“Reimagining the evangelical tradition to include voices that have been obscured isn’t just good for marginalized Christians—it’s good for all Christians.” —Charles Octavius Boothe
The expanding of our perspective and the lens in which we see the world can truly be an intimidating prospect. I believe that there are many good-intentioned people who are aware of their cultural blind spots and limitations, but are not quite sure how to take steps towards learning and experiencing a view of life foreign to their own. I have a white friend who often seeks personal conversation with me seemingly for the sole purpose of hearing from another believer who sees the world different from him. I often feel the weight of attempting to explain very complex and multi-layered subject matters to my brother in the Lord. Nevertheless, his sincere curiosity and child-like interest in wanting to better relate to his African-American brothers and sisters blesses my heart beyond measure.
The Christian church in America today would do quite well to begin an intentional, Spirit-lead effort to include more and more of those voices that we have unintentionally either kept silent or, through our neglect, made less important. Faithfulness to theological orthodoxy does not necessitate cultural exclusion. Indeed, we might even find ourselves guilty of the sin of partiality, which grieves the very heart of God.
So take a page from my good friend and brother in Christ. Seek and welcome the opportunity to listen to and learn from the experience of believers who share the nonnegotiable tenets of our faith, yet who’s practical living-out of those convictions differ greatly from our own. You might find such a practice to be a delicious fruit, good and refreshing to your soul.
P.S. Throughout the month of February, I will be sharing with you Christian authors and theologians who come from a diversity of backgrounds. I hope this will bless your heart.