Here goes ... let cyberspacian conversation begin!
But where to begin? Maybe with something that is uppermost on my mind! I have a different kind of background. Sometimes I introduce myself as a 30:30:30:10 person.
30% Indian (as that is where I spent all my childhood); 30% Kiwi (as I am a New Zealander); 30% American (the boarding school in India was American, I did my theological training in the USA, and my Barby's family is in the USA and so we go back now and then); 10% Southland (in NZ - where I had that hugely shaping early pastoral experience).
Given this understanding (from the inside) of these cultural contexts, what interests me is that NZ and the USA are just so different. The christian community and its leaders have a much higher profile in the States. I wonder whether it is linked way back to the fact that the early European imkigration to the USA was by people wanting to be freed FOR religion, while here in NZ that early immigration was more by those wanting to be freed FROM religion ... and that something of that difference remains with us, making this cultural context far more challenging. What do you think? Has this shaped us ever since?
Then I look at my time back in New Zealand ... John Wimber dominated our church life in 1980s just as Bill Hybels did in the 1990s and Rick Warren has done in the 2000s. I have valued each of these people's contributions and read their material avidly ... but I still do wonder if we have too many missiological eggs in that cultural basket. Might not the greater hostility and cynicism towards things 'christian' in NZ mean that we have to be far more subtle about how we incorporate this, or any, inspiration from the States? It can't be 'cut and paste' - we realise that. But could it be 'open our own document and begin writing' just a little bit more? What would it take to do so?