The Monkey and the Fish

By Dave Gibbons

(My personal though about the book)

The monkey and the fish by Dave Gibbons

    The preface of the book starts with a story of a monkey who is just trying to help a struggling fish. The intention was good but due to ignorance, his action resulted to a tragedy. We as Christians must have the passion and desire to share the gospel to this perishing world. BUT we all have to be careful with our actions. We must take our actions with wisdom. In the first chapter of the book The Monkey and the Fish there are two things retained in my mind. The word Globalism and Third Culture.
    Globalism applies to the shifts occurring to a lot of things is the world today because of intense interdependency that countries, cultures and people are experiencing with one another. Globalism does not just occur in fashion, media and life style. Even the Church is not exempted to it. Sadly the Church is slow to embrace this change and to adapt to ethnic, sociological, and cultural shifts. Globalism truly is what historians call a disruptive force, because it's making for a very deferent, new world: Culturally economically, socially, technologically, commercially and politically (page 35). I myself believe that globalization has both it's pro's and con's. If not because of globalization we will not be expose to the technology that we are enjoying now a days. Recently I saw an article on saying that the Philippines' economy is doing good. The author says that experts are seeing the Philippines to be one of the Asian countries that will have a strong and stable economy fifteen o twenty years from now. And the reason behind it? It's connected to globalization. This includes the products that we export and the growing BPO industry that brings more job in our country. These are just some benefits of globalization. In the church we use power point presentations, and different instrument during worship services while some just uses single instrument. In Bible studies we use English manual or workbooks. This are just some of effect or should I say influence of globalization in the Church. But on the other side it has it's disadvantages. Traditions are being disregarded. The use of "po" and "Opo" were forgotten by some. The gesture of pagmamano sometimes is being disregarded. It goes the same thing inside the Church it has it advantages and disadvantages. As globalism widens it's scope and territory the more that we should become resilient and flexible with change.. We need creative forms, methods, and practices for sharing the truth we love and believe in that will work in the new world and with new generation. We need fresh counterintuitive ways of leading - in practice and in philosophy (page 36). Strategies in sharing the gospel in the past "may not be that effective" as before if we will use it in todays generation.
    The second term that caught my attention is Third culture. It is a term used by sociologist and by foreign-service workers whose children are immersed in foreign culture because of their parents' works base of this book . This also refer to someone's ability to adapt. In the Church this could refer to our ability to adapt globalism. We have to be a third culture Church. Third culture is the mindset and will to love, learn and serve in any culture, even in the midst of pain and discomfort (Page 38). Third culture is not only about geography or skin color or language. For third-culture people, home is wherever Jesus is. Third culture enhances a culture's uniqueness while at the same time celebrating the synergy of its fusion with other culture(page 39). Third culture is about adaptation, the both/and, not the either/or(page 40). The Church is called to be a third-culture community. Third culture is about two purposes of life for every Christ followers : loving God and Loving your neighbor(page 44). Third culture is not just a strategy but the way we live our lives.
The author is trying to say that we should be open. Open for change., open for different types of people. In short we should be open minded. We should not put our minds and our ideas inside a box. We should learn how to accept people's beliefs, culture, experiences and their thought about things. It is more effective and easier to share the gospel to other people if a good relationship has been built. It is easier to share the good new if they know that "you've been there than that" and if you yourself have experience it. Most of the time there belief and traditions are different from what we have. Don't slap them with condemnation right away. Give them time to think, process what you are trying to relate to them and take one step at a time. As the lyrics of a song says "break it to me gently you don't have to say a lie". An example to this is when we share the gospel to someone and we need to let him/her know that he/she will perish if he will not accept Jesus. Perishing in hell doesn't sound that good but we have to deliver it for it is the truth. We have to share the gospel and we have to make it "a good news". That's the real meaning and thought of the gospel in he first place. It is a good new that Jesus came on earth, died on the cross, buried. After three days He rose again and He promised that He will return. We have to find a way, a unique way to share the good news in a way that he will accept it not just because of fear but because he understand what does really the gospel is. We have to find a common ground that we can use to connect with him/her and make him/her that we understand. The more adaptive we are to the holy spirit and to diverse people groups and settings, the more we reflect who Jesus is and impact this new flat world (page 48).


This review is just base on the first chapter of this book. By this time I haven’t finish the book yet. I just read it for the sake of my requires in school. But I would love to encourage everyone to have a copy of this book and you will learn a lot. I’m looking forward to finish reading this book as well.

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