EC part 2

5/19/04

reflections on lunchtime conversation about multicultural church.. we unpacked several layers of the many complex layers of multicultural church, issues of colonialism, power, racism, even explored about cultures and liturgy, value of excellence vs. education and socio-economic factors.. scant mention of examples or how tos, uncovering more issues on the institutional side, intellectual side, the individual side, the need for more dialogue, yet the rare occasions when these issues get focused talk and thought time.. and as it often does, the point that gets made is that we have to begin with ourselves, the individual.. but somehow that comes up short for me, it has to be more than what I can do by myself, or having the right heart and desire; it’s got to get more airplay on the institutional and intellectual side.. there’s too much more to do than to build a few friendships, to build trust, to do some small scale pragmatics.. and walking away from that hour, I have to add that this thing gets worked out in the real life incarnational context of a diverse range of people living life together, doing church, and then the issues side of it can have real life matters to work and think through.. it’s not enough to do it on the theory side, b/c this diversity thing is too human of a thing.. poignant tension moment: one Anglo person stood up, and was shamed by the language being used about white privilege, expressing some hurt, disappointed at generalizations being used.. some of the panel responded with some empathy, one that I shall dub the Provacateur did not, whose response was: get past it already.

3:30pm – at seminar with Brian McLaren on rethinking pluralism, sitting in back on floor, the floor is actually a little softer than the fabric-covered seats, where I found a power outlet for my laptop.. a packed room.. and Brian precedes it with a disclaimer: what I’m about to say is very disturbing.. dangerous territory.. (what Brian calls) radio orthodoxy tends to look at our neighbor’s question with disdain and disgust.. (radio orthodoxy refers to religious broadcasting, and how it controls so much of what churches say they believe) — a few sound bites: refers to Peter’s exhortation, to speak with gentleness and respect.. what’s common to those who have oppressed through slavery, or abuse environment, etc.. is.. confidence.. and their metanarrative.. develop stories to do (and justify) whatever they want.. America has a story of manifest destiny.. the heroes of the story disadvantage everyone else.. absolutism as cancer, relativism as chemotherapy.. Is the Gospel an absolutist totalitarian metanarrative, or a private personal true-for-me relativist narrative, or an embracing mega-narrative that is beyond both absolutism and relativism? …. big head trip #1

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