Sunday, March 05, 2006

Racial Diversity and Emergent

This post may get me in trouble but I’ve been thinking about it for a while.  A consistent critique is that Emergent/Emerging Church is too-white and there are now people who are calling themselves post-emergent and listing this as one of the reasons.  While it is true that the majority of the emerging conversation is dominated by while males, it’s an issue of context.  The issues that have sparked the emerging conversation are mainly issues that have come up in the traditional evangelical and post-mainline churches (there are no longer any mainline churches) and these churches have been predominantly white.  So to say that emergent needs to try and involve more historic African American churches is rather backwards – how do you convince people to get involved in something that has little or no relevance to their situation?  If anything, I think the emerging conversation can learn a lot from the historic black church because they’ve been being missional and engaged in their communities for years because they’ve never enjoyed the place of privilege in society.

Now, what I’m not saying is that the traditional racial divide between the White and Black church is a good thing but it is part of our current situation.  In fact, I applaud efforts to seek racial reconciliation and integration in the lives of our churches.  All I’m saying is that I think to critique the emerging conversation for not being more racially integrated is short sighted.

For a response to a similar critique from Brian McLaren, go here


At 7:07 PM, Blogger Call Me Ishmael said...

I'll say this post is going to get you in trouble! The phrase "too-white" should not be hyphenated.


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