is an award-winning researcher and gifted teacher who brings organizational experience to her efforts to build unity. She consults with pastors and organizational leaders on multicultural issues and speaks regularly at organizations, churches, conferences, universities and schools.

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