Orville Jenkins Articles Menu
Orville Jenkins Home
Orville Jenkins Book Reviews Menu


The Ministry of Presence
Dr. Orville Boyd Jenkins
A review of the book by Dellanna W. O'Brien
Beyond Belief! (Birmingham, Alabama:  Woman's Missionary Union, 2000.  133p.)

See all my reviews on Amazon.com
See menu of all book reviews on this site

I have known Dellanna O'Brien since 1971.  I first met her when she and her husband Bill were in the United States for a period after some years of creative cross-cultural work in Bali, in Indonesia.  Bill was a musician and worked with Christian churches in Bali to enable them to develop Christian worship and expression to their Hindu culture of the Good News of Jesus Christ.

Bill and Dellanna worked with these churches to develop their indigenous Balinese classical ballet and drama to express the themes of biblical faith.  They were back in the US for some years working with young cross-cultural Christian workers, assisting to train them in insights and methods of learning cultural and contextualizing their life and faith.  In this recent book, Dellanna tells the story of unusual and unexpected events in cross-cultural encounters around the worlds.

These are stories of the triumph of universal values over ethnic cultural limitations.  Even today, with so much more awareness of the world at large, and so much of the world's cultures now moving into all regions and nations, many westerners are sadly ethno-centric, supposing that their way of thinking and doing is somehow universal, somehow beyond the common human limitations of time, history and ethnic arrogance.

Love Beyond Culture
These stories remind us how the character and love of God calls us all to rise above our cultural preferences and prejudices.  These unusual events Dellanna records challenge us to answer the call to a universal identity that can share and communicate on an equal basis with people of other cultures.  The events she recounts here focus on relationships, and remind us how we all need trusting friendships and how we can best be a friend to someone different from us.

Serve, not Judge
These stories Dellanna has collected reinforce the focus that the O'Briens, and hundreds of other trainers and teachers, have given years to help others learn the value of an approach of learning and discovering together from a perspective of committed faith that reaches out to serve, rather than to judge.  We see here the value of just being there when needed, just loving and telling our story, so others can hear in the way they can understand, offering an option to those who are seeking.

Related review on this site:
[review] "Image of God" - Its Practical Meaning   New
[review] Practicing the Presence of God

See this book on Amazon.com.
See all my reviews on Amazon.com
See menu of all formal book reviews on this site
See my reading list for this year
Many other books have review notes with the entry


First reading notes written 19 May 2007
Expanded and review posted on Amazon and Thoughts and Resources 4 September 2007
Last edited 3 February 2012

Orville Boyd Jenkins, EdD, PhD
Copyright © 2007 Orville Boyd Jenkins
Permission granted for free download and transmission for personal or educational use.  Other rights reserved.

Email:  orville@jenkins.nu
Orville Jenkins Articles Menu
Orville Jenkins Home
Orville Jenkins Book Reviews Menu

filename:  obrienbeyondbelief.html