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July 04, 2005



Thanks for posting your comment to bring things back into focus. I liked the reminder of Levinas on "the other".

I find any form of mudslinging very tiring (I think) for those engaged in it and those whom like me are hoping for "gentler" dialogue and even debate.

if someone is like that here in Malaysia I'll just ignore the conversation. It saddens me that so much energy is "used" (wasted?) on "mudslinging."

I told my friends more than once ... I hope unnecessary debates won't get imported to us!


Equip people to equip people to equip people. Emergent can't reach everyone, but if they plant seeds with others, if they spend time giving others the tools - the pictures - the example, diversity will follow (in a seven-degrees-of-Kevin-Bacon sort of way). As for justice: if people know to be rooted in the Scriptures, I can't imagine that the desire to do works of justice and compassion wouldn't naturally bloom in our hearts: that's what Christ was all about.

Coordinating can sometimes lend itself to controling. If Emergent can stay true to releasing control, if they can be a resource for equipping, then I believe these bi-products will naturally follow.


the question of diversity is a real test for the emerging church's claim to missional. if the churches that result from this shift fail to reflect the diversity of their contexts, both in participation and leadership, then emerging will struggle to justify itself.

my fear, is that this will be become a 'leadership" issue rather than an ecclesiology issue. for sure how representative the leadership is should be a concern. but the big concern for me is how representative the congregations and ministry groups are.


I am hopeful that emergent and the emerging church at large will grow more diverse ethnically and economically as time goes on. As a Christian that comes from a predominantly African American context as it relates to Christianity and Evangelical Christianity in particular (with a dash of Pentecostalism) my journey here to Emergent has been a wild ride. I am encouraged by the growing amount of ethnic voices I see joining this conversation. I am getting emails weekly of people who are trying to find other ethnic voices that are a part of this conversation. One of the things I am seeing in this conversation is a congruence of strange bedfellows. Many of the people I am talking with have been wrestling with some of the issues Emergent seeks to deal with before they found this conversation. In Emergent many are finding a conversatin partner that is on on a similar journey in our time. This needs to be clear as we begin to seriously talk about emergent. My journey to emergent started with a chance visit to a pawn shop back in 95' where I picked up a tattered copy of David Bosch's book "Transforming Mission". I wasn't looking to be Emergent...I was looking to be faithful to the gospel given my North American context. Emergent has been one of the many conversation partners that has equipped me to better articulate what I am seeing.

My point. I came to this conversation not because I wanted to see "diversity". Diversity wasn't the telos that has brought me here. What has brought me here are some of the similar features in my thinking and practice of Christianity and Emergent. Emergent is singing the same song I am singing in many ways. I believe Diversity is something that should be intentional but not coerced. We have to be careful to look at the various narratives and ideas relating to diversity that are flying around in culture...based upon our particular social order. Diversity, in our culture, in many ways, has become somewhat of a ethic of coercion foisted upon the dominant culture. Such an understanding of diversity does not embody the peaceableness of the gospel. Diversity is something, I believe, that is the outworking of participating in the very life of God. When we break bread together, pray together, fuss, fight, dialogue, debate, share our joys, our sorrows together God may see fit to bless with His Spirit to guide our bodies to reflect the sociality of the Father, Son, and the Spirit. Which I believe is true diversity. The telos or goal of our diversity should be living life together in God...not diversity for diversity sake. When diversity is sought after for its own sake it can easily turn into some thing...some narrative...some idol that is foreign to the story of God. Let's break bread together and see what happens.



i do not have too much to add.. except that i believe diversity comes simply from the invitation for all to join the discussion, all to join a church, a worship... to welcome, not discourage, to invite, not assume that all feel welcome.

susie albert miller

thanks to each of you for these comments, especially for keeping them on theme. i am reminded of how much we can learn from one another, and am grateful to be in conversation with you and many others. i have come to beleive that diveristy is such a broad topic that we may need to return to the simplistic and yet profound stance of "I/Thou" as outlined by Buber, which resonates with Levinas' regard for honoring "the other." if we find diversity in all that are not "me" than i am reequired to pause, to listen, to honor, learn from and make space for them so that i might have a greater understanding of not only myself, but "the other" and thus the body of Christ, which includes all of us.
This enables us to work from a broad and yet simplistic definition of diversity, as i fear that all of our efforts to define it will inevitably exclude someone, and that is the very thing we do not want. The Kingdom of G-d is inclusive, expansive and embracing, after the way of Jesus. Can we be the same?

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traveling companions

  • anj
    a finder and holder of stories.
  • jay voorhees
    only wonder understands
  • jeff
    mixed metaphors from my curious brain
  • karyn
  • natala
    and that has made all the difference
  • wes
    wake up...stay curious
  • will
    journey through willzhead

fellow sojourners