a Jamaican church planter's reaction: why I’m post emergent

Andre expresses his frustration as a man of color who thought a lot of talk would soon turn into racially inclusive behavior in the church.

1. The conversation still looks to much like the old conversation, white, male and academic. The dominant culture still dominates.
2. The values behind the conversation aren’t readily expressed in actions. No generous orthopraxis to go with the generous orthodoxy. (see my previous post)
3. The lexicon of the white European theological framework which still dominates. There is very little inclusion of black theologians and the theological framework of people of color. People of color seem to be included in the conversation only if they are willing to use this language and framework. It seems we all need to read NT Wright in order to have any credibility.
4. Talk, talk and more talk. My experience is we love to talk about this stuff but other than retro worship stuff we don’t get around to acting on it. Even so talk about diversity has never come to the fore. I want to be the church and act like the church not just talk like the church.
5. Ultimately its about relationships and I have made some good ones which go beyond the whole emergent (non movement) thing. So I’ll go about the spiritual practice of reconciliation through relationships with my brothers and sisters and leave emergent tag to others.

Michael Hamblin interacts with this some more at his blog, Evangelical Resources. His interest is not to different from the blog i likned to yesterday at the evanglical outpost, "ours go to eleven." i'm more concerned about the racial diversity issue andre sees. this was an issue that blew up at the end of last year when there was an emergent diverstiy conference and all the speakers were white men. sorry, i didn't save that link.

this raises so many questions for me. i don't think the issue is black church culture. one might ask, how come more blacks aren't released to start churches? i think that's a non-starter if its a white male leadership issue. Others complain that you can't find many women leaders in the emergent church despite the lip service. maybe, its the scary behavior that alot of revolutions exhibit. they rage against the machine and acquire followers (and power) and find that the machine is a good way to handle all those people and all that power and since they complained about the machine, they need to rename all its parts. alot of white evangelicals see problems in evangelicalism and call themselves post evangelical but they only leap with one foot. for the church that can be a good thing, depending on which foot you leave behind. andre's church, mosaic life in Grand Rapids, Michigan is trying to be multi-cultural. but in his blog bio he posts his enneagram. ugh! i have issues with that.
where are the multi-cultural gender inclusive churches? i know IVCF does it intentionally. i know it happens in YWAM. what is it about parachurch ministries? are they the real revolutionaries?

Comments

Michael Hamblin said…
Hey John,

I just wanted to comment that I don't mean to ignore the matter of racial reconciliation, but I didn't want to distract too much from my train of thought and so only mentioned it in passing. Though, I did think about doing a little name dropping - I've met and been in touch with George Yancey at UNT. He pointed me to the Mosaix conference a while back. While I was very excited about encouraging people to attend Mosaix events, in the end there just was practically no interest. Perhaps I'll post some comments along these lines.
jpu said…
i hope you don't feel accused by me that you've ignored that angle. i look forward to your interaction with mosaix.

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