Julie Clawson is the author of Everyday Justice: The Global Impact of Our Daily Choices (IVP 2009). She blogs atjulieclawson.com and emergingwomen.us.
Posts By This Author
Evangelical History and 'Nonperson' Women
What is the Gospel?
The Gulf Spill and Big Oil's Legacy of Corporate Unaccountability
Power and the Emerging Church
Is the Emerging Church for Whites Only?
AT THE TURN of the millennium, I (Soong-Chan) began hearing a lot about the “emerging church.” It seemed that everywhere I turned somebody was talking about the emerging church. A clear definition of the term was elusive (see “What is the Emerging Church?” by Julie Clawson, below), but the emerging church seemed to reflect ministry and theology rising out of the generation after the baby boomers. In particular, the emerging church was Western Christianity’s attempt to navigate through the context of an emerging postmodern culture.
At the time the emerging church was coming into vogue, I was pastoring a multi-ethnic, urban church plant in the Boston area. It seemed that every brochure for nearly every pastors’ conference I received featured the emerging church. As I began to attend some of those conferences, I noticed that every single speaker who claimed to represent the emerging church was a white male. A perception was forming that this was a movement and conversation occurring only in the white community.
In terms of the public face of the emerging church, white males dominated.
On one occasion, I was at an emerging church conference and was told directly that non-whites were not of any significance in the emerging church. Granted, this was one specific instance, but it led to the sense that the emerging church was not a welcoming place for ethnic minorities. At another conference, on the future of the church, one of the speakers invited up a blond-haired, 29-year-old, white male, replete with cool glasses and a goatee, and pronounced him the face of the emerging church. “This guy is a great representative of the future of American Christianity.” I cringed. In terms of the public face of the emerging church, white males dominated. It seemed like the same old, same old. As per the lyrics by The Who: “Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.”
Packaging the Voice of the Other
After the synchroblog last week and all the discussions surrounding the question of if the emerging church is too white, I've had a number of interesting discussions regarding the ways in which the voice of the subjugated other (subaltern) finds a space
Emerging or Converging?
Faith Over Certainty: The Difference Between a 'Pilgrimage' and a 'Testimony'
I Am Emergent and I Don't Fit the Stereotype
Christian Militias and Litmus Tests
I've been told that I am obviously not a Christian because I watch movies. Because I believe women can be pastors. Because I don't take Mass in a Catholic church. Because I've read Brian McLaren and N.T. Wright. Because I voted for Obama. Because I am not a Calvinist.
A World Water Week Warning
The Jewish Roots of Christianity
International Women's Day: 'Whom God Hath Made Equal'
So I'm a Heretic
So I finally got around to reading Dan Brown's latest book, http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0385504225?ie=UTF8&tag=sojo_blog-20&lin...
Professional Women and Impostor Syndrome
Lent Isn't About Denial -- It's About Transformation
The Bleeding Woman
Five Ways (and 27 Million Reasons) to Fight Human Trafficking
Why N.T. Wright is Wrong About Social Media
Contemplating Feminine Incarnation
At church on a recent Sunday we were encouraged to find ways to see the world differently this week. Change our routine and change our perspective to help us get out of the rut of going through life without actually seeing the world. To that end we were asked to draw a slip of paper out of a basket on which was written some sort of paradigm destabilizer.